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December 14, 2020

Resilience Redefined: Registration Is Open for the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium – Register Today!

Registration is open for the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium, a series of live and on demand roundtables presented virtually March 15-25, 2021. Organized around the theme, Resilience Redefined and presented in collaboration with The Water Research Foundation, the Symposium will showcase the important role that water recycling plays in ensuring water security, safety, and supply.

The 2021 WateReuse Symposium offers fully interactive education that will connect you with colleagues via video and allow you to engage in manageable chunks of time over a period of several weeks:

  • Add a daily live roundtable to your calendar March 15-25, 2021. Join breakout discussions to interact face-to-face with presenters and other attendees.
  • Watch on demand roundtable presentations beginning March 1 for insightful discussions that will prepare you to fully participate in the live roundtables.
  • The full program, including recordings of the live roundtables, will be available through April 23, 2021.

Experience the 2021 WateReuse Symposium from the comfort of your own office, connect with colleagues, and earn professional development hours. Register today!

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!

Washington Update

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.

Upcoming Events

Jan
21
Fri
Special Board Meeting: Marketing Analysis Deep Dive @ Virtual
Jan 21 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Friday, January 21, 2022  Remote 8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST Bluefield Marketing Assessment
Jan
25
Tue
What the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Means for Your Community: Program Implementation Details and Timeline
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
What the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Means for Your Community: Program Implementation Details and Timeline

11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

At the end of 2021, Congress and the Administration passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provided $1 billion for Western water recycling programs through the Bureau of Reclamation and roughly $48 billion for nationwide programs administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Water. The IIJA includes $550 million over 5 years for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program and $450 million for a Competitive Grant Program for Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects. It also authorizes the first nationwide water recycling program—the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program; and establishes a federal interagency working group on water reuse.

As 2022 begins, federal agencies like the EPA and Bureau of Reclamation are making important decisions about program implementation and the distribution of available funding. Join our webcast on January 25 to learn about the resources included in the IIJA, how your community can access those resources, and what the Administration’s plans are for program implementation and stakeholder engagement.

Speakers:

  • Amanda Erath, Program Analyst, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Deirdre Finn, Executive Director, Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
  • Justin Mattingly, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jan
26
Wed
CA: How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and California State Water Recycling Funding Can Help Your Community Advance Water Reuse
Jan 26 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
CA: How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and California State Water Recycling Funding Can Help Your Community Advance Water Reuse

11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

At the end of 2021, Congress and the Administration passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provided $1 billion for Western water recycling programs through the Bureau of Reclamation and roughly $48 billion for nationwide programs administered by EPA’s Office of Water. The IIJA includes $550 million over 5 years for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program and $450 million for a Competitive Grant Program for Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects. It also authorizes the first nationwide water recycling program—the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program; and establishes a federal interagency working group on water reuse.

As part of the state budget process, the California Legislature and the Governor included $150 million in grants for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects and $50 million for the Pure Water San Diego project. Additional funding of up to $200 million in grants for these projects was also included in out year funding in the California budget. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) also received significant additional federal funding and the California budget authorized funds for use as the state required match.

As 2022 begins, agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Reclamation, and California State Water Board are making important decisions about program implementation and the distribution of available funding. Join this webcast on January 26 to learn about state and federal financial resources and how your community can access those resources.

Speakers:

  • Amanda Erath, Program Analyst, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Mike Downey, P.E., Supervising Engineer, Division of Financial Assistance, State Water Resources Control Board
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
  • Jennifer West, Managing Director, WateReuse California
Jan
28
Fri
WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ Virtual
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Feb
1
Tue
Second Annual Nevada Water Reuse Symposium @ Tuscany Suites & Casinos Las Vegas NV
Feb 1 @ 8:15 am – 11:45 am
Second Annual Nevada Water Reuse Symposium @ Tuscany Suites & Casinos Las Vegas NV

Join Nevada’s state gathering for water reuse professionals, exploring the state of the science and trends in the state. The meeting will include a groundbreaking case study, a summary of state initiatives, and a technical update. The event is co-located with the Nevada Water Environment Association Reunited in Water 2022 Conference.

Register at the link below and select WateReuse as your registration type:

Register
Event Flier

Feb
4
Fri
WateReuse California Q1 Board of Trustees Meeting (virtual)
Feb 4 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Feb
8
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting
Feb 8 all-day
Feb
17
Thu
Orange County Chapter Meeting
Feb 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Feb
18
Fri
Special Board Meeting: Operational Assessment Deep Dive @ Virtual
Feb 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Friday, February 18, 2022
Remote
8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST
Association Headquarters Operational Assessment

WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ Virtual
Feb 18 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

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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.

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