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March 1, 2021

36th Annual WateReuse Symposium Opens Today! Register Today to Attend the Opening General Session and Access On-Demand Presentations

Washington Update

WateReuse Urges Congress to Increase Investment in Water Recycling in Testimony for Hearing on Wastewater Infrastructure

In a hearing on “Building Back Better: The Urgent Need for Investment in America’s Wastewater Infrastructure,” WateReuse advocated for substantially increasing investments in FY2022 for the Pilot Program for Alternative Water Source Grants, Title XVI-WIIN Water Reclamation and Reuse Competitive Grant Program, Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program, and Clean Water State Revolving fund program. Water recycling was one of the items featured and discussed in statements by Congresswomen Grace Napolitano (D-CA). This hearing serves as a launching pad for upcoming legislative work on water infrastructure legislation. “Build back better” was convened by the House Subcommittee on Water Resource and Environment under the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. See full WateReuse written testimony.

National Water Reuse Action Plan Marks One Year of Advancing Water Recycling

Senate Confirms Leadership for Agencies with a Water Reuse Nexus

The Senate confirmed key leadership for the Energy Department (DOE) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Jennifer Granholm, former Michigan Governor, will serve as secretary of Energy after a 64-35 Senate vote. Granholm is expected to prioritize creating jobs in new energy technologies and continue the department’s focus on innovative research, including programs such as the National Alliance for Water Innovation and the Solar Desalination Prize. Tom Vilsack was sworn in as U.S. Agriculture Secretary with a vote of 92-7. Vilsack previously served as secretary of agriculture for eight years under the Obama Administration, and is expected to emphasize climate change, equity for minority farmers, and increased food assistance.

U.S. EPA Releases Onsite Non-Potable Water Reuse Calculator

Communities interested in exploring the environmental and economic impacts of onsite non-potable reuse can utilize EPA’s new web-based tool. The Non-Potable Environmental and Economic Water Reuse (NEWR) tool considers geography, climate, building size, and building type to identify the most environmental and cost-effective suite of source water options to meet non-potable needs for building designers, utility personnel, or water resource professionals. The life cycle assessments works to quantify the benefits associated with decentralized systems.

WIFIA Annual Report Highlights $343 million Investment in Water Reuse and Recycling

In 2020, the U.S. EPA invested $343 million in 58 water reuse projects through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan program. The WIFIA 2020 Annual Highlights Report notes that nearly $2.5 billion was requested for water reuse, indicating a strong need for federal investment to support local communities develop water supply resiliency. WateReuse member Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) was highlighted in the WIFIA Annual Report as a featured borrower. HRSD received a $225 million loan for the Sustainable Water Initiative For Tomorrow (SWIFT) program, one of the first major water reuse efforts on the east coast. WateReuse commends EPA on the WIFIA program and congratulates member WIFIA loan recipients, including:

ICYMI: Second WRAP Stormwater and Capture Webinar Explores Treatment Standards

WateReuse joined with other leaders on national Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) Action 2.3.3 to present the second webinar in a stormwater series last week. The webinar, “Treatment Standards for Stormwater Capture and Use: How Are We Doing? featured experts and regulators from California, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, and Washington, DC.

The first webinar in the series is also available for viewing: “Stormwater Capture Drivers, Impediments and Future Visions.”  The goal of Action 2.3.3 is to convene experts on urban stormwater capture and use to increase the understanding of the challenges and opportunities.

If you would like to receive alerts on webinars or activities related to this action, please email Aliza Furneaux at afurneaux@watereuse.org.

WateReuse Update

WateReuse Annual Report Catalogs Successful Year in Advancing Water Recycling

Despite a global pandemic, the WateReuse Association had a tremendously successful 2020. The recently released 2020 Annual Report notes the year’s key successes, including:

  • WateReuse collaborated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to publish and implement the national Water Reuse Action Plan;
  • WateReuse worked with Congress to introduce legislation in both the House and Senate to advance key WateReuse priorities and secured significant investment in water recycling in the FY 2021 appropriations;
  • WateReuse hosted more than 800 participants during the 36th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium;
  • State Sections continued their important work with virtual events and advocacy at the state and local levels; and
  • Forty new utilities and businesses joined the association.

Read the full Annual Report here.

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