Senate Confirms Michael Regan as U.S. EPA Administrator; Climate Change is a Top Priority
The Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package Saturday through the budget reconciliation process, which allowed the Senate to pass the bill with a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes that is typically required to end debate. The Senate’s revised package goes back to the House before heading to President Biden’s desk. The reconciliation package includes $500 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program. Congress previously provided $638 million for the program in last year’s COVID relief package. The bill also includes $350 billion to help states, localities, and tribal governments offset revenue losses due to the pandemic. WateReuse will continue to provide updates on the package as it moves through the process.
President Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Aid Bill with Water Sector Provisions
President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 after a 220 to 211 vote along party lines in the House of Representatives. The COVID relief package includes a range of important funding mechanisms to support municipalities, utilities, and low-income ratepayers. More specifically, the package includes:
- $500 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program to assist ratepayers who are unable to pay their utility bills. Congress previously provided $638 million for the program in last year’s COVID relief package.
- $10 billion for the Homeowner Assistance Fund and $21.5 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance, both of which can be used to cover the costs of utility payments.
- $350 billion in aid to state and local governments through Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Of this funding, $220 billion will flow to states, while $130 billion will flow to localities. Importantly, the final version of the legislation explicitly notes that water and wastewater utilities are eligible for this funding, and allows the funding to be used for infrastructure investments as well as to recover revenue lost due to the pandemic.
Save the Date! Webcast to Present First Year Highlights, Outcomes, and Future Direction for National Water Reuse Action Plan
WRAP Monthly Newsletter Highlights Engagement Opportunities at WateReuse Symposium
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Member!
The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new member:
- Broad Creek Public Service District (South Carolina)
AL: University of South Alabama to Research Decentralized Water Reuse Systems
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $4.85 million grant for the University of South Alabama and Consortium of Alabama Rural Water and Wastewater Management to research and implement innovated wastewater solutions in Alabama’s Black Belt Region. The Black Belt region has dark, impermeable soil, which makes septic systems an infeasible solution for waste management in rural communities. The project, led by South Alabama, will select pilot sites to test decentralized wastewater treatment systems that will recycle water. Read more.
AZ: WateReuse Arizona Announces 2021 Water Reuse Student Scholarship Program
WateReuse Arizona is accepting applications for two $2,500 scholarships for university and college students in Arizona. The purpose of this award is to encourage full-time students with a focus on wastewater reclamation, water reuse, and/or desalination. Applications are due June 15 and scholarships will be awarded in July 2021 at the Arizona Water Reuse Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona. Read more.
CA: Innovative Partnership Brings Water Recycling to Hyatt House Hotel
Irvine Ranch Water District General Manager, Paul A Cook, shared the value of public-private partnerships in advancing water reuse in a new LinkedIn article. Hyatt House Irvine opened in 2018 as the first hotel in the United States to use recycled water to flush every toilet and urinal in its lobby, offices, pool area, and guest rooms, demonstrating how utilities and business can work together to ensure resilient water supplies. In 2020, the project saved almost 1.1 million gallons of drinking water. Recycled water for irrigation saved an additional 270,000 gallons. Read more.
TX: Potable Reuse Program in Wichita Falls Recognized for Innovation
The City of Wichita Falls potable reuse program continues to be recognized for innovation. A recent article in the American Water Works Association’s Opflow magazine details how Wichita Falls simultaneously planned and implemented direct and indirect potable reuse systems in response to historic droughts in 2014. Wichita Falls now serves as an example for utilities around the world. Read more.
Member Spotlight: Brown and Caldwell Names Dr. Allegra da Silva Research and Development Deputy Director
Brown and Caldwell’s Dr. Allegra da Silva will bring over 20 years of experience in research and innovation to her new role as Research and Development Deputy Director. Dr. da Silva has been a leader on water reuse science and policy, serving as the technical author for the 2012 U.S. EPA Guidelines for Water Reuse, the 2017 U.S. EPA Potable Reuse Compendium, and the 2017 Water Environment Federation (WEF) Water Reuse Roadmap. She previously served as the WateReuse Colorado section president. Read more.
Member Spotlight: Six Members Recognized for Contributions to Environmental Protection
Six WateReuse Association members were presented with National Environmental Achievement Awards for outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community. The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, SC; the City and County of Honolulu, HI; and NEW Water, WI were recognized for public information and education. East Bay Municipal Water District, CA received awards for its educational program and watershed collaboration. Two other members, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, VA and North Texas Municipal Water District, TX, received the award for workforce development. The awards were presented by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). Read more.
