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.
Zoom Log-In Information
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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.