Deadline Approaching! Submit a Proposal for an Opportunity to Present at the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium
The WateReuse Association invites proposals for presentations at the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium, a series of live and on demand roundtables presented virtually March 15-25, 2021. Presentation proposals are due December 21, 2020.
Position yourself as a water reuse thought-leader by sharing creative solutions and approaches for water recycling as a public health and resiliency strategy. Share your expertise and leadership across the water sector! Submit a proposal here.
WateReuse invites water reuse experts, practitioners, and researchers to submit presentation proposals for pre-recorded, on demand roundtables to stimulate and provoke discussion, facilitate knowledge transfer and development of competencies, and challenge attendees to think of new and innovative ways to use water recycling to improve water resource management. Submit your proposal by December 21!
Congress Extends Funding for Water Recycling, Eyes Stimulus Package
Congress voted last week to extend the continuing resolution (CR) that is currently funding the government until Friday, December 18. The House and Senate will now work to finalize and approve a full funding package for FY 2021 before the Friday deadline. While the fiscal year begins annually in October, Congress does not often finalize negotiations on a funding package until the winter. In the interim, it simply extends the previous year’s funding levels via a CR.
Visit our earlier post for more information on the differences between the House and Senate FY 2021 draft funding bills. As we reported last week, Congressional leaders have discussed the possibility of attaching a roughly $900 billion stimulus measure to the final appropriations package; however, it is quite possible that they will be unable to reach a stimulus deal in time. Leaders are also considering attaching the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 to the final funding package. More on WRDA below.
U.S. EPA Issues Draft Guidance on Supreme Court Decision that Could Lead to Increased Regulation for Water Reuse
Last week, the U.S. EPA issued draft guidance on a April 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that groundwater discharges are subject to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting, if the groundwater discharge is “functionally equivalent” to a discharge into a navigable water. This new interpretation could increase the regulatory and cost burden for water reuse projects, including those intended to recharge aquifers, establish saltwater intrusion barriers, and mitigate land subsidence.
While the Court did provide some parameters by which to determine functional equivalence, it left much of the work to EPA. The draft guidance entitled, “Applying the Supreme Court’s County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund Decision in the Clean Water Act Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit Program,” seeks to clarify how the Court’s new jurisdictional test relates to the existing NPDES permitting system, and offers an additional criterion for determining functional equivalence. The WateReuse Association’s Policy Committee will develop comments on the draft guidance, which is open for public comment until January 11, 2021. In the notice, EPA notes that it may pursue a rulemaking to provide further regulatory clarity.
House Passes Water Resources Development Act without Clean Water, Drinking Water, and Water Recycling Provisions
For the past several months, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have been negotiating a biennial water infrastructure package, often referred to as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Earlier in the year, WateReuse was successful in getting top water recycling priorities into several of the bills that House and Senate negotiators were using to develop the final WRDA agreement. Unfortunately, negotiators were only able to reach agreement on items related to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Army Corps projects. As a result, the final 2020 agreement, which the House passed last week, and which the Senate is expected to pass this week, does not include reauthorization provisions for Clean Water Act programs, such as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program or the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program; nor does the agreement direct the creation of a Federal Interagency Working Group on Water Reuse. The leaders of the committees of jurisdiction have indicated that they will work to pass another infrastructure bill next year that includes clean water, drinking water, and water recycling provisions. WateReuse will continue to work closely with Congress to secure these provisions in the new year.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Member Spotlight: Metropolitan Water District, Southern Nevada Water Authority Collaborate to Explore Development of Recycled Water Project
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) are partnering to explore development of a drought-proof water supply that could reduce reliance on the over-stressed Colorado River. Under an agreement approved December 8 by Metropolitan’s Board of Directors and SNWA’s Board of Directors last month, SNWA will contribute up to $6 million for environmental planning of the Regional Recycled Water Program, a proposed large-scale project to produce high quality water from purified wastewater. The investment by SNWA could lead to an interstate exchange of new locally produced water. Read more.
