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.
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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