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February 22, 2021

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Washington Update

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 afurneaux@watereuse.org 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.

International Update

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.  

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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