Home\News\WateReuse Review\WateReuse Review – December 7, 2020

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
27
Wed
Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration (Webcast)
Jan 27 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration (Webcast)
Please join 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. Register Now! Join Us! 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT WateReuse Members: Free Others: $49 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. 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.

Presenters

  • Mia O’Connell, President, O’Connell & Dempsey, LLC
  • Pete Evich, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates
  • Jon Freedman, Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
 
Feb
3
Wed
Stormwater Capture Drivers, Impediments, and Future Visions (Webcast)
Feb 3 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Register Now!
Join Us!
2:00 – 4:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 1:00 pm PT
Fee: Complimentary

Join a group of stormwater management leaders from around the US to discuss stormwater capture motivations and drivers, barriers to progress, and future directions. This group will touch on questions such as:

  • Why are communities pursuing stormwater capture for use now?
  • How do community interests in stormwater harvesting vary across the country?
  • What factors get in the way of progress?
  • Where do we want to be with stormwater capture in 20 years?

The audience will learn about the different motivators, unique strategies, and opportunities to market and advance stormwater capture across the U.S.

Presenters

  • Randy Bartlett, Fairfax County VA
  • Sharlene Leurig, Texas Water Trade/Austin Water Forward
  • Mark Doneux, St. Paul, MN Capitol Region Watershed District
  • James Moore, Georgia Association of Water Professionals
  • Enrique Zaldivar, City of Los Angeles
  • Lynn Broaddus, Water Environment Federation
  • Drew Wenzel, Google

This webinar will be the first of a series of four webinars as part of the National Water Reuse Action Plan, Action 2.3.3. Co-sponsors include the WateReuse Association, U.S. EPA, National Association of Municipal Stormwater Agencies (NMSA), Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), Water Environment Federation, and Johnson Foundation at Wingspread (JFW).

Save the Date

Join us for the second webinar in this series.

Developing Stormwater Treatment Standards – Where’s the Action?
February 23, 2021
2:00 – 4:00 pm ET

Feb
5
Fri
Containment of Covid-19 on a College Campus via Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (Webcast)
Feb 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

WateReuse Arizona Section Meeting & Webinar
9:00 am – 10:00 am Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern
WateReuse Members: Free
Others: $49
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

Wastewater-based epidemiology was utilized to detect SARS-Cov-19 in the wastewater of student dorms upon re-entry of University of  Arizona students in the fall semester of 2020. Positive wastewater samples allowed for subsequent targeted clinical testing of dorm students and the identification of both symptomatic and asymptomatic Covid-19 infections. Early detection of infected individuals resulted in reduced exponential spread of Covid-19 and allowed the university to remain open throughout the semester.

Presenter

Ian Pepper, Director, WEST Center & Professor, Environmental Science

Dr. Pepper is an environmental microbiologist whose research has focused on the fate and transport of pathogens in air, water, soils and municipal wastes. More recently, he has investigated the potential for real-time detection of contaminants in water distribution systems. Dr. Pepper is Professor in the Community, Environment, and Policy Department in the UA College of Public Health, as well as Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering. In addition to his duties at the WEST Center, he is director of the National Science Foundation Water Quality Center at the UA.

He also teaches a graduate level laboratory class on Environmental Microbiology, and an undergraduate class on Pollution Science. He has co-authored numerous books and journal articles on Environmental Microbiology and Pollution Science, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Soil Science Society of America.

He received his Ph.D. in Soil Microbiology from The Ohio State University, M.S. in Soil Biochemistry from Ohio State, and B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham, Great Britain.

Feb
9
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting @ Virtual
Feb 9 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Zoom Meeting 

When: Feb 9, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpceCqqz4tEtNiOeRgAqBZza_hcILDEx10

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Feb
17
Wed
Communicating about Potable Reuse and Public Health: Tools for Success (Webcast)
Feb 17 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Register Now!

Join Us!
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET| 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT
WateReuse Members: Free
Others: $49

As more communities face water quantity challenges, water reuse is a viable option to expand drinking water sources.  Although all water is recycled as it moves through the environment, the practice of treating wastewater to be used for potable water is sometimes met with skepticism. Some of this stems from the “toilet to tap” campaigns that may have led to more rejection of water reuse than acceptance.

Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a framework that evaluates the many factors impacting water reuse practices and management, as well as those influencing community perception.  With the emergence of new pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, the acceptance of water recycling as part of a community’s drinking water sustainability plan may be even more challenging.  This webcast will describe how QMRA may be used to communicate with stakeholders – including healthcare providers – the human health safeguards associated with water reuse implementation.

Presenters

  • Karla Mendez, PhD Candidate, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, El Paso campus
  • Kristina Mena, MSPH, PhD, Regional Dean and Associate Professor, UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, El Paso campus
Feb
25
Thu
Los Angeles Chapter Virtual Happy Hour
Feb 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Virtual Happy Hour Via Zoom

Register in advance to participate:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudeCsqTsoGt2oVFyg_xaPdNJ9GN6BzN-M

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Mar
12
Fri
Meeting of the Board of Directors – First Quarter 2021 @ Virtual
Mar 12 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

First Quarter:
Remote – Zoom
Friday, March 12, 2021
11:00 am to 2pm EST // 10 to 1 CST // 9:00 to 12 MST // 8:00 to 11 PST

Mar
15
Mon
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium
Mar 15 – Mar 25 all-day
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium

36th Annual WateReuse Symposium: Redefining Resiliency

March 15-25, 2021

Join us for a series of live and on demand virtual roundtables!

Learn More

Apr
13
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting @ Virtual
Apr 13 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Zoom Meeting

When: Apr 13, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkd-6tqjsiH9ztJm_6CN-heC5W3IEcOK7V

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Jun
4
Fri
Meeting of the Board of Directors – Second Quarter 2021 @ Virtual
Jun 4 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Second Quarter:
Remote – Zoom
Friday, June 4, 2021
11:00 am to 2pm EST // 10 to 1 CST // 9:00 to 12 MST // 8:00 to 11 PST

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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