WateReuse Meets with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator and Office Directors; Advocates for Focus on Water Recycling
On Thursday, February 18, WateReuse Association staff, along with staff from other national water sector associations, met virtually with Radhika Fox, President Biden’s nominee for Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fox was joined by each of the Office of Water’s individual office directors. During the meeting, WateReuse outlined major priorities for the year, including the continued evolution and implementation of the National Water Reuse Action Plan, the creation of a federal interagency working group on water reuse, and the enactment of a major piece of infrastructure legislation that features water recycling as a climate resiliency tool.
Fox noted three priorities the Administration intends to focus on with respect to water management, at least in the short term, which include: cyber security threats in light of the breach at a Florida utility; affordability issues with respect to low-income rate-payers; and, resiliency as a pathway for addressing solutions to climate change. WateReuse will be holding a follow-up meeting with EPA in the coming weeks to discuss how water recycling aligns with these goals.
Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act Reintroduced
Congresswomen Grace Napolitano (D-CA) reintroduced the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act (H.R. 1015), which extends the authorization of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI competitive grants program, and increases the program’s authorized funding level from $50 million to $500 million. WateReuse worked closely with Congresswoman Napolitano on her legislation and will continue to advance Title XVI goals as part of ongoing conversations about infrastructure investments. The bill was reintroduced with 13 co-sponsors from California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. Read more.
COVID Relief Package Nears a Vote in the House; Legislation Includes Relief for Water Utility Ratepayers and Localities
Congress is pushing this week to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package through the budget reconciliation process, which will allow the Senate to pass the bill with a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes that is typically required to end debate. The House Budget Committee is meeting today to ready the reconciliation package for consideration on the House floor. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has said that he aims to send the package to the Senate by the end of the week. The Senate may at that point choose to amend the legislation and send it back to the House for further consideration.
The reconciliation package includes $500 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program. Congress previously provided $638 million for the program in last year’s COVID relief package. The bill also includes $350 billion to help states, localities, and tribal governments offset revenue losses due to the pandemic. WateReuse will continue to provide updates on the package as it moves through the budget reconciliation process.
Water Reuse Action Plan Engagement Opportunity: WateReuse Joins New Action Focused on Quantifying Water Reuse Practices
In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Water Environment Federation, the WateReuse Association is collaborating on the development of new Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) action item to improve the understanding of the national state of water reuse. Action 2.5.5: “Identify Methodologies to Quantify Reuse Practices” will build upon existing approaches to clarify the extent of water reuse around the nation. The development phase includes identifying milestones and defining a scope for the action. WateReuse members are encouraged to provide input or participate in developing the action. Please contact Aliza Furneaux, WateReuse Program and Policy Manager, at email@example.com to become engaged.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Member Spotlight: Digital Reality Becomes the First Member of the WateReuse Recycled Water User Network
Digital Reality, an international firm that provides data center services, is the first organization to join the WateReuse Association’s Recycled Water User Network. WateReuse invites businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations that are users of recycled water to join the network for knowledge sharing, networking, and to receive a blue designation: WATER STAR®. Digital Reality’s SJC10 Silicon Valley Data Center in Santa Clara, CA will use municipally treated recycled water to meet 50% of its cooling needs when the project is complete. Read more.
California: Members Develop Guidelines for Recycled Water Signage
The WateReuse California Communications Collaborative Group released guidelines last week to assist utilities and recycled water users in creating a more uniform message on signs that appear at public properties. The WateReuse Recycled Water Signage Guidelines include suggestions for sign composition, color, font, size, and message. The guidelines also offer translations of frequently used messages on recycled water signs. The document can be used to gather ideas for creative approaches to recycled water signs, or it can be used as a reference of sign options to consider using. Read more.
Idaho: Draft Water Reuse Permit Accepting Public Comments
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comments on a draft water reuse permit for Rapid River Water and Sewer District. The permit would allow the district to discharge to a subsurface distribution while protecting public health and the environment. Comments will be accepted until March 10, 2020. Read more.
India: Railways Decrease Fresh Water Usage through Water Recycling System
Indian railways are recycling all of the water used to wash diesel locomotive engines as part of a green initiative. About 6,000 liters of water mixed with oil, grease, and cleaning agents is treated daily for irrigation on and near the facility. The water recycling facility includes a storage pond to ensure that all the water is used beneficially. Read more.
