Senate Passes COVID Relief Package; Legislation Includes Relief for Water Utility Ratepayers and Localities
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.
Bureau of Reclamation Releases Desalination and Water Purification Research Highlights
The Bureau of Reclamation is highlighting work done under its Desalination and Water Purification Research Program to remove technical obstacles to creating more resilient water supplies. The Research and Development Office’s FY 2020 Highlights notes that Reclamation awarded $7 million in research grants for 30 projects that addressed challenges that ranged from potable reuse and innovative membranes to per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances. A recently funded research report, “Tailoring Advanced Desalination Technologies for 21st Century Agriculture,” proposes technology options to desalinate brackish groundwater to produce water suitable for specific crop types and growth needs.
EPA Announces Allocation Formula for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program
The U.S. EPA published a Federal Register Notice establishing the allocation formula for the upcoming Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program. This new grant program will provide funding for critical stormwater infrastructure projects in communities including combined sewer overflows and sanitary sewer overflows. The funding for this program was originally authorized 20 years ago but money was never appropriated until the 2018 and 2019 America’s Water Infrastructure Act process, which secured $28 million and $40 million respectively. EPA’s formula for distributing program funds to states is based on the following weighted scale: the most recent Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (50%), total population (16.7%), urban population (16.7%), and annual average precipitation (16.7%).
State Updates and Member Profiles
Welcome New Member!
The WateReuse Association welcomes back a returning member:
- Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (Florida)
California: Strategic Water Plan Incorporates Indirect Potable Reuse and Aquifer Storage Recharge
The Yucaipa Valley Water District developed a comprehensive strategic plan integrating its water system, drinking water plant, wastewater plant, recycled water system, and its brine line. The plans key priorities include indirect potable reuse, Calimesa aquifer storage and recovery facilities, monitoring operations and reporting enhancements, public relations and outreach, energy efficiency improvements, septic tank elimination program, and advanced metering infrastructure. Read more.
Florida: Legislation Incentivizing Potable Reuse Passes through Committee
A bill incentivizing the development of potable reuse projects (HB 263) passed the Florida House Environmental, Agriculture and Flooding Subcommittee, 17-0. If the bill becomes law, Florida utilities would be required to eliminate non-beneficial surface water discharges within five years, and work to treat the water to meet drinking water standards instead. The bill includes hardship provisions for utilities unable to eliminate surface water discharges within five years. Read more.
Member Spotlight: Cindy Wallis-Lage Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Black & Veatch’s Cindy Wallis-Lage and Dr. James Barnard were elected to National Academy of Engineering. Cindy Wallis-Lage was recognized for “applying innovative technology to complex, large-scale water infrastructure systems” along with her extensive experience in innovative resource recovery, wastewater treatment, and water reuse projects. WateReuse congratulates Cindy Wallis-Lage and Dr. James Barnard on the honored distinction. Read more.
NASA Increases Water Recycling on International Space Station
A new Brine Processor Assembly (BPA) allows increased water recovery at NASA’s international space station. The BPA is added to the Environmental Control and Life Support System to boost the recovery from 85-87% to nearly 98% water recovery. Increasing the efficiency of the water recovery allows for longer duration exploration missions and reduces the need for water resupply from Earth. Read more.
Singapore’s National Water Agency Aims to Increase Desalination Sustainability
Dupont Water Solutions secured a three-year $1.3 million grant to assess how Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (CCRO) technology can make seawater desalination more energy efficient and reliable at PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. The grant comes from the National Research Foundation, Singapore. Dupont’s patented CCRO process aims to operate at 15 percent lower energy than conventional systems. Read more.
Member Resources and Benefits
Profiles in Reuse: New Flyer Showcases Opportunities for Industrial Reuse
Do you need to introduce a new customer to the concept of industrial reuse or find innovative examples? The WateReuse Association’s latest Profiles in Reuse flyer, Industrial Reuse, outlines the benefits of industrial reuse, makes the business case for industry to invest in water recycling, and presents brief case studies that illustrate the many ways in which businesses across the U.S. rely on water reuse to operate. The flyer is designed to introduce new audiences to the concept of industrial water reuse. View and download flyer.
Job Opportunities from the WateReuse Career Center
- Senior Civil Engineer, EKI Environment & Water, Daly City, CA
- Senior Engineer or Senior Scientist, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL
- Marketing Manager, Hydraloop, Inc., Nationwide
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
More than 600 Water Professionals Register for the Launch of the 36th Annual WateReuse Symposium
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.
