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June 1, 2021

Washington Update

WateReuse Members Testify on the Value of Water Reuse Investment Before House Subcommittee

General Managers from two WateReuse Association member utilities shared how their communities are using recycled water to address drought and build resilience at a Congressional hearing last week, “The Status of Drought Conditions Throughout the Western United States,” convened by the U.S. House of Representatives Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee. Mike Markus of Orange County Water District (California) and John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority provided expert testimony on how water recycling has helped their respective communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Water recycling was prominently featured throughout the hearing, both in testimony from witnesses and in statements and questions from Members of Congress. Other witnesses, including Elizabeth Klein, Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Interior, and Dan Keppen, Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance, also discussed the importance of water recycling as a resiliency tool. Klein noted that water reuse is one of the tools that the Biden Administration plans to invest in, including through its upcoming FY 2022 budget request. In response, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-CA) pointed out that the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI-WIIN Water Reuse Grants Program is dramatically underfunded.

Infrastructure Negotiations Continue on the Hill; Bi-Partisan Senate Support for Investment in Water

In continued negotiations, Republican senators released another infrastructure counteroffer to President Biden’s $2.25 trillion investment proposal. The counteroffer increased to $1 trillion from the previously proposed $568 billion package. The initial Republican proposal included $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and $14 billion for water storage, while the Administration’s plan calls for $111 billion for water systems infrastructure, focusing on resilient systems and providing clean, safe water to all communities. Democrats in the Senate have meanwhile been supporting the Administration’s proposal of $111 billion for water, however it is a good signal from Republicans that water is likely to be included in a bipartisan infrastructure package.

Both sides aim to reach a deal in the coming days, though the scope of the potential deal remains murky, as do the potential cost offsets (also known as “pay-fors”). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said last week that the Senate intends to pass an infrastructure package prior to the August recess, regardless of whether the package is bipartisan. The WateReuse Association continues to work with congressional leaders and champions to advance water reuse policy goals in the legislation

House Subcommittee Chair Introduces Water Resiliency Legislation, includes Water Reuse Investments

Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), Chairman of the Water Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee has reintroduced a legislative package, the Furthering Underutilized Technologies and Unleashing Responsible Expenditures for Drought Resiliency Act (FUTURE Drought Resiliency Act), which covers a wide range of water policies and programs including water recycling. The bill incorporates a number of bills that have been previously introduced by members of the Subcommittee.

One of the bills included in Congressman Huffman’s legislation is H.R. 1015, the Water Recycling Investment and Improvement Act, which reauthorizes the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, and was introduced by long-time water recycling champion Grace Napolitano (D-CA). In addition to the $500 million that would be invested in Title XVI-WIIN through H.R. 1015, Chairman Huffman’s bill establishes a Bureau of Reclamation Infrastructure Fund, which would invest an additional $100 million per year through Title XVI-WIIN. The legislation also provides funding for brine management research and desalination projects through the Bureau of Reclamation.

WRAP Israel Water Reuse Virtual Event; Partnership in Water Reuse

Last week, the Israel Water Reuse Virtual Tour opened with remarks by Israel Ambassador Gilad Erdan commending the partnership among U.S. and Israel federal agencies, and co-hosted by the WateReuse Association. Erdan highlighted the efforts of the National Water Reuse Action Plan and welcomed the opportunity to share Israel’s extensive knowledge on water reuse. Over the three-day event, experts provided insight into Israel’s water policy and regulation, took the audience on virtual tours of decentralized water treatment and the Shafdan Wastewater Treatment Plant, and discussed advancements in agricultural reuse irrigation. A consistent theme that emerged from the event is Israel’s unified commitment to a one water, circular economy approach to water management.

Recordings of all three days can be viewed here.

Senate Committee Advances Radhika Fox’s Nomination to Lead EPA Office of Water

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee advanced Radhika Fox’s nomination as the U.S EPA Assistant Administrator of the Office of Water with a 14-6 bipartisan vote. The full Senate is expected to vote on final confirmation following Memorial Day recess. WateReuse delivered a letter of support for Fox’s confirmation ahead of the committee vote.

