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February 15, 2021

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Washington Update

Water Reuse Action Plan Engagement Opportunity: Webcast to Discuss Treatment Standards for Stormwater Capture and Use

Join us Tuesday, February 23 for an informative webcast on Treatment Standards for Stormwater Capture and Use, presented as part of the implementation of the national Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). This free webcast explores how agencies are tackling this issue now and reviews current efforts to establish treatment standards tailored to stormwater and rainwater use. The presentation is designed to help identify future research and development priorities addressing stormwater capture treatment standards. It is the second in a series of web-based events associated with WRAP Action Item 2.3.3., which focuses on opportunities and challenges related to urban stormwater capture and use. Register here.

Water Assistance Program Included in COVID Relief Reconciliation Package

Congressional committees began drafting a set of bills that will, when put together, comprise the proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package sought by the White House. The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up legislation, which includes $500 million for the Health and Human Services Department to help low-income households pay for drinking water and wastewater services. The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed its own portion of the reconciliation package, including $95.5 billion in funding for the transportation industry, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, and other relief programs. The legislation does not include infrastructure spending or broader stimulus investments outside of immediate COVID relief investments. In the Senate, committees have not yet started to mark up their portions of the reconciliation package. After each committee of jurisdiction passes their legislation, the full set of bills will be combined into a single reconciliation package, which can then be passed with simple majorities in the House and Senate.

Talks Begin on Major Infrastructure Package: WateReuse Works to Ensure Water Recycling Included

President Biden met last week with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss infrastructure spending, and to urge quick action this year. Following the meeting, Senator Tom Caper (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, noted that he intends to move legislation related to surface transportation as well as water infrastructure. The EPW Committee is expected to start holding infrastructure-related hearings soon.

Department of Energy Announces Clean Energy-Powered Desalination Winners

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced ten winners for the ADAPT stage of the Wave to Water Prize, which aims to develop clean energy-powered desalination technologies to provide communities in need with potable water. The $3.3 million program is a three-year effort to test wave-energy powered desalination devices. The ADAPT stage is the third in a series of five competitions leading up to the final open water test. Read more

COVID-19 Update

CDC Encourages Water Sector to Get COVID-19 Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encouraged water sector employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available to them during a webinar last week. Dr. R. Reid Harvey, the Deputy Team Lead for the CDC’s Essential Workers Vaccine Task Force, provided an overview of vaccine distribution and implementation and discussed the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. CDC recommends that water and wastewater workers be vaccinated in Phase 1c, which is designated for “other essential workers,” people aged 65-74, and people aged 16-74 with underlying medical conditions. Vaccine distribution began with Phase 1a, which included healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The second phase, 1b, incudes people aged 75 and older and frontline essential workers such as fire fighters, police, public transit workers, and others. The CDC has also developed a toolkit to help utilities set up a workplace vaccination program. The webinar was part of a series on COVID-19 vaccinations for different groups of essential workers.

State Updates and Member Profiles

California: Natural Resources Secretary Looks to Stormwater and Recycled Water for Supply Diversification

California Secretary for Natural Resources, Wade Crawfoot, points to aquifer recharge with stormwater and increasing recycled and surface water supplies as important steps in meeting California’s goal to build water resilience. Crawfoot’s remarks came during a keynote address at recent virtual irrigation conference, which was convened on the heels of the Department of Water Resources’ disappointing data from its annual snowpack survey. The statewide snowpack stood at only 70% of average, an indicator that the state’s water supplies will face pressure later this year.  Read more.

Florida: Panhandle Utilities Plan Regional Water Reuse System

An agreement to establish a regional water reuse program in the Florida panhandle is being heralded as an example for the state. The City of Gulf Breeze established an agreement with South Santa Rosa Utility System, Holley Navarre Water system, and Navarre Beach Water System to deliver 1.4 million gallons per day of reclaimed water throughout the Fairpoint Peninsula. The water will be used for irrigation and to protect against saltwater intrusion. The Beneficial Reclaim Strategic Plan outlines four phases to connect three water utility systems. Read more.

International Update

Danish Brewer Uses Water Recycling to Reduce Carbon Footprint

The Carlberg Group announced a major investment in water recycling technology at its Federicia Brewery in Denmark. The investment will reduce potable water consumption at the facility from 2.9 hl of water per 1 hl of beer to 1.4 hl to 1 hl (or about 37 gallons of water to 26 gallons of beer). The company has also achieved an overall reduction of carbon emissions by 30% since 2015. Read more.  

Member Resources and Benefits

Have a Question You’d Love to Ask a Peer? Use WateReuse Connect to Find the Answer

In this time of social distancing, opportunities for peer-to-peer networking are more important than ever. WateReuse members can use WateReuse Connect to access a member-to-member network of more than 7,000 water recycling practitioners, business leaders, regulators, academics, and technology providers. Recent discussion topics have included innovative partnerships, scheduling of recycled water deliveries, and steam generation. Post your questions, observations, and unique challenges on our online platform to benefit from the unique experiences of other members across the nation and around the world. It’s simple to use with your member login information. For help accessing WateReuse Connect, please email Member Services.

