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May 4, 2020

Sneak Peak: Explore New Heights in Reuse at the 35th Annual WateReuse Symposium

Washington Update

WateReuse Submits Comments on Draft Senate Water Infrastructure Bills

U.S. Department of Agriculture Funding Available for Water Recycling

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Convenes WRAP Action Leaders

Last week, the U.S. EPA held a webinar convening 37 action leaders and nearly 50 individuals involved in implementing the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). The U.S. EPA shared progress on their committed actions, as well as their evolving plans for implementation of the WRAP. Action leaders provided updates on action milestones and discussed potential for collaboration between actions. WateReuse continues to drive progress on the Action Plan, including through implementation of the 18 actions on which we are leading, co-leading, or partnering.

Thousands Participate in Virtual Water Week to Advocate for Water Infrastructure and Reuse

Last week, the WateReuse Association partnered with national water sector organizations to present Water Week 2020 as a virtual event. Nearly 2,000 water professionals participated in a webinar to hear the latest water policy developments from EPA senior staff, messages from Members of Congress about the value of water sector advocacy, and updates from key Water Week partners. WateReuse President Gilbert Trejo contributed to the discussion with a LinkedIn article that asserts there is no better time to invest in America’s water infrastructure in order to create jobs while also improving water quality, reliability, and sustainability. Although the National Water Policy Fly-In was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WateReuse members used video conferencing, telephone calls, and letters to advocate for federal investment in water recycling.

Spotlight: COVID-19 and Water Reuse

Watch Now: Webcast Provides Guidance on Communicating about Recycled Water and COVID-19

In case you missed it, a recording is available for last week’s webcast, What We Know: Communicating about Recycled Water in the Age of COVID-19. During the webcast, researchers provided an informative update on the current state of the science on water reuse and COVID-19. Communications experts joined to provide risk communication and messaging tips. Watch Now.

Researchers Study Wastewater to Track COVID-19

From Stanford to the University of Arizona, from Australia to Paris, teams of researchers have been ramping up wastewater analyses to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Los Angeles Times notes that initial studies show that wastewater monitoring could not only tell us how much the virus might actually be spreading in a community — but also when the virus has finally gone away. WateReuse Association members the University of Arizona and Southern Nevada Water Authority are among those involved in the research efforts.

State Updates and Member Profiles

Welcome New Member!

The WateReuse Association welcomes the following new member:

  • Larry E. Wilke, PLLC

California: Water Board Extends Deadline for Annual Recycled Water Reporting to June 30

In response to challenges faced by utilities during the COVID-19 crisis, the California State Water Resources Control Board last week issued a 60-day extension for utilities to submit annual reporting on the volume of recycled water. The previous deadline of April 30 has been extended to June 30. The state’s Recycled Water Policy requires wastewater and recycled water permit holders to annually report monthly volumes of influent, wastewater produced, and effluent, including treatment level and discharge type. Permit holders are also required to annually report recycled water use by volume and category of reuse.

California: Recycled Water Construction Moves Forward with Social Distancing

After a break due to recent rainfall, the Santa Margarita Water District and watershed partner South Coast Water District resumed construction on a water dam and recycled water reservoir last week. The reservoir will store recycled water, increasing the amount of recycled water available for use. Construction on the project began in January 2018. Read More.

California: Students Win Grand Prize in Cal Water H20 Challenge with Rainwater Recycling Project

A sixth grade class from Hoover Elementary in Stockton won the grand prize in the 2020 Cal Water H20 Challenge with a project to recycle harvested rainwater to offset potable water use at school. The students earned $3,500 for their classroom, $1,000 scholarship each, and $100 gift card for each student. California Water Service Group, the North American Association for Environmental Education, and DoGoodery team up annually to issue the Cal Water H2O Challenge for 4-6 grades classrooms across California. Read More.

Colorado: Reuse Project in the South Platte River Basin Helps to Narrow the Supply Gap

A new report from the South Platte Regional Opportunities Water Group (SPROWG) identifies four possible storage and pipeline configurations for a proposed multi-billion-dollar project to maximize reuse of western slope water. The basin-wide project would utilize unused reusable return flows from trans mountain diversions to provide a water supply alternative to the Colorado River system. Reuse of water in Colorado is by decree, with only certain volumes of Colorado River water within a certain area being viable. WateReuse Association members participating on the SPROWG include Denver Water and Aurora Water. Read More.

