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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

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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