California: Oceanside May Receive $6 Million for Potable Reuse Construction
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior is expected to recommend a $6 million Title XVI WINN grant award for the construction of the Pure Water Oceanside project. Pure Water Oceanside will purify recycled water to create a local source of potable drinking water. The project will be the first operating advanced water purification facility in San Diego County. Read More.
Florida: Department of Environmental Protection Moves to Phase II of Potable Reuse Rulemaking
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is moving forward with Phase II of rulemaking to ensure proper regulation for implementation of potable reuse programs in the state of Florida. The rules amended in Chapter 62-610 F.A.C. Phase II Reuse of Reclaimed Water and Land Application will address updates necessary to be consistent with recommendations of the Potable Reuse Commission’s 2020 report “Advancing Potable Reuse in Florida: Framework for the Implementation of Potable Reuse in Florida” as required by Florida’s Clean Waterways Act of 2020. WateReuse Florida has been actively involved in leading the efforts that have been completed to date on both indirect and direct potable reuse. WateReuse Florida chaired the Potable Reuse Commission, which prepared the report that provides a framework for potable reuse regulations. FDEP will host a public rulemaking workshop on January 14, 2021.
Florida: Pasco County to Provide Recycled Water to Three New Communities
Pasco County Utilities announced that it will bring reclaimed irrigation water to three new neighborhoods. All three communities have irrigation systems that are being fed by drinking water, with usage charged at current potable water rates. The new systems will provide lower-cost, reclaimed irrigation water to the communities while helping conserve drinking water. Read more.
Member Resources and Benefits
Engaging the Public Health Community on Water Reuse? Check out Our Online Resources
Although water reuse is a proven, science-based process that has been used safely in communities around the world for decades, the public is often skeptical when the concept is first introduced into a community. To build acceptance among medical and health professionals, WateReuse has launched the Medical Community Initiative and begun developing resources to support members in engaging with the public health community. Visit our website for videos, articles, and presentations that support engagement with medical professionals. New tools are being developed so check back for updates.
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
Webcast: Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration
January 2021 marks the beginning of both a new administration in the White House and a new Congress. While Congress passed a number of key pieces of legislation in the final days of 2020, much work remains to be done, including the reauthorization of important water recycling programs. At the same time, the Biden Administration is coming in with an ambitious agenda related to climate change, the environment, and infrastructure, among other issues.
Please join us on January 27 at 2 pm EST for a webcast with Washington insiders to examine what’s on the congressional agenda for 2021 and what water-related priorities the Biden Administration is likely to push in its first year. Top Washington water sector lobbyists will discuss the status of key legislation and explain the opportunities to advance a water reuse policy agenda. Whether you plan to participate in our Virtual Water Week in the spring or are interested in what to expect from Congress and the new Administration in 2021, this webcast will be a national advocacy primer for water professionals. Register here.
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Details coming soon.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
WateReuse Members: Free
Join WateReuse California’s Agricultural Reuse Committee to learn about agricultural water reuse in production, planned projects, and new opportunities. An expert panel of agricultural reuse practitioners will share their experiences, lessons learned, and outlook for agriculture reuse in California. Following the panel, the audience will be encouraged to submit questions for a moderated Q&A. Agricultural reuse refers to recycled water used in an agricultural setting. Water is treated and used again, employing effective and efficient processes to meet specific quality standards for the intended end use. Water that is treated and cleaned for agricultural reuse includes municipal wastewater, wastewater from plants that process agricultural products, and runoff from fields after irrigation (also known as tailwater).
North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program
Director of Utilities
City of Modesto
City of Fresno
Department of Public Utilities Wastewater
Angela Morrow, P.E.
Deputy Director of Utilities / Construction and Engineering
Utilities | City of Escondido
José R. Ramírez, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer
Water Recycling Program Manager
Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District
Add to Calendar
Remote – Zoom
Friday, Dec 3, 2021
11:00 am to 2pm EST // 10 to 1 CST // 9:00 to 12 MST // 8:00 to 11 PST
When: Dec 7, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Super Saver Opens October 4: 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Antonio, Texas
Mark your calendar for the 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium to be held March 5-9, 2022 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. A special super saver registration rate will be offered exclusively to WateReuse Association members beginning Monday, October 4, 2021—before early-bird registration opens to the general public.