Infrastructure Talks Move Forward as WateReuse Advocates for Water Recycling
Last week, President Biden met with Republican lawmakers to continue negotiation on a major infrastructure investment package. In the weeks prior, Republicans announced a $568 billion counter proposal to the President’s $2.25 trillion proposal. As we previously reported, the Republican proposal includes $35 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and $14 billion for water storage. In contrast, the Administration’s plan calls for $111 billion for water systems infrastructure, focusing on resilient systems and providing clean, safe water to all communities.
Meanwhile, both the Senate and the House are advancing a number of bills to authorize spending for both surface transportation and water infrastructure programs. The Senate recently passed the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (S.914), and the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee is expected to pass the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 (H.R. 1915) in the coming weeks. Both bills include top WateReuse legislative priorities. In addition, House T&I Committee Republicans this week introduced the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021, which is a slightly updated version of a bipartisan water infrastructure bill from the last Congress, H.R. 1497. The Republican bill includes $150 million for the Alternative Water Source Grants Program, a top WateReuse priority.
EPA Office of Water Nominee Pledges to Find “Enduring Solutions” in Hearing
President Biden’s nominee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox, testified before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee. Fox framed water as the uniter in the country’s recovery from the pandemic and committed to finding enduring solutions to our country’s great challenges. Fox also highlighted the essential work of states and tribes in providing water services around the country, and the need for broad, on-the-ground stakeholder engagement. Fox’s top priority would be implementing the water infrastructure funding and financing programs authorized and funded by the EPW Committee.
Investment in Water Highlighted as a Priority during Infrastructure Week 2021
President Joe Biden opened United for Infrastructure Week 2021 with remarks on the importance of investing in America’s infrastructure now to build back better. The annual event convenes leaders from across America to highlight the critical role infrastructure plays in the economy, jobs, public health, and national security. The keynote event included a roundtable with Mami Hara, CEO and General Manager of the Seattle Public Utilities, who positioned water as the number one human rights issue in infrastructure discussions. The week’s virtual events spotlighted water infrastructure as a driver of economic recovery, equity, and resilience. A roundtable hosted by the Value of Water Campaign, Meeting the Moment: The Urgency and Opportunity to Invest in Water Systems, is available to view online.
State Updates and Member Profiles
Arizona and California Sections Seek Nominations for Excellence in Water Reuse
WateReuse Arizona and WateReuse California are each accepting nominations for projects, programs, and individuals that demonstrate leadership in advancing water recycling in their respective states. California awards nominations are due Friday, June 4 and winners will be recognized during the 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference, September 19-21, in Los Angeles. Arizona awards nominations are due Friday, June 11 and winners will be recognized during the Arizona Water Reuse 2021 Symposium, July 25-27, in Flagstaff.
CA: Metropolitan Invests in Santa Monica Water Recycling Project
A recycled water and groundwater recovery project that will produce up to 750 million gallons of water a year for the City of Santa Monica will receive up to $19.6 million from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, following a vote last week by the agency’s Board of Directors. Santa Monica’s project is expected to produce 2,300 acre-feet per year of recycled water that will be injected into the local groundwater basin and ultimately used as drinking water, beginning in 2023. Read more.
MT: Ski Resort Looks to Use Recycled Water for Snow
A Montana ski resort, Yellowstone Club, requested a permit from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to use recycled water for snow production. This would be Montana’s first resort to use recycled water, following the lead of more than a dozen other ski resorts in the U.S. and many in Europe and Australia. The project would allow the resort to extend its ski season, replenish the area’s watershed and streams, and help manage the region’s increasing wastewater flows. Read more.
WA: Yelm Expands Natural Water Purification at Cochrane Memorial Park
The City of Yelm is investing $300,000 to upgrade a natural water recycling system that beautifies Cochrane Memorial Park and replenishes the local groundwater. The city currently pumps 50,000 gallons of reclaimed water a day to the park, where it is purified in a series of pools that characterize the landscape. The water then filters naturally into the groundwater basin. Once the system is upgraded, 250,000 gallons of reclaimed water will flow into the park’s water features and be used for toilet flushing. Read more.