U.S. EPA Adds New PFAS to Database

The U.S. EPA announced the addition of eleven PFAS compounds to the Drinking Water Treatability Database to provide states, tribes, and local communities with increased information for decision making. The database includes 37 PFAS compounds, potential treatment processes to remove them in drinking water, and scientific articles. In addition to the new compounds, the existing bodies of scientific research were updated. Read more.

State Updates and Member Profiles

Welcome New Member!

The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new member:

CA: Los Angeles and San Diego Mayors Support $1.5 Billion State Investment in Water Reuse

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria sent a joint letter to Governor Gavin Newsom last week in support of the Governor’s Water Resilience Plan and urging an investment of at least $1.5 billion for water reuse projects. Sharing examples of the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Los Angeles and San Diego’s Pure Water Program, the mayors note that water reuse investments ease pressures on state infrastructure and vulnerable, environmentally sensitive sources of imported water. Read more.

NY: Author, Professor Advocates for Water Reuse to Protect Water Supply

In a recent op-ed, author and State University of New York at Old Westbury professor, Karl Grossman, explains why Suffolk County on New York’s Long Island should invest in more water reuse. Grossman argues that water reuse can be used to protect the potable water supplies in underground aquifers from saltwater intrusion and decrease nitrogen inputs into the marine environment. He cites the existing Riverhead Water Resource Recovery Facility which reuses water onsite and sends water offsite for reuse at a golf course. Read more.

Section Update: WateReuse California Accepting Nominations for Awards of Excellence

The WateReuse California Awards of Excellence recognize agencies, customers, and individuals that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in advancing water recycling in California. Award winners will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference, September 19-21, in Los Angeles. Award nominations are due Friday, June 4. Read more.

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.

Conferences, Webcasts and Events

Webcast: Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects

June 1, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)

In this webcast, our presenters will introduce how digital platforms including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be used to improve asset management strategies, operational efficiencies, enhance source control, validate unit process performance, predict product water quality and making sound decisions for assessing suitability of product water for human consumption. Register here.

WRAP Webcast: Multiple Benefits of Stormwater Capture and Reuse Projects

June 9, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET Please join us for the third in a series of web-based events associated with the national Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) Action Item 3.3., which focuses on opportunities and challenges related to urban stormwater capture and use. Register here.

Webcast: Potable Water Reuse: What Prospects for Europe?

June 24, 2021
8 am PT | 11 am ET (2 hours)

Water Reuse Europe and the WateReuse Association are bringing together speakers from Europe and the U.S. to share their experiences in developing and implementing potable reuse projects with a specific emphasis on regulatory approaches, risk management and communication. This international group of presenters will discuss what is needed to enable wider adoption of potable reuse across Europe’s territories. Register here.

Webcast Series: California State Water Board Direct Potable Reuse Research

Join The Water Research Foundation (WRF) for a free, two-part webcast series that will showcase the research outcomes of WRF’s first California State Water Board Grant to support water reuse research.

Session 1: Pathogens
June 2, 2021
10 am PT | 1 pm ET (2.5 hours)

This webcast will focus on two projects: “Pathogen Monitoring in Untreated Wastewater” (4989) and “Tools to Evaluate Quantitative Microbial Risk and Plant Performance/Reliability” (4951). Register here.

Session 2: Chemicals
June 9, 2021
10 am PT | 1 pm ET (1.5 hours)

This research evaluated the potential for certain chemicals to persist through advanced water treatment systems and options for the detection of chemical peaks. Register here.

Save the Date: 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Antonio, Texas

Mark your calendar for the 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium to be held March 5-9, 2022 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. The 2022 Symposium will be our first national conference with an in-person component since 2019! This is a not-to-be missed opportunity to learn about the latest trends in water recycling and network with colleagues in person.

