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August 3, 2020

Reaching New Heights in Water Reuse: Register Early to Ensure Your Spot

Washington Update

House Energy and Water Funding Bill Moves Forward, Includes Funding for Water Reuse Grants

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a package of funding bills that includes the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for FY 2021. As WateReuse reported previously, the bill includes $11.8 million for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Program and $24 million for the Desalination and Water Purification Program.

Given the limited amount of time before the end of FY 2020, Congress will almost certainly pass a continuing resolution at some point in September to extend current funding levels and allow more time for negotiations. WateReuse is working with members of the House and Senate to increase funding for Title XVI-WIIN in final FY 2021 appropriations legislation.

U.S House of Representatives Passes Water Resources Development Act of 2020

Last week, the U.S. House passed its version of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA). Unlike the version passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the House bill focuses narrowly on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its ability to carry out water resource development projects and studies.

WateReuse is actively working with members of the House and Senate to ensure that water recycling priorities that were included in the Senate version—and in separate infrastructure legislation in the House—are included in the final conference agreement for WRDA. House and Senate negotiators are expected to begin informally conferencing their respective bills over the August recess.

Negotiations Continue on Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The White House, Senate, and House of Representatives continued negotiations on the next COVID-19 relief package into the weekend with little progress. As supplemental unemployment benefits expired on July 31, no deal had been reached on either a comprehensive relief package or a more limited extension of unemployment benefits. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set up votes on a limited extension; however, Democrats are expected to oppose the move in favor of negotiating a more comprehensive relief package.

The Senate released their $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package last week. The legislation does not include relief for municipalities nor support for low-income ratepayers, both of which were included in the most recent House-passed relief bill, the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800).

Report Finds $375 Million Funding Gap for State Drinking Water Programs

The Association of State Drinking Water Agencies (ASDWA) released an analysis last week on the necessary resources for states and territories to run their drinking water programs and protect public health. The report found the funding gap for 2020 to be $375 million, increasing to $469 million in 2029. The funding gap has increased by $197 million since the previous analysis in 2011 due to increasing demands on state programs to address unregulated contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and harmful algal blooms (HABs), and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal share of program funding has decreased by 8% since the previous analysis in 2011. The report was referenced in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change on July 28.

COVID-19 Spotlight

Water is Essential to America’s COVID-19 Recovery

Politico highlighted the importance of water utilities in supplying water and sanitation during the coronavirus pandemic and estimated a $30 billion fallout across the water and wastewater sector. Moratoriums on utility cutoffs in combination with historic unemployment rates, the closing of offices, slowed production, and emptied airports all create the perfect storm for lost revenue essential to water and wastewater providers. The water sector continues to push Congress to address the water industry’s growing affordability challenge. Read More.

WateReuse Awards for Excellence

Submit a Nomination for the 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence 

Is your utility or business demonstrating leadership in advancing water recycling? Or do you know of an organization, individual, or partnership that has implemented an innovative solution that will inspire others? If so, submit a nomination for the 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence to get the recognition you deserve. Nominations are due September 30, 2020.

The 2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence will recognize accomplishments for 2019 and 2020. Winners will be recognized in conjunction with the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium, March 14-17, 2021. Submit a nomination now!

State Updates and Member Profiles

Georgia: Momentum is Building for Water Reuse Across State

Water Resources Planner for Athens-Clarke County, Marilyn Hall, shared Georgia’s journey with water reuse and recycling in a recent LinkedIn blog. She highlights the growing momentum as “water providers, regulators, and researchers continue to make new investments in both potable and non-potable water recycling.” Cities across Georgia are providing recycled water for industrial cooling, such as Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority, recycled water for irrigation in Savannah, Braselton, and Winder, and indirect potable reuse in Gwinnett County and the Clayton County Water Authority. Read More.

California: Governor Newsom Looks to Expand Water Recycling in Final Water Resilience Plan

Maryland: Bureau of Reclamation Doubles Federal Cost Share for East Coast Potable Reuse Pilot Study

The City of Westminster will receive double the federal funding it expected for a $700,000 pilot project that could lead to the first potable reuse program in the State of Maryland. The eight month pilot program will study the feasibility of purifying treated wastewater and returning it to the city’s reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation was interested in supporting water reuse projects outside of the West Coast and looked to a city like Westminster that faces similar water security challenges. Instead of the typical 25% cost share, the federal grant will cover 50% of the study’s costs under Reclamation’s Desalination and Water Purification Program. The Maryland Department of the Environment is overseeing a study in tandem with the pilot to assess the nutrient loading to the reservoir. Read More.

Member Resources and Benefits

Use WateReuse Connect to Learn and Exchange Ideas with Peers

In this time of social distancing, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking are more important than ever. WateReuse members can use WateReuse Connect to access a member-to-member network of more than 7,000 water recycling practitioners, business leaders, regulators, academics, and technology providers. Recent discussion topics have included innovative partnerships, scheduling of recycled water deliveries, downstream flows, and COVID-19. Post your questions, observations, and unique challenges on our online platform to benefit from the unique experiences of other members across the nation and around the world. It’s simple to use with your member login information. For help accessing WateReuse Connect, please email Member Services.

Conferences and Events

Bulk Registrations Available for 35th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium: For Every Five Registrations, Get One Free!

Join us for the 35th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium to provide your entire team with high quality professional development and training on all aspects of water reuse. For every five registrations purchased, a free registration will be added – a cost savings of over $500! Take advantage of this team discount and the lack of travel expenses to provide professional development to your core team as well as staff who may be new to water reuse, and save in professional development costs! Launching online September 14-16, 2020, the Annual WateReuse Symposium is the premier conference devoted to water recycling and offers more than 100 hours of technical presentations. Registrants can access the full program for up to 45 days – the virtue of going virtual is that you do not have to miss any content offerings! Register Now!