Conferences, Webcasts and Events

Webcast: Communicating about Potable Reuse and Public Health –Tools for Success

February 17, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET

This webcast will describe methods to communicate with stakeholders – including healthcare providers – regarding the human health safeguards associated with potable reuse implementation. Register here.

EPA Webinar: Incorporating Community Priorities into Investment Decision-Making

February 17, 2021
9:30 am PT | 12:30 pm ET

The webinar will cover the Augmented Alternatives Analysis (AAA) Method to incorporate community needs and priorities into decision-making. This webinar will provide an overview of the AAA method and accompanying guide and resources and provide an example of an organization that is currently engaged in the AAA method. The High Line Canal Conservancy, along with Denver Water, Mile High Flood District and local jurisdictions are working together to transition the High Line Canal with The Stormwater Transformation and Enhancement Program. This innovative program will bring a new life to the High Line Canal as a green infrastructure system that provides for stormwater management. Register here.

U.S. State Department Webinar: Empowering Youth for Water Security

February 23, 2021
7:30 am PT | 10:30 am ET

In advance of World Water Day on March 22, this program focuses on empowering youth and young professionals seeking to develop careers in the water-related sectors by profiling the interdisciplinary nature of professional development opportunities. The expert panel represents different career paths in water resources management – civil society, government, and the private sector – and will explore several example career paths in each area. Learn more.

EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Eligibility Webinar

February 23, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET

Learn about WIFIA’s different project type eligibilities to help determine if your project is a good fit for financing. There will be a short question and answer period at the end of this webinar. Register here.

18th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop: Small System Challenges and Solutions

August 30 – September 2, 2021 EPA’s free annual drinking water workshop, held in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), will be virtual this year. The workshop will provide in-depth information and training on solutions and strategies for handling small drinking water system challenges with a focus on monitoring, distribution, source, and treatment topics. Learn more on the event page.

Upcoming Events

May
15
Sun
Florida WateReuse Week
May 15 – May 21 all-day
May
17
Tue
Pacific Northwest Section Meeting
May 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
May
18
Wed
Direct Potable Reuse in the Four Corners
May 18 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Direct Potable Reuse in the Four Corners

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

Register Now!

The Four Corners region includes the arid western states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. These four states have several common challenges to providing reliable water supplies including: rapid population growth, severe long term drought conditions, and dwindling or overallocated natural water sources. Indirect potable reuse is currently being practiced in these states, often through managed groundwater replenishment or incidental means. Is engineered potable reuse the next step to building safe, reliable, and resilient water resource portfolios?

While water utilities in the Four Corners states are taking steps toward direct potable reuse (DPR), each of these states face different implementation challenges. This panel discussion delves into the progress and issues regarding DPR in the region.

Speakers:

  • Brian Biesemeyer CITY OF SCOTTSDALE, AZ
  • Robert Fowlie REPRESENTING THE VILLAGE OF CLOUDCROFT, NM
  • Steve Gallegos CITY OF RIO RANCHO, NM
  • Raymond Garrison CITY OF SOUTH JORDAN, UT
  • Tyson Ingles CO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
  • Sarah Page UTAH DIVISION OF DRINKING WATER
  • Austa Parker BROWN AND CALDWELL
  • Javier Setovich CITY OF GOODYEAR, AZ
  • Katie Vanyo BROWN AND CALDWELL
  • Matt Benak, TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, CO
May
20
Fri
Florida Water Reuse Week: The Role of Education and Outreach in Florida’s Growing Reuse Landscape
May 20 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Florida Water Reuse Week: The Role of Education and Outreach in Florida’s Growing Reuse Landscape

11 am ET | 8 am PT (1 hour)
WateReuse Members and Florida Water Reuse Week Registrants: Free; Others: $49
Registrants for Florida Water Reuse Week will receive a discount code for free webcast registration
PDHs: 1

Register Now!

Florida reuses 34 percent of its wastewater compared to the national average of about 7 percent. A recent statewide survey showed that 75 percent of Floridians are familiar with the concept of using reclaimed water for irrigation, industrial uses, and other non-drinking purposes. However, as the state is undergoing record-setting growth and rulemaking for direct potable reuse, additional education and outreach is needed to gain public acceptance. Water professionals and utilities from across the state are working collaboratively through WateReuse Florida to develop and implement consistent messaging on how reuse will safely supply Florida’s future. As Florida celebrates Water Reuse Week May 15-21, join us to hear about the latest education and outreach efforts happening to support traditional and potable reuse at the local and state level.

  • Robyn Felix, Communications & Board Services Bureau Chief, Southwest Florida Water Management District
  • Tamara Richardson, P.E., Director of Polk County Utilities
  • Shea Dunifon, Education Coordinator, Pinellas County Utilities, Florida

WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ TBD
May 20 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Jun
8
Wed
WRSD Quarter 2 Chapter Meeting @ TBD
Jun 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Jun
10
Fri
Meeting of the Board of Directors – Second Quarter 2022 @ Virtual
Jun 10 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Second Quarter:
Remote
Friday, June 10, 2022: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm EST

WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ TBD
Jun 10 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Jun
14
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting
Jun 14 all-day
Jun
16
Thu
Orange County Chapter Meeting
Jun 16 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

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