18th Annual EPA Drinking Water Workshop: Small System Challenges and Solutions
August 30 – September 2, 2021
EPA’s free annual drinking water workshop, held in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), will be virtual this year. The workshop will provide in-depth information and training on solutions and strategies for handling small drinking water system challenges with a focus on monitoring, distribution, source, and treatment topics. Learn more on the event page.
10:30 am – 12:00 pm EST (US and Canada) | 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm IST
WateReuse Members: Free
This webcast will feature a summary of the state of practice of water reuse in India. The regional challenges and potential for water reuse in India provide insight for other countries, such as the United States. Specific research and case studies will likely cover water reuse for agricultural applications. Such applications are of growing importance both in India and internationally. Other examples will likely draw from community developments that utilize greywater and blackwater to provide a community value through reuse.
Moderator: Abinash Patro, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions – South Asia
- Mary Eggert, Global Water Works
- Mr. Girish Kale, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions – South Asia
- Arun Kumar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
- Dr. Snehalatha Mekala, Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA)
- Suhail Rahman, CoEvolve Estates
- Greta Zornes, CDM Smith
Add to Calendar
Please join us for the last Inland Empire WateReuse Chapter Meeting of 2021!
WEDNESDAY, December 15, 2021 // 10:30 am – noon
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS for IE WateReuse President-Elect
Come join the IE Chapter Board and help bring engaging topics and in-person meetings to the IE chapter in 2022! The President Elect position will be up for election at the 12/15 meeting – the position is 3 consecutive 1-year terms, beginning with President-Elect, then moving into the President and Past President roles. More information can be found in the chapter Bylaws (attached). Please contact any of the current board members (copied on this email) if you are interested or would like to nominate someone else. Nominations will be accepted at the meeting as well.
- Election for IE WateReuse President-Elect
- DPR Update – Jennifer West, Managing Director, WateReuse California
- Brine Discharge in the IE Brine Line: Current and Future State – Jeff Mosher, General Manager, SAWPA
- Final Presentation – TBD
When: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 // 10:30 am – noon
Meeting ID: 859 7995 4755
Dial-in Number: (720) 707-2699
Maroun El-Hage, Chapter President, EMWD
10:35 WateReuse Inland Empire Board of Directors Election for President Elect
Maroun El-Hage, Chapter President Elect, EMWD
10:45 DPR Update
Jennifer West, Managing Director, WateReuse California
11:10 Brine Discharge in the IE Brine Line: Current and Future State
Jeff Mosher, General Manager, SAWPA
11:55 Closing Comments & Adjourn
Maroun El-Hage, Chapter President, EMWD
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
January 2022 ushers in new opportunities in water recycling and reuse advocacy with both the Administration and Congress. In November 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 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 also reauthorized the Alternative Water Source Grants Program, creating a nationwide reuse program and established a federal interagency working group on water reuse. While many priorities were included in the IIJA, WateReuse continues to urge Congress to authorize and appropriate additional essential water recycling programs.
Please join us on January 12 for a webcast with Washington insiders to examine what’s on the congressional agenda for 2022 and what water-related priorities the Biden Administration is likely to continue driving progress on. Top Washington water sector lobbyists will discuss the status of key legislation and explain the opportunities to advance a water reuse policy agenda. Whether you plan to participate in our Water Week in the spring or are interested in what to expect from Congress and the Administration in 2022, this webcast will help get you up to speed.
- Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse Association
- David Leiter, President, Plurus Strategies
Add to Calendar
Friday, January 21, 2022
8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST
Bluefield Marketing Assessment
Friday, February 18, 2022
8 am – 9:30 am PT / 11 am -12:30 pm EST
Association Headquarters Operational Assessment
Sunday, March 6, 2022 ~ 8:00 am to 12:00 pm CST, San Antonio
Thursday, March 3, 2022 – Saturday, March 5, 2022
Thursday, March 3 ~ Board Dinner
Friday, March 4 ~ Meeting all day
Saturday, March 5 ~ Meeting in Morning
Super Saver Opens October 4: 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. A special super saver registration rate will be offered exclusively to WateReuse Association members beginning Monday, October 4, 2021—before early-bird registration opens to the general public.