New Book Offers Global Perspectives on Sustainable Industrial Water Use from the Practitioners
Industrial water reuse is presented as a key solution for sustainability in the new book from IWA Publishing, Sustainable Industrial Water Use: Perspectives, Incentives and Tools. The executives, plant managers, investors, inventors, regulators, policy makers and advocates who are leading industry towards sustainable water use authored chapters that range from “Triple water reuse at Dow” and “Fit-for-purpose water reuse in the food processing industry” to the impact of regulations on industrial water reuse, new techniques for wastewater treatment and making a business case for recycled water. The book’s sponsors include WateReuse members Arcadis and West Basin Municipal Water District.
To learn more about global perspectives on industrial water reuse, join the book’s co-editors (water recycling veterans Cheryl Davis and Eric Rosenblum) and four industry experts for a webcast on April 14, 2021 at 9 am PT (12 pm ET). Register here.
Member Resources and Benefits
New Activity Booklet Provides Water Reuse Education for Late Elementary and Early Middle School Students
Looking for a Resource to Engage with Students on Water Recycling Either Remotely or in Person? Use the new Water Reuse Activity Booklet to introduce 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 in partnership with the WateReuse Association and Project WET Foundation. Learn more about the contents of the booklet in this short video. The booklet is available on the Project WET store.
WateReuse members interested in ordering 250 copies or more through the end of April will receive a 20% discount using the coupon code: WATEREUSE.
Job Opportunities from the WateReuse Career Center
- Communications Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District, Aliso Viejo, CA
- Senior Civil Engineer, EKI Environment & Water, Daly City, CA
- Senior Engineer or Senior Scientist, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
EPA Webinar: Cultivating a Positive Workforce Culture from Apprenticeship to Career
April 1, 2021
9 am PT | 12 pm ET
The latest webinar in the “Creating the Water Workforce of the Future” series focuses on building an inclusive and supportive workplace that encourages employee growth to attract and retain the qualified candidates. The presenters will include Joone Lopez from Moulton-Niguel Water District, Tim Friday from Caste Rock Water, and Eric Dunker from Arapahoe Community College. View the event flyer or register here.
Webcast: From Across the Globe: The Many Facets of Industrial Water Reuse
April 14, 2021
9 am PT | 12 pm ET
Join the co-editors of Sustainable Industrial Water Use: Perspectives, Incentives and Tools, Eric Rosenblum and Cheryl Davis, as they discuss global perspectives with industry experts. In this 90-minute webcast, four different authors will summarize their articles featured in the book, describing the challenges they confront planning, financing, designing and implementing water reuse to conserve water and reduce industrial pollution. Register here.
Join us for global perspectives on the challenges of planning, financing, designing and implementing water reuse to conserve water and reduce industrial pollution.
9:00 – 10:30 am PT | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm ET
WateReuse Members: Free
Recycled water is a key element of sustainability, and industrial water reuse is well-covered in the new book from IWA Publishing, Sustainable Industrial Water Use: Perspectives, Incentives and Tools. It brings together the executives, plant managers, investors, inventors, regulators, policy makers and advocates who are leading industry towards sustainable water use.
Divided into three sections (Perspectives, Incentives, and Tools), the new book covers topics ranging from “Triple water reuse at Dow” and “Fit-for-purpose water reuse in the food processing industry” to the impact of regulations on industrial water reuse, new techniques for wastewater treatment and making a business case for recycled water.
Join the co-editors, Eric Rosenblum and Cheryl Davis, as they discuss global perspectives with industry experts. In this 90-minute webcast, four different authors will summarize their articles featured in the book, describing the challenges they confront planning, financing, designing and implementing water reuse to conserve water and reduce industrial pollution.
Ms. Cheryl Davis, CKD Consulting
Incentives and Barriers to Behavior Change: The Human Element in Sustainable Water Use; Staff training: An integral component of sustainable water use by industry
Mr. Dylan Waldhuetter, Alliance for Water Stewardship
The AWS Standard: A Common Language for the Global Water Stewardship Community
Dr. Niels Groot, Dow Benelux B.V
Triple Water Reuse at Dow; Challenges in Regional Collaboration
Prof. Susanne Knochel, University of Copehhagen
Fit-for-purpose water reuse in the food processing industry
Prof. Maria Concetta Tomei, IRSA Water Research Institute
Best Available Technologies as a Sustainability Tool for Industrial Wastewater Management and Treatment; Biological Wastewater Treatment as an Opportunity for Energy and Resource Recovery
Mr. Eric Rosenblum (Moderator), Water Resource Consultant
Implementing Sustainable Water Use: A Roadmap for Industry
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Join us for an update on Congressional advocacy and to hear how to engage during Water Week 2021 (April 25 – May 1).
