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February 8, 2021

Integrating Public Health and Water Reuse: Register for the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium to Join the Conversation!

Washington Update

House and Senate Move Forward with Budget Resolutions

Senate Committees Hold Confirmation Hearings for EPA and USDA Administrators

Congressional PFAS Taskforce Outlines Priorities

The Congressional PFAS Task Force sent a letter signed by 132 Republican and Democratic Members of Congress outlining immediate actions the administration could take to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The letter urges the Administration to establish a nationwide drinking water standard for PFAS, and to designate the chemicals as a hazardous substance. The task force is founded and co-chaired by Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI-).

Watch Recording: National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) Webinar Discusses Stormwater Capture and Reuse

State Updates and Member Profiles

Arizona: Department of Water Resources Awards Grant for Agricultural Reuse

The Arizona Department of Water Resources awarded a $250,000 grant to EPCOR, a privately-owned utility, to build a new recycled water pipeline for agriculture water users in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The pipeline will deliver up to 2,200 acre-feet of reclaimed water from the Pecan Wastewater Treatment Plant to the New Magma Irrigation and Drainage District in San Tan Valley. The project supports the Lower Colorado Basin Drought Contingency Plan goals to offset agricultural water use with alternative sources. Read more.

Minnesota: Stormwater Capture Helps Golf Course Reduce Pollution

Como golf course in Saint Paul recently completed work on a stormwater capture project that cleans 11 million gallons of runoff from surrounding roads, parking areas, and paths. The project is expected to prevent about 55 pounds of phosphorous from entering Como Lake each year. The project was completed in partnership with the city of Saint Paul and Capitol Region Watershed District. Read more.

WateReuse Members Paving the Way for More Potable Reuse

Potable reuse is here to stay and likely to expand, according to a recent article in Future Human, which discusses the use of purified recycled water for drinking in North American cities. The article cites the work of several WateReuse members who are implementing potable reuse and educating the public on the topic, including the City of San Diego, Xylem, and El Paso Water. WateReuse Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi was quoted: “Direct potable reuse is going to be the future for many communities. We have the technology.” Read more.

Wetlands Projects Showcase Environmental Benefits of Water Recycling

Water reuse projects that restore or construct wetlands provide more than water management benefits; they also help address climate change. Globally, wetlands store nearly two times the amount of carbon than the world’s forests and are home to 40% of animal species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature notes that preserving and restoring wetlands is key to regulating the planet’s climate. Read more.

International Update

Investors Eye Growth of Water Recycling in India

While India has less than 5% of the world’s water resources, water demand is expected to increase to 1.5 trillion cubic meters by 2030. This growth makes water recycling an intriguing option for both water providers and investors. Experts have begun comparing the investment cost of building new water treatment versus updating existing systems to use the nearly 70% of wastewater that goes directly into rivers and lakes.  Read more.

Research Update

Solar Thermal Desalination Technologies Shine Light on Future Treatment

Researchers around the world are assessing solar thermal technologies that could prove to be more cost effective than traditional reverse osmosis desalination. The U.S. Department of Energy established a solar desalination prize aimed at producing 1,000 liters of usable water for $1.50. Researchers at Rice University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and University of California, Berkley believe solar-thermal desalination systems will be able to handle water with twice the salt concentration of sea water. Read more.

Member Resources and Benefits

Now Available! New Activity Booklet Provides Water Reuse Education for Late Elementary and Early Middle School Students

The Project WET Foundation and the WateReuse Association announce the release of a new Water Reuse booklet that introduces students to the world of water reuse with fun activities that develop math and science skills. Students will learn about the urban water cycle, the treatment processes that make water safe to use again, and much more! The booklet was produced with the support of the Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Texas WateReuse State Sections. Check out the booklet highlights in this short video.

The booklet is available on the Project WET store. WateReuse members interested in ordering 250 copies or more through March 20 will receive a 20% discount using the coupon code: WATEREUSE.

Conferences, Webcasts and Events

CDC Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccinations for Essential Workers in the Water Sector

February 10, 2021
10 am PT | 1 pm ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a series of webinars on COVID-19 vaccination for essential workers. The webinar is for essential workers of the Water Sector will provide an overview of vaccine distribution and implementation and briefly cover safety and efficacy. Participants are encouraged to submit any questions they have when they register so the presenter can address any FAQs. Register here.

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’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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