WateReuse Secures $1 Billion for Water Recycling in Senate Bill
Last week, the WateReuse Association scored a major win in western water infrastructure legislation in the Senate. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee passed the Energy Infrastructure Act, which provides $1 billion for water recycling programs, including $550 million for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program and $450 million for a large-scale water recycling grants program. The latter program would be limited to projects with a total cost of $500 million or more. The bill serves as the ENR Committee’s marker bill for its portion of a much larger bipartisan infrastructure package that the Senate is expected to finalize in the coming days as discussed further in the next story. The $1 billion included in the ENR bill represents a 500 percent increase over the $40 million that is currently spent each year on water recycling by the Bureau of Reclamation. WateReuse is working to ensure that this funding is retained in the final infrastructure package.
Senate Begins Consideration of Bipartisan Infrastructure Package that Includes Investments in Water Reuse
Action Needed: Urge Congress to Fund Alternative Water Source Grants!
House Appropriations Committee Once Again Proposes Cut to Title XVI-WIIN
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY22 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. As it did in prior years, the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee once again proposed a 50 percent cut to the Title XVI-WIIN program, from $20 million to $10 million. We expect the Senate to prevent the funding cut from being included in final FY 2022 appropriations legislation. House leadership has indicated that the Energy and Water Appropriations bill will be joined into a “minibus” package with several other spending bills and brought to the floor prior to July 30, when the House departs for August recess. The Senate has not yet started to write its appropriations bills for FY 2022. WateReuse expects that Congress will pass a “continuing resolution,” which is an extension of last year’s spending levels, before the current fiscal year ends on September 30. This will give appropriators and leadership more time to work out final discretionary funding levels for FY 2022.
EPA Announces Drinking Water Draft Contaminant Candidate List Including PFAS and DBPs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Draft Contaminant Candidate List 5 (CCL 5), which includes 66 individual chemicals, 12 microbes, and three chemical groups: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), cyanotoxins, and disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The CCL 5 provides the latest list of known drinking water contaminants in public water systems that are not yet regulated, but have the potential to be considered for regulation development to ensure public health is protected. There will be a 60-day comment period on the Draft CCL5 following its publication on the Federal Register. The final list is expected to be published in July 2022.
Water Recycling Funding Opportunity: WIFIA Letters of Interest Due July 23
Letters of interest to apply for a water infrastructure loan through the U.S. EPA’s WIFIA program are due July 23, 2021. EPA has $5.5 billion in financing available through the FY 2021 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program, which has financed several water recycling projects sponsored by WateReuse Association members. WateReuse members who have received WIFIA loans for water recycling projects include: Soquel Creek Water District in California, City of Oceanside in California, and Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia, among others.
WRAP Survey: Please Share Your Facility Data to Help Quantify Municipal Reuse in U.S.
WateReuse Association members are invited to complete a survey (approximately 90-120 minutes) as part of a national Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) effort to document the amount of water that is recycled in the United States. Under WRAP Action 5.5, Quantifying the National Volumes of Water Potentially Available for Reuse, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is preparing an update to the 2018 ReNEW Water Project’s Resource Recovery Baseline Report. This report documented resource recovery at water resource recovery facilities in the U.S. and Canada through a combination of data analysis and survey responses from utilities. WateReuse, EPA, and WEF are co-leading Action 5.5 and the update of the ReNEW Water Project is the first milestone. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Patrick Dube (pdube@WEF.org) at WEF.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Member!
The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new member:
- Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority (South Carolina)
Member Spotlight: Nevada Utility Offers Financial Support to California Reuse Project
Three WateReuse Association members are working across state lines to develop a massive water recycling project. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has offered $750 million towards a $3.4 billion water recycling facility proposed for Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts are the lead agencies for the project proposal. As a result of their support, Nevada would increase its ability to withdraw water from Lake Mead. Read more.
CA: Governor’s Office Stresses Importance of Using Recycled Water
The governor’s office provided suggestions on how to conserve water, including the use of recycled water for outside projects. This comes as other groups, like the Natural Resources Defense Council, join WateReuse California in calling for the state to invest in recycled water and stormwater capture. Read more.
CO: Denver Water Reduces Diversions, Maintains Streamflow, Promotes Water Reuse
A leader in water recycling and conservation, Denver Water is voluntarily reducing its diversions from the Colorado River. These reductions have resulted in improved flow for streams and tributaries along the river. Nathan Elder, Denver Water’s manager of water supply, stressed the importance of a management approach that includes conservation, water reuse, and development of new water supplies. Read more.