10:00 am – 11:00 am PT | 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
With the Biden Administration and a new Congress taking over power in Washington, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to resonate strongly, there has never been a more important time to elevate the importance of water reuse in national policy dialogues. While the in-person National Water Policy Fly-In lobbying efforts are cancelled, we encourage everyone to join us for an update on Congressional advocacy and to hear how to engage during Water Week 2021 (April 25 – May 1). We have already seen incredibly important achievements over recent months due to strong grass roots advocacy, including the first ever federal low-income assistance program for water and more federal funds being directed to water infrastructure. But we still have so much more to do.
This webcast will walk participants through the latest from Capitol Hill, the water sector’s key issues and talking points, and tools and tips for engaging during Water Week – such as setting up Zoom congressional office visits and messaging resources for social media and community outreach during Water Week and beyond. NACWA, WEF, WateReuse and The Water Research Foundation are urging all members to participate in this webcast and reach out to Congress during Water Week to advocate for support for the water sector.
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Join WateReuse California (WRCA) for a brown bag lunch panel discussion of draft criteria for direct potable reuse (DPR) regulations.
11:00 am – 1:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET
The California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) released the first draft of the much anticipated criteria for DPR regulations for California. This action marks a major milestone in the development of potable reuse regulations for California. The release of the criteria is the culmination of a decade advocacy, legislation and research by WRCA and its members. WRCA will use this discussion to develop comments for the Water Board and the DPR Expert Panel to consider as they further develop the regulations.
Presenters and Panelists
Shane Trussell, Ph.D., P.E., President
John Stufflebean, Assistant Director, Pure Water and Technical Services
Public Utilities Department
City of San Diego
Heather Collins, Water Treatment Manager
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Medi Sinaki, P.E., Senior Engineer, Recycled and Purified Water Unit
Jesus Gonzalez, Manager Recycled Water Program
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
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WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop series.
WateReuse Pacific Northwest State Workshop Series
11:00 am – 1:30 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET
This webinar is hosted jointly by this year’s Water Week Water Association Partners and will provide attendees the opportunity to hear directly from key EPA officials and Members of Congress on the important regulatory and legislative water policies they are working on now and in the years ahead.
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Join us for a lively discussion with leaders from across the water sector about the future of water reuse and its importance as a tool to address the impacts of climate change and meet local water demands.
Please join us for a free webinar on April 29, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM EDT to celebrate the first year of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), including accomplishments of action leaders and partners and anticipated 2021 outcomes.
The Resilience through Collaboration: First Year Highlights and Future Directions of the National Water Reuse Action Plan webinar will feature remarks from Radhika Fox (EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for Water), Felicia Marcus (William C. Landreth Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program), WRAP action leaders and partners, and other water reuse practitioners from around the United States. This event is hosted by EPA in collaboration with the WateReuse Association and other water sector partners.
The WRAP collaborative was launched on February 27, 2020 with federal, state, tribal, local, and private sector partners to build technical, financial, and institutional capacity to spur further consideration and implementation of water reuse across the country. The story of the WRAP’s first year of implementation is one of incredible dedication and determination by a growing community of over 100 different organizations. The WRAP collaborative has enabled the formation of new action-based partnerships across the water community to help address local water resource challenges through holistic thinking and integrated efforts to ultimately strengthen our Nation’s water security, sustainability, and resilience.
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Join May Wu, Principal Environmental System Scientist with Argonne National Laboratory, for a webcast on the role of water reuse in bioenergy production.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
WateReuse Members: Free | Others: $49
Production of bioenergy from a range of feedstocks and biorefining pathways requires a substantial amount of water for irrigation, conversion process, cooling, and steam generation. Because the feedstock varies with climate and soil regions, an increased production will have implications in the availability of regional and local freshwater resources across the U.S. It is critical to understand how fit-for-purpose water recycling can be used to conserve freshwater.
This webcast presents findings from an Argonne National laboratory analyses of potential recycled water use to produce biofuels from conventional crops and algae and generate power by incorporating technology, climate, and geospatial-temporal components. Findings suggest a significant potential of producing advanced biofuel while doubling the amount of recycled water in use nationally. Results from this project support informed decision-making and strategic planning for water sustainable bioenergy development.
May Wu is a principal environmental system scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Her research interests are water resource use, water quality, and wastewater management in the production of biofuels and conventional energy.
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