2021 WateReuse Awards for Excellence Showcases Leadership in Advancing Water Recycling
House Water Infrastructure Bill Includes Key Water Reuse Provisions
A bipartisan water infrastructure bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week includes key WateReuse priorities for advancing water recycling. The $50 billion Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 includes reauthorization and $200 million per year for five years for the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program, $400 million per year for five years for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program, and $8 billion per year for five years for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), T&I Water Subcommittee Chair Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the legislation. WateReuse has endorsed the bill and will continue to report on its progress as it moves out of Committee. See fact sheet.
Water Recycling Highlighted During Senate Committee Hearing on Water Infrastructure
The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee heard testimony last week on the role of water recycling in enhancing the nation’s infrastructure and meeting a multitude of critical needs. During the hearing, “Examining the Challenges Facing Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects,” the committee heard testimony from WateReuse member, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), on the vital role that Congress plays in supporting water reuse to increase the number of water systems across the nation that are resilient to weather events and climate change. Shellie Chard, DEQ’s Water Quality Division Director, pointed to efforts in Enid, Oklahoma and San Diego, California as examples of water recycling projects that use innovation to displace potable water supply need. EPW Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) affirmed the Committee’s commitment to address growing water sector challenges. WateReuse expects the EPW Committee to release major water infrastructure legislation, including WateReuse policy priorities, in the near future.
Senate Confirms Deb Haaland as Department of Interior Secretary; Agency Administers Key Water Recycling Programs
Last week, the U.S. Senate voted 51-40 to confirm Deb Haaland as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI). Haaland, who will serve as the first Native American Cabinet Secretary, reiterated the Administration’s commitment to addressing the climate crisis during her nomination hearings. The U.S. DOI includes the Bureau of Reclamation, which administers key water recycling, desalination, and research programs.
Elevate Water Reuse as a National Priority: Join the Water Week Virtual Events
Plan to engage virtually during the 2021 Water Week, April 25 – May 1! The Water Week partners have made the decision to forego an in-person event in 2021. However, while we won’t be gathering in-person, we will be working collaboratively as Water Week partners to bring you an informative, engaging Water Week virtual experience.
Join us for the Water Week Policy Zoom-In, on Tuesday, April 27 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm ET 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. This free webcast is presented jointly by the Water Week association partners. Don’t miss the chance to hear about the important and timely federal water initiatives taking shape in Washington, DC. Register here.
Join us again on the afternoon of April 29 for Resilience through Collaboration: First Year Highlights and Future Directions of the National Water Reuse Action Plan, a free webcast to celebrate the first year of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), including accomplishments of action leaders and partners and anticipated 2021 outcomes. Register here.
The WRAP webcast will feature keynote speaker Felicia Marcus (Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Water in the West Program and former EPA Regional Administrator), WRAP action leaders, and water reuse experts from around the United States. This event is hosted by EPA in collaboration with the WateReuse Association and other water sector partners.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Member!
The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new member:
CA: Pure Water Soquel Moves Forward with Key Approval
The Soquel Creek Water District approved the next phase of the Pure Water Soquel program, the construction of an eight-mile conveyance pipeline system. The purified recycled water project is part of a plan to abate additional seawater intrusion. Construction of the $34.5 million pipeline project is expected to begin in May 2021. Read more.
CO: Stakeholder Process Opens for Direct Potable Reuse Rules and Regulation Development Process
Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment is set to begin a series of virtual stakeholder meetings to inform the regulated community and gather additional feedback on the development of Regulation 11 – Direct Potable Reuse. The process builds upon the 2019 guidelines document prepared for WateReuse Colorado by an independent panel of national experts administered by the National Water Research Institute. Read more.
HI: Upgrades Proposed for West Maui Recycled Water System
The Maui County Department of Environmental Management is proposing a $26 million upgrade project to provide a more reliable supply of recycled water. The upgrades are proposed for the West Maui Recycled Water System and include updating existing water lines and adding new pump stations. The facility currently produces R-1 recycled water for non-potable use. Read more.
Get Recognition for Your Water Reuse Program: Utility of the Future 2021 Applications Open
An opportunity is available to get recognition for your water reuse program. The application period is open for the Utility of the Future Today recognition program. The program honors forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities, particularly in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients.
WateReuse partners with the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the Water Research Foundation (WRF) in leading this program, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE). Since 2016, 183 utilities have received recognition under this innovative program.
Public and private water sector utilities of all sizes that can demonstrate achievement of the application requirements are encouraged to apply by May 14 at 5 p.m. EDT. Applicants must have no major permit violations in the year prior to the submission date of their applications. 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
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.
For more information contact Rosario Cortes
Tour of the San Jose Creek WRP will follow starting at 1:15 pm
Hosted by Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, and lunch will be sponsored by AECOM.
For in-person attendance, please RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, February 10. Virtual attendance option also available.
February 15, 2023 Time: 1:00pm CT | 2:00pm ET
As a global leader in water reuse, Israel takes a very intentional and integrated approach to producing and maintaining its water supply. They combine desalination, water recycling of municipal wastewater and stormwater capture, and reuse to ensure sustainable supplies. Nearly 90 percent of Israel’s treated wastewater is reused for agricultural irrigation purposes.
In November 2022, over 40 representatives from the U.S. water sector, including utilities, industry, states, and the federal government, traveled to Israel as part of a science, technology, and policy informational exchange focused on water reuse practices. This intensive week of learning about the Israeli approach to managing its water resources included several delegates from Texas.
The panelists will share their general experience as part of the delegation (5-10 mins each) and then we will ask a few prepared questions about lessons learned and how those could be applied to Texas communities. If time allows, we will take questions from the audience.
Paula Paciorek, Division Manager, Houston Water Planning
- Special Introduction by Omer Bab, Director of Trade and Regulatory Policy, Embassy of Israel and Danny Greenwald, Senior Deputy Director General for Regulation, Israel Water Authority
- Eva Steinle-Darling, Water Reuse Technical Practice Director, Carollo Engineers
- Hunter Adams, Environmental Laboratory Supervisor, City of Wichita Falls – Cypress Environmental Laboratory
- Erika Crespo, Assistant Deputy Director, Water Quality Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
- Kobe Nagar, CEO and Co-Founder, 374 Water
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