Italy: Urban Parks Design Dedicated to Water Reuse and Climate Awareness Wins Award
A concept that proposes making urban parks more climate resilient with water recycling as a central feature won “Most advanced idea” at the global Climathon Awards 2020. Led by citizens from Florence, Italy, the Start Park is a multi-purpose concept that provides both urban green area and infrastructure dedicated to water reuse, drainage, and activities on climate education. Read more.
Member Resources and Benefits
Visit the WateReuse Webcast Library to Stay Informed
Did you miss a WateReuse webcast you really wanted to see? Or are you looking for information to support your water recycling program? The WateReuse Webcast Library is available exclusively to members and includes over 100 presentations that you can watch on demand with a member login. WateReuse presents webcasts on water recycling technology, operations, research, and policy issues and archives them for member use. Visit the WateReuse Webcast Library to make your selection.
Job Opportunity: Marketing Manager, Hydraloop, Inc.
To assist in delivering and increasing brand recognition and mission awareness, Hydraloop is looking for a marketing professional for the US market to support business development and marketing programs. Learn More.
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
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.
Webinar: Deep Dive into Net Zero Water and the Water/Energy Nexus
February 25, 2021
8:00 am – 10 am ET
How is onsite water recycling related to the energy used to heat water in buildings? This question and others will be answered in a webinar sponsored by Built Environment Plus, the Living Future Collaborative of New England, and Natural Systems Utilities. Alternative water supplies, such as rain water capture reuse, greywater reuse and black water reuse provide water resiliency in urban settings, and can also provide energy resiliency as well, in the Northeastern US. The presentation includes case studies and a tour from New York City, where onsite water reuse has been going on for over 16 years. The panel will discuss how onsite water reuse can be a practical option in New England cities. Registers 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.
Save the date for our December chapter meeting!Please save the date for our last chapter meeting of the year on Thursday, December 7 at 3 p.m. This meeting will be held in person at the San Diego County Water Authority in Kearny Mesa, followed by a happy hour at Khan’s Cave The meeting will include a presentation from Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District on their recycled water project, 2024 officer elections, regulatory updates, and more! We look forward to seeing you all there. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information coming soon.
Friday, December 8, 2023
11:00 am to 2:00 pm ET (Remote)
Our next Orange County Chapter meeting will be held on December 12th from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. Meeting will be virtual only. In addition to our regular standing items, our main presentation will be by Jennifer West with WateReuse California.
Please RSVP so we can get an accurate headcount: RSVP Response Form. Thank you.
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
With water supply limitations driven by factors such as population growth, urbanization, and climate change, along with more stringent regulatory requirements for wastewater discharges, direct or indirect potable reuse is becoming increasingly essential to address water resiliency issues. Carbon Based Advanced Treatment (CBAT) has increasingly been adopted as a treatment solution to treat municipal effluent to provide a safe, reliable augmentation of drinking water supplies.
CBAT involves the use of biologically activated carbon (BAC) usually with ozone, followed by granular activated carbon (GAC) to achieve advanced treatment of water. It may also include flocculation/sedimentation and UV disinfection. Join a panel of experts to explore the various combinations of this process, and get updates on key case studies using CBAT for potable reuse.
- Andrew Newbold, Principal Engineer, Hazen & Sawyer
- Gaya Ram Mohan, PhD, PE, Environmental Engineer, Hazen & Sayer
- Erik Rosenfeldt, PhD, PE, National Drinking Water Practice Leader, Hazen & Sawyer
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10:00 am PT | 1 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
Across the country, more and more communities are exploring reuse as part of a larger water management strategy. But even the best public projects live and die by community acceptance, and history has shown this is doubly true for water reuse projects. Community engagement is a vital element to designing and launching plans that will create lasting impact. Community engagement is not, however, a one-size-fits-all endeavor. What motivates communities in Seattle will not be the same as Boise, or rural Oregon. In this webinar, we will discuss the importance of localizing a communications and engagement strategy to reflect the values, culture and drivers of each specific community. We will look at two Pacific Northwest case studies from Boise and the WateReuse Oregon Subcommittee that demonstrate effective, local engagement approaches.
Holly Tichenor, Management Consulting National Practice Leader, Brown and Caldwell, WateReuse PNW Board President
- Natalie Monro, Communications Coordinator, City of Bellingham, WateReuse PNW Board VP
- Haley Falconer, Environmental Division Senior Manager, City of Boise
- Jared Kinnear, Reuse Program Manager, Clean Water Services
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