Annual WateReuse Symposium, 2019

Upcoming Events

Jan
21
Fri
Special Board Meeting: Marketing Analysis Deep Dive @ Virtual
Jan 21 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Friday, January 21, 2022  Remote 8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST Bluefield Marketing Assessment
Jan
25
Tue
What the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Means for Your Community: Program Implementation Details and Timeline
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
What the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Means for Your Community: Program Implementation Details and Timeline

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

Register Now!

At the end of 2021, Congress and the Administration passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provided $1 billion for Western water recycling programs through the Bureau of Reclamation and roughly $48 billion for nationwide programs administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Office of Water. The IIJA includes $550 million over 5 years for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program and $450 million for a Competitive Grant Program for Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects. It also authorizes the first nationwide water recycling program—the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program; and establishes a federal interagency working group on water reuse.

As 2022 begins, federal agencies like the EPA and Bureau of Reclamation are making important decisions about program implementation and the distribution of available funding. Join our webcast on January 25 to learn about the resources included in the IIJA, how your community can access those resources, and what the Administration’s plans are for program implementation and stakeholder engagement.

Speakers:

  • Amanda Erath, Program Analyst, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Deirdre Finn, Executive Director, Council of Infrastructure Financing Authorities
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
  • Justin Mattingly, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jan
26
Wed
CA: How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and California State Water Recycling Funding Can Help Your Community Advance Water Reuse
Jan 26 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
CA: How the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and California State Water Recycling Funding Can Help Your Community Advance Water Reuse

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

Register Now!

At the end of 2021, Congress and the Administration passed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provided $1 billion for Western water recycling programs through the Bureau of Reclamation and roughly $48 billion for nationwide programs administered by EPA’s Office of Water. The IIJA includes $550 million over 5 years for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Grants Program and $450 million for a Competitive Grant Program for Large-Scale Water Recycling Projects. It also authorizes the first nationwide water recycling program—the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program; and establishes a federal interagency working group on water reuse.

As part of the state budget process, the California Legislature and the Governor included $150 million in grants for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects and $50 million for the Pure Water San Diego project. Additional funding of up to $200 million in grants for these projects was also included in out year funding in the California budget. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) also received significant additional federal funding and the California budget authorized funds for use as the state required match.

As 2022 begins, agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Reclamation, and California State Water Board are making important decisions about program implementation and the distribution of available funding. Join this webcast on January 26 to learn about state and federal financial resources and how your community can access those resources.

Speakers:

  • Amanda Erath, Program Analyst, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Mike Downey, P.E., Supervising Engineer, Division of Financial Assistance, State Water Resources Control Board
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
  • Jennifer West, Managing Director, WateReuse California
Jan
28
Fri
WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ Virtual
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Feb
1
Tue
Second Annual Nevada Water Reuse Symposium @ Tuscany Suites & Casinos Las Vegas NV
Feb 1 @ 8:15 am – 11:45 am
Second Annual Nevada Water Reuse Symposium @ Tuscany Suites & Casinos Las Vegas NV

Join Nevada’s state gathering for water reuse professionals, exploring the state of the science and trends in the state. The meeting will include a groundbreaking case study, a summary of state initiatives, and a technical update. The event is co-located with the Nevada Water Environment Association Reunited in Water 2022 Conference.

Register at the link below and select WateReuse as your registration type:

Register
Event Flier

Feb
4
Fri
WateReuse California Q1 Board of Trustees Meeting (virtual)
Feb 4 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Feb
8
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting
Feb 8 all-day
Feb
17
Thu
Orange County Chapter Meeting
Feb 17 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Feb
18
Fri
Special Board Meeting: Operational Assessment Deep Dive @ Virtual
Feb 18 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Friday, February 18, 2022
Remote
8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST
Association Headquarters Operational Assessment

WateReuse California Legislative/Regulators Committee Meeting @ Virtual
Feb 18 @ 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

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WateReuse is the only trade association that focuses solely on advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse. Our niche strategy sets us apart from other organizations in the water industry.

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