NJ: New Development to Utilize Gray Water Recycling
Jersey City approved a new 337-unit residential development that will include a gray water recycling system with four rain barrels. The New Jersey Green Building Manual states that rainwater harvesting can reduce stormwater runoff, flooding, and pollution. Read more.
TX: WateReuse Texas Blog Explains Implications of New Water Reuse Legislation
A new WateReuse Texas blog post analyzes the advances for water reuse that came out of the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which concluded at the end of May. The Produced Water Consortium bill (SB 601) brings together a consortium of academics at Texas Tech, industry experts in oil and gas, and technology experts to research and analyze reuse of produced water. Another bill, SB 905, requires the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop and make available to the public a regulatory guidance manual for direct potable reuse. WateReuse Texas will also host a webinar this summer, on a date to be announced, to further explore the implications of this legislation. Read more.
Op-Ed: Rainwater Harvest and Reuse is Key in Addressing Water Shortages, Flooding
Citing the global risk water availability poses, this guest column highlights the importance of smart water management, namely the reuse of rainwater. Particularly in urban areas that experience flooding, rainwater capture and use can provide multiple benefits. Countries like Mexico, Indian, Singapore, and the United States are all employing rainwater harvesting. Read more.
WateReuse Member Resources and Benefits
Engaging the Public Health Community on Water Reuse? Check out Our Online Resources
Although water reuse is a proven, science-based process that has been used safely in communities around the world for decades, the public is often skeptical when the concept is first introduced into a community. To build acceptance among medical and health professionals, WateReuse has launched the Medical Community Initiative and begun developing resources to support members in engaging with the public health community. Visit our website for videos, articles, and presentations that support engagement with medical professionals. New tools are being developed so check back for updates.
Interactive Map on State Water Reuse Policies and Regulations
Do you need information about water reuse policies and regulations from across the United States? Visit the state policy map on our website to find summaries of the regulatory landscape in key states, as well as links to specific polices and regulations. Clicking on a particular state opens a pop-up window with detailed information about the state. WateReuse invites members to help us fill in gaps in knowledge using the comment box provided on the page. The map will be updated periodically as new information is received and/or states update their regulations. View the state policy map here.
WateReuse Conferences, Webcasts and Events
Join Us for Arizona Water Reuse 2021 Symposium
Join WateReuse Arizona and the AZ Water Association for the Arizona Water Reuse 2021 Symposium, July 25-27, 2021 at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ. The program begins Sunday evening with the annual welcome reception followed by two days of sessions on the latest trends in water reuse. The Symposium also includes a scholarship and awards luncheon, as well as a reception at the Arizona Snow Bowl. Learn more and register.
WateReuse Pacific Northwest to Present Water Reuse Track at PNCWA Conference
WateReuse Pacific Northwest (WR-PNW) and the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) are partnering to bring members a 2021 conference technical program that includes sustainable approaches to water reuse as one of many one-water solutions. WR-PNW will present a water reuse track at the PNCWA Annual Conference to benefit members, advance ongoing innovation, and showcase industry collaboration. The track will occur Tuesday, September 14, with options for single-day attendance packages available. Please join our one-day track and engage in our common vision to advance regional water reuse. The full conference will include in-person and virtual attendance formats, September 13-15. Learn more and register.
Building a Resilient Future Together: Register for the 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference
Registration is open for the 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference and there are two ways to participate! Participate in-person September 19-21 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angles or join virtually from the comfort of your office. In-person registration includes access to the on-demand, virtual content. The agenda includes technical sessions, panel presentations, two tours, and many networking opportunities. For those who do not wish to attend in person, all major sessions will be simulcast, and technical sessions will be available on the virtual conference platform. Learn more and register.
Bureau of Reclamation Webinar: How to Use Grants.Gov
July 21, 2021
12 pm PT | 3 pm ET (1 hour)
Learn how to use grants.gov to apply for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI water reuse grants and other federal funding opportunities. Reclamation is partnering with grants.gov on a webinar to help familiarize you with the process, including an overview of how to use the site and a question and answer period. There is no registration required. To join the webinar, use this link.
Webcast: Discussion on Desalination – Treatments, Research, and the Future
August 11, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
In this webcast, a panel of experts from the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) and CalDesal will discuss the state of desalination in the United States. The panel will explore current practices, technologies, treatments, on-going research, and the future role of desalination in the resiliency of the country’s water supply. You will also learn about NAWI’s research and development roadmap series on desalination and treatment of nontraditional source waters. Register here.
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
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
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