June 18, 2018
33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium: Quenching Our Thirst: Potable Reuse Track Provides Latest Learning and Information on What’s Happening Across the Country
Register today and take advantage of the Early Bird registration rates for the 33rd Annual WateReuse Symposium,
September 9-12, at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. Learn “What’s Working, What’s New, and What’s Next” in water reuse, and specifically on how water recycling can meet your drinking water needs. A track focused on potable reuse, titled “Quenching Our Thirst: Reuse for Drinking Water
,” will provide a comprehensive, four day learning experience covering community engagement, source control, aquifer recharge, reservoir augmentation, best practices, case studies, regulatory issues, and more. And hear from Astronaut Captain Scott Kelly about his year long experience in quenching his thirst with recycled water. The Symposium also includes policy-focused plenary discussions with utility and business leaders, facility tours and technical presentations on other key water recycling issues.
Be sure to register for the Symposium by Friday, July 27 to take advantage of early-bird discounts!
Senate Committee Advances EPA Spending Bill
On June 14, the Senate Appropriations Committee
unanimously voted to advance the Senate Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill for floor consideration. The bill provides level funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at $8.06 billion. The State Revolving Funds (SRFs) received a slight increase in funding with $1.69 billion for the Clean Water SRF, an $113,000 increase from the last fiscal year, and $1.164 billion for the Drinking Water SRF, a $767,000 boost. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program is funded at $63 million, the same level as FY18, of which $55 million is provided for direct loan subsidization to leverage $6 billion in loans. The committee encourages EPA to prioritize WIFIA applications for projects that address lead and emerging contaminants, including PFOA and PFAS.
The Senate and House funding bills for EPA have now both passed out of committee. However, consideration of these bills on the floor could be pushed into 2019 as it is widely speculated that a continuing resolution will be enacted due to the upcoming elections in the fall.
Senate Committee Discusses Bill Expanding WIFIA to Reclamation
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing
on June 13 discussing draft legislation
that would expand the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program to include Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) water projects. This discussion draft would use the existing WIFIA program established at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to select Reclamation projects rather than standing up a separate WIFIA program at Reclamation. This would reduce duplication of efforts and resources by utilizing EPA’s existing expertise on WIFIA, similar to other proposed legislation that aims to establish the U.S. Army Corps WIFIA program through the EPA program (H.R. 4492, S. 2329).
Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, was the sole witness at the hearing. Although the agency cannot support discussion drafts, he spoke positively about the concept and expressed desire to continue working with Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) in developing the draft. He stated that due to Reclamation’s limited resources, an additional financing mechanism like WIFIA could be beneficial in advancing the Reclamation’s mission to increase water supply in the arid West. He also stated that a WIFIA program could be particularly helpful in cases where Reclamation project titles are transferred to local non-federal entities (another topic discussed at the hearing) as these programs seek to improve and update their infrastructure. Petty provided more extensive input on the discussion draft in his written testimony.
The discussion draft specifically lists water reuse, desalination, and groundwater replenishment projects as eligible projects. WIFIA loans for projects under Reclamation’s jurisdiction would be authorized $2 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 to implement the program with authorizations increasing to $22 million from FY20-23 and $23 million in FY24.
Much development and discussion remains on this bill and it will not be introduced as legislation this year. With Sen. Flake retiring at the end of the session, Sen. Cortez Masto will have to find another Republican cosponsor next Congress.
Waters of the United States Rule Faces Another Hurdle
On June 8, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia granted an injunction that effectively nullifies the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. This rule was developed by the EPA during President Obama’s administration in an effort to define what waters are under federal jurisdiction. There was widespread opposition to the rule by states and industry leading to lawsuits across the country. Many utilities that recycle water are also concerned about WOTUS due to the potential implications it has for permitting of recycled water facilities. This court injunction applies to eleven states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. However, this has no immediate effect as the rule has been on hold by EPA under Administrator Scott Pruitt for two years while it attempts to rewrite the rule. If the effort to rewrite the rule is not completed in two years, the injunction will continue to block the rule in the eleven states.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Members!
The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new members:
California: WateReuse California Joins Operator Certification Program
The WateReuse California (WRCA) Board of Trustees recently contributed $25,000 to the Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) Operator Certification Program, which is being developed by the CA-NV Section of the American Water Works Association and the CA Water Environment Association. WRCA believes an AWT Operator Certificate Program will help increase public confidence in potable water reuse. The California State Water Resources Control Board recommended an AWT Operator Certification Program in its 2016 Direct Potable Reuse report to the California Legislature. For information about WRCA’s involvement in this effort, please contact Charles LaSalle.
California: Construction Progresses on Treatment Facilities in Paso Robles
WateReuse Association member the City of Paso Robles is building new tertiary treatment facilities, with 60 percent of the construction now completed. These facilities will produce recycled water for irrigation that will help solve the problem of declining groundwater levels. The facilities will also enable the city to comply with more strict requirements for release of treated water to the Salinas River. The project will be complete and in operation by Jan. 2019. Read More.
Florida: SWFWMD to Co-Fund Reclaimed Water Master Plan for Hernando County
WateReuse Association member the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) is co-funding a new Reclaimed Water Master Plan for the Hernando County Utility that will provide ecological benefit and cost-effective use of the water. Several options are under consideration for the future of reclaimed water in the county that include aquifer recharge, irrigation, and agriculture. Read More.
Wisconsin: Paper Mill Partners with Local Utility to Build Reclaimed Water System
Green Bay Packaging announced plans to partner with NEW Water, Green Bay’s local metropolitan water treatment facility, to construct a reclaimed water system at a new $500 million paper mill that will use recycled water for production and not discharge any wastewater back into the environment. The new facility will replace a 71-year-old plant, allow the company to double production, and add 200 new full-time jobs. Groundbreaking is scheduled for September 2018. Read More.
Dallas-Fort Worth Utilities Discuss Water Reuse with WRA Executive Director
2018 Awards for Excellence in Water Reuse: Nominations Due June 27
The WateReuse Association is accepting nominations for the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Water Reuse through Wednesday, June 27. The WateReuse Awards for Excellence celebrate communities, businesses, public-private partnerships, non-profit organizations and individuals that are making significant contributions toward advancing the adoption of water reuse in their community or elsewhere. The award categories have been modernized to showcase and celebrate the wide range of innovative ways in which water reuse is being deployed across the country, and the individuals and organizations leading these efforts. Learn More.
Conferences and Events
Webcast: From Collection System to Tap: Designing Direct Potable Reuse Systems for Resilience
How can you build a potable reuse system that runs without disruption and gives you the ability to respond to and recover from issues quickly? Join us on Wednesday, July 11 at 2 pm EDT to learn about a new Water Research Foundation report that provides direct potable reuse (DPR) resilience guidance essential for any utility planning, designing or considering a DPR system. The webcast will discuss DPR resilience techniques at each stage from wastewater source control through wastewater treatment, advanced water treatment, and distribution. The presenters will also discuss application of risk assessment methods to aid decision makers in evaluating resilience enhancing alternatives and identifying alternatives associated with the maximum risk reduction per triple bottom cost — people, plant and profit. Register Now.
The Annual WateReuse Symposium is the premier conference on water recycling — attracting more than 800 water professionals globally for knowledge-sharing, networking, and intriguing discussions! The event is planned in collaboration with The Water Research Foundation and will include engaging sessions on the latest reuse-related research projects.
Subscribe to filtered calendar