NAWI Releases Research Roadmaps for Desalination and Nontraditional Water Sources
The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) published five new reports that identify research and development opportunities to help overcome treatment challenges for desalination and water reuse. Each research roadmap focuses on a specific end-use sector critical to the U.S. economy: power, resource extraction, industry, municipal, and agriculture. NAWI is a research consortium formed to accelerate research that leads to lower cost and energy use for desalination and treatment of nontraditional water sources. NAWI also supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy-Water Desalination Hub. View and download the research roadmaps here.
International Satellite to Estimate the World’s Water
NASA’s latest mission, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT), will track the volume and location of water resources on Earth – information that could help communities determine where water recycling projects would have the greatest impact. SWOT includes an SUV-size satellite expected to launch late-2022 that will measure the height of Earth’s water helping to track changes in floodplains, wetlands, freshwater flows (lakes and rivers), and sea levels. The assessment will be the first of its kind and is an essential role in understanding the long-term climate change and sea-level rise impacts. Read more.
Turkey: Rainwater and Graywater Recycling, Solutions from History, Reduce Water Stress
As Turkey faces continued water stress, the country is turning to rainwater harvesting and graywater recycling, practices with a long history in the Byzantium and Ottoman empire eras. Turkey’s Environment and Urbanization Ministry made rainwater collection systems on roofs of new construction a requirement and is now focused on reducing the agriculture sector’s use of freshwater supplies. Read more.
Member Resources and Benefits
Profiles in Reuse: Flyer Showcases Benefits and 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.
Conferences, Webcasts and Events
Deadline Extended: Submit a Proposal for the 2021 WateReuse California Annual Conference by May 21
WateReuse California is accepting proposals for presentations at its 2021 Annual Conference taking place September 19-21 in Los Angeles and virtually. To be considered for a technical presentation, submit a presentation proposal by May 21, 2021. Presenters will be notified by July 2, 2021 if their proposal has been selected. Read more.
Webcast: Digital Platform, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Potable Reuse Projects
June 1, 2021
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
In this webcast, our presenters will introduce how digital platforms including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be used to improve all facets of operating a water recycling system, including asset management strategies, operational efficiencies, enhance source control, validate unit process performance, predict product water quality and make sound decisions for assessing suitability of product water for human consumption. Register here.
Join Israel Water Reuse Virtual Tour May 25-27
May 25-27, 2021
7 am PT | 10 AM ET (2 hours)
Join us to learn about Israel’s water reuse technology and policy approaches as part of a knowledge sharing partnership between the US and Israel. Israel has accomplished extensive infrastructure, regulatory, and institutional reform to recycle over 85 percent of its wastewater for beneficial uses as a solution to extreme water stress. Register here.
This event fulfills Action 11.1 in the National Water Reuse Action Plan, “Facilitate U.S.-Israel Collaboration on Water Reuse.” The tour will be presented in three sessions, highlighting applications relevant to the US perspective.
11 am PT | 2 pm ET (1 hour)
WateReuse Members: Free; Others: $49
Join us on December 14 to learn about how communities are brewing beer to raise education and awareness on water reuse. Participants will learn about the Pure Water Brew initiative including their brewer challenge, the origins, and latest efforts. The webcast will feature a discussion of mobile demonstration facilities and the latest technologies. Attendees will also gain a sneak peak of the WateReuse Symposium’s recycled water beer event in Atlanta.
Moderator: Guillaume Clairet, H2O Innovation
- Travis Loop, Water Environment Federation
- Aaron Tartakovsky, Epic Cleantec
Add to Calendar
Please join us for our third annual WateReuse Nevada symposium!
- Keynote: Water Scarcity & Reuse in Southern Nevada
- Regulatory Perspectives: Nevada, California, Arizona, and Colorado
- State of the Science: UNLV, UNR, Desert Research Institute, Tahoe Environmental Research Center
We are looking for sponsors!
Call 1-800-648-1177 and ask for the Nevada Water Resources group rate (GNWRA23). Direct book HERE. $69 Mon-Thurs The room rates are available through December 28, 2022