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December 7, 2020

Deadline Approaching for Submitting Your Ideas!  Resilience Redefined: WateReuse Seeks Proposals for the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium

Washington Update

WateReuse and Water Sector Associations Deliver Recommendations to Biden Team

The WateReuse Association delivered recommendations to President-Elect Biden’s transition team, urging the incoming Administration to prioritize the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), establish an Interagency Working Group on Water Reuse, retain and grow the water reuse staff at EPA, and work with Congress to secure major federal investments and tax incentives to support water recycling.

WateReuse also joined with the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, and Water Research Foundation to reiterate the importance of the WRAP to the Biden Transition Team. WateReuse will be following up with the Transition Team in the coming days and weeks, and will meet with the new Administration when it takes office next month.

Stimulus and Omnibus Spending Talks Continue Ahead of Funding Deadline

Last week, House and Senate leaders continued negotiations on a stimulus package, with the goal of attaching a final deal to upcoming appropriations legislation. A bi-partisan group of legislators proposed a $908 billion stimulus package, which includes $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $240 billion to state and local governments, and $180 billion to pandemic unemployment benefits. The proposal does not include direct relief for water or wastewater utilities. Both House and Senate leadership indicated willingness to use the bipartisan proposal as a starting point for negotiations over the weekend and into this week.

Concurrently, lawmakers continue to negotiate a final omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2021. The government is currently operating under a continuing resolution, or funding extension, through December 11; so Congress will need to pass a bill this week in order to prevent a shutdown.

U.S. EPA Announces Interim Strategy for Addressing PFAS

As part of its continuing effort to control per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an interim strategy to address PFAS through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process. EPA also released an update on new analytical methods to test for PFAS. The interim NPDES strategy recommends that permit writers consider including PFAS monitoring and best management practices to limit PFAS discharges in wastewater discharge permits. The strategy also recommends consideration of pollution control measures and monitoring in MS4 and industrial stormwater permits. The PFAS compounds considered for monitoring will be those included in the forthcoming EPA analytical methods, which is a list of 40 PFAS chemicals, in addition to 29 PFAS chemicals already approved in Method 533 and Method 537.1. The analytical methods are anticipated to be finalized by EPA in 2021.

President-Elect Biden’s Transition Team Brings Water Expertise from EPA and Interior

President-Elect Biden’s water policy transition team brings years of water expertise from Obama-era EPA and Interior Department officials. EPA transition team members include Ken Kopocis, former administrator of EPA’s Office of Water; Luseni Pieh, former deputy EPA chief of staff; and Cynthia Giles, previous lead of the enforcement office. The Interior transition team includes Shannon Estenoz, who led federal restoration of the everglades under President Obama, and Tanya Trujillo who is an expert on the Colorado River. President-Elect Biden has not yet named his picks to lead EPA or the Interior Department, nor their sub-agencies and offices. WateReuse will continue to provide updates as appointees are announced.

Water Finance Exchange Launched to Close Funding Gaps in Rural Communities

The Water Finance Exchange (WFX), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, launched last week aiming to increase investment in the nation’s aging water and wastewater infrastructure. With leading impact investors, the Lyda Hill philanthropies and the Water Funder Initiative, WFX hopes to help meet the growing needs and funding gaps of small and mid-sized communities through public and private financing. Partnering with CoBank, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, initial efforts will focus on establishing a rural community predevelopment fund. WFX is requesting information about communities that have an identified need and a funding gap for potential early candidates that will be selected in early 2021. Review letter of interest requirements.

State Updates and Member Profiles

Member Spotlight: Global Water Resources Acquires Arizona Water Utilities

Global Water Resources (GWR), a water resource management company providing water, wastewater, and recycled water services, recently acquired four utilities in Pima County, Arizona. Since October, GWR has acquired Mirabell Water Company, Francesca Water Company, Tortolita Water Company and Lyn-Lee Water Company. GWR plans to bring its water resource management capabilities to the local communities to help them better meet current demands. Global Water Resources recycles nearly 1 billion gallons of water annually. Read more.

California: City of Porterville Looks to Offset Water Demands with Recycled Water

The City Council of Porterville is considering proposals for a $15 million project to build a recycled water facility that will provide water for landscape irrigation at the Eagle Mountain Casino and Porterville Sports complex.  The city council also heard a proposal for a storm drain and groundwater recharge basin project valued at $15 million. Porterville’s efforts around water recycling upgrades are driven by the relocation of the Eagle Mountain Casino near the Porterville Airport and groundwater usage requirements associated with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  Read more.

California: House Delivers Big Win for San Diego Pure Water

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II which modifies permitting requirements of the Point Loma Wastewater discharge allowing the City of San Diego to further invest in its Pure Water facility. The legislation awaits a vote by the Senate in the remaining days of session. The Pure Water facility will produce approximately 83 million gallons a day of potable water. Read more.

Florida: Sarasota County Makes Additional Investments in Water Reuse

Over the next five years, Sarasota County is poised to invest more than $500 million to expand its reclaimed water program and update aging water and utility infrastructure. The planned improvements include two aquifer recharge wells that will allow reclaimed water to replenish groundwater and prevent saltwater instruction. The county has already dug the first well and is making preparations for the second injection well. Read more.

Member Resources and Benefits

Profiles in Reuse: New Flyer Showcases Opportunities for Industrial Reuse

The WateReuse Association released a new flyer, Profiles in Reuse: Industrial Reuse, that outlines the benefits of industrial reuse, makes the business case for industry to invest in water recycling, and presents brief case studies that illustrate the many ways in which businesses across the U.S. rely on water reuse to operate. The flyer is part of WateReuse’s Profiles in Reuse series and is designed to introduce new audiences to the concept of industrial water reuse. View and download flyer.

Conferences, Webcasts and Events

Webcast: Water Reuse in Palestine – Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainability, Food Security, and Economic Growth

Although a small country with many water resource challenges, Palestine relies on agriculture as a critical component of its economy. About 50 percent of the land is designated agricultural yet only 7 percent is irrigated, creating an opportunity for water reuse to play a key role in water conservation, food security, and economic growth. Join Dr. A. Rasem Hasan, a professor and researcher at An-Najah National University in Nablus, West Bank, on December 9 at 1 pm ET to learn about recent challenges, social and technical, and proposed solutions to increase water recycling in Palestine. Register here.

Save the Date: 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium – Resiliency Redefined

Mark your calendar for the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium, presented virtually March 15-25, 2021 as a series of live, fully interactive roundtable discussions. Each live roundtable includes breakout rooms that allow you to turn on your camera and interact face-to-face with presenters and other attendees. To prepare attendees to fully participate in this unique interactive experience, a group of pre-recorded, on demand roundtables will provide prerequisite education. Experience the 2021 WateReuse Symposium from the comfort of your own office in manageable chunks, and earn professional development hours! Learn more.

U.S. EPA Webinar: Workforce Technology Adoption – It’s All About the People

Join the U.S. EPA and speakers from MCES (Minnesota) and the Water Tower (Georgia) on December 9 for a discussion of Technology Adoption to support the workforce of the future. The speakers will discuss the motivations, challenges, and benefits they are experiencing as they work with their own employees and others to ensure their people get the best support possible to meet the technology and water quality challenges of the 21st century. This presentation is part of an ongoing webinar series sponsored by EPA, with support from water associations. Register here.

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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