Upcoming Events

Apr
20
Tue
Advancing Water Reuse Through State Focused Partnerships: Idaho Workshop 1
Apr 20 all-day
WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop series.
Apr
21
Wed
Advancing Water Reuse Through State Focused Partnerships: Washington Workshop 2
Apr 21 all-day

WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop Series

Apr
27
Tue
2021 Water Week Policy Zoom-In
Apr 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Register Now!

Join Us!
11:00 am – 1:30 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET
Fee: Free

This webinar is hosted jointly by this year’s Water Week Water Association Partners and will provide attendees the opportunity to hear directly from key EPA officials and Members of Congress on the important regulatory and legislative water policies they are working on now and in the years ahead.

Apr
29
Thu
Resilience through Collaboration: First Year Highlights and Future Directions of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (Webcast)
Apr 29 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Join us for a lively discussion with leaders from across the water sector about the future of water reuse and its importance as a tool to address the impacts of climate change and meet local water demands.

Register Now!

Please join us for a free webinar on April 29, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM EDT to celebrate the first year of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), including accomplishments of action leaders and partners and anticipated 2021 outcomes.

The Resilience through Collaboration: First Year Highlights and Future Directions of the National Water Reuse Action Plan webcast will feature remarks from Radhika Fox (EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Water), Felicia Marcus (William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program), and a roundtable discussion with WRAP action leaders and partners and other water reuse practitioners from around the United States. This event is hosted by EPA in collaboration with the WateReuse Association and other water sector partners.

The roundtable panelists include:

  • Gilbert Trejo, El Paso Water, WateReuse President (moderator)
  • Pinar Balci, New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • Mike Markus, Orange County Water District
  • Melissa Klembara, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Brandi Honeycutt, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment
  • Paula Kehoe, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Chair of the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems

The WRAP collaborative was launched on February 27, 2020 with federal, state, tribal, local, and private sector partners to build technical, financial, and institutional capacity to spur further consideration and implementation of water reuse across the country. The story of the WRAP’s first year of implementation is one of incredible dedication and determination by a growing community of over 100 different organizations. The WRAP collaborative has enabled the formation of new action-based partnerships across the water community to help address local water resource challenges through holistic thinking and integrated efforts to ultimately strengthen our Nation’s water security, sustainability, and resilience.

May
12
Wed
Water Reuse in Bioenergy Production – A Pathway to Conservation and Resiliency (Webcast)
May 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Water Reuse in Bioenergy Production – A Pathway to Conservation and Resiliency (Webcast)

Join May Wu, Principal Environmental System Scientist with Argonne National Laboratory, for a webcast on the role of water reuse in bioenergy production.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
WateReuse Members: Free | Others: $49

Register Now!

Production of bioenergy from a range of feedstocks and biorefining pathways requires a substantial amount of water for irrigation, conversion process, cooling, and steam generation. Because the feedstock varies with climate and soil regions, an increased production will have implications in the availability of regional and local freshwater resources across the U.S. It is critical to understand how fit-for-purpose water recycling can be used to conserve freshwater.

This webcast presents findings from an Argonne National laboratory analyses of potential recycled water use to produce biofuels from conventional crops and algae and generate power by incorporating technology, climate, and geospatial-temporal components. Findings suggest a significant potential of producing advanced biofuel while doubling the amount of recycled water in use nationally. Results from this project support informed decision-making and strategic planning for water sustainable bioenergy development.

Presenter

May Wu is a principal environmental system scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Her research interests are water resource use, water quality, and wastewater management in the production of biofuels and conventional energy.

May
25
Tue
Advancing Water Reuse Through State Focused Partnerships: Oregon Workshop 3
May 25 all-day

WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop Series

Advancing Water Reuse Through State Focused Partnerships: Washington Workshop 3
May 25 all-day

WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop Series

May
26
Wed
Advancing Water Reuse Through State Focused Partnerships: Idaho Workshop 2
May 26 all-day

WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop Series

May
27
Thu
WateReuse Arizona Section Meeting
May 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Save the date! More information to come soon.

Jun
1
Tue
Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects (Webcast)
Jun 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects (Webcast)

Learn how digital platforms that include artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to improve asset management strategies and operational efficiencies.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
WateReuse Members: Free
Others: $49
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

In this webcast, our presenters will introduce how digital platforms that include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be used to improve asset management strategies and operational efficiencies, as well as enhance source control, validate unit process performance, predict product water quality and make sound decisions for assessing suitability of product water for human consumption.

The data collected from pilot and full-scale potable reuse treatment trains have been used to develop artificial neuron networks as part of an ML platform. The platform clearly demonstrates that ML can be used to predict, for example, the product water total organic carbon (TOC) concentration of a pilot advanced treatment facility and the specific fluxes on the third stage of a full-scale advanced treatment facility as the feed quality and operating conditions are changed.

The methodology used and model outputs will be discussed during the webcast. The presenters will also examine how we can couple AI/ML concepts with the Internet of Things (IoT) and next generation of the SCADA systems to operate and maintain assets efficiently while significantly enhancing public and regulatory confidence in potable reuse projects.

Presenters

  • Ufuk Erdal, Arcadis
  • Jim Cooper, Arcadis
  • Raluca Constantinescu, Arcadis
  • Ozan Erdal, University of Washington

Join WateReuse

WateReuse is the only trade association that focuses solely on advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse. Our niche strategy sets us apart from other organizations in the water industry.

Join Today

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