Texas: Rice University Study Develops Models to Simulate Impact of Water Reuse on Water Demand

Researchers at Rice University developed models to understand the impact of water reuse and recycling on major urban areas. In a new study, researchers found water reuse has the potential to reduce freshwater usage of rivers, reservoirs, and wells by 28 percent. The models considered a city planner evaluating trade-offs such as freshwater acquisition, energy use, and transportation. While water purification can be expensive, the study found that the costs of installation and long-term energy demands could be offset by savings from municipal water reuse. Read More.

Member Spotlight: Suez Report Finds Americans Accepting of Water Reuse

In a poll of 2,000 Americans, Suez found widespread acceptance of water reuse in addressing water scarcity. More than one-third stated they would drink recycled water, with only 5% saying they would not want recycled water used for any purpose. Nearly half of those surveyed agreed with using recycled water for irrigation. To further understand barriers to reuse projects, Suez asked people if they believed there was a stigma associated with recycled water and 70% agreed there was. The survey also found seven in ten believe climate change will impact the way they live at some point and 69% agreed water scarcity is a major environmental concern.Read More.

Member Spotlight: HDR and Epic CleanTec Included in Fast Company List of World Changing Ideas

Out of 3,000 entries, Fast Company selected two WateReuse Association members, HDR and Epic CleanTec, for its 2020 list of world changing ideas. The list includes buildings, landscapes, urban designs, and policies that make cities and living in them cleaner, more efficient, more beautiful, and more equitable for their citizens. Among the six ideas that nominated HDR was their project on mixed-use destination that improves the quality of life in rural areas. Epic CleanTec received an honorable mention for its efforts in decentralized water reuse.

Global Spotlight

Canada: Oil and Gas Energy Excellence Awards Recognize Water Recycling

Canada’s hydraulic fracturing industry is looking to increase the reuse of water produced during oil and gas drilling. Companies such as Trace Water Solutions Ltd. and Tourmaline Oil Corporation are working to design and implement effective treatment systems that would allow 100% reuse of “produced water.” By 2022, Tourmaline hopes to eliminate nearly all freshwater usage in well stimulations and begin accepting third-party produced water to treat. The company currently reuses over 895,000 cubic meters of water. Read More.

Egypt: World’s Largest Agricultural Drainage Treatment and Reuse Plant Opens

Last week, Egypt opened a 1 million m3/day agricultural drainage treatment, recycling, and reuse plant in Ismailia Governorate. The $100 million project will help conserve the natural ecology of the Al Temsah Lake and contribute irrigation water to 70,000 acres of land. Dubai’s 2019 Construction Innovation Awards named the project “Infrastructure Project of the Year.” Read More.

European Council Adopts New Rules on Water Reuse for Agricultural Irrigation

In line with a circular economy, the European Union released regulations on the minimum requirements for water reuse in agricultural irrigation. The EU believes this will improve the availability of water and encourage its efficient use. The new measure aims to reduce the risk of shortages of water for irrigating crops by treating urban wastewater for agricultural irrigation. Read More.

WateReuse Communications Tools and Resources

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 and Events

2020 WateReuse California Virtual Conference Launches June 24-25

Don’t Miss the launch of the first ever WateReuse California virtual conference. Join us for an easy to navigate, virtual conference experience that includes the following highlights:

  • Keynote Presentation: Kristin Peer, Deputy Secretary and Special Counsel for Water Policy at Cal EPA – “COVID-19 Challenges and California’s Water Resilience Portfolio”;
  • Live and interactive panel discussions with California water regulators and leaders in California’s reuse community;
  • Presentation of the WateReuse California Awards of Excellence;
  • Interactive sponsor and exhibitor hall;
  • More than 50 cutting edge presentations about water reuse that will include audience Q&A, downloadable materials, and opportunities for connecting beyond the sessions; and
  • Live President’s reception virtual cocktail party.

The WateReuse California virtual conference will be available online until July 24, 2020.

Upcoming Events

Nov
18
Wed
WateReuse Pacific Northwest Meeting
Nov 18 all-day
Dec
4
Fri
2020 4th Quarter Meeting of the Board of Directors
Dec 4 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Dec
8
Tue
Los Angeles Chapter Meeting @ Zoom Video Conference
Dec 8 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZErcOypqjgsHtwmGaUIM0hd5mvgjfwX4pgY

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Dec
17
Thu
Orange County Chapter Meeting @ TBD
Dec 17 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Mar
15
Mon
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium
Mar 15 – Mar 25 all-day
36th Annual WateReuse Symposium

36th Annual WateReuse Symposium: Redefining Resiliency

March 15-25, 2021

Join us for a series of live and on demand virtual roundtables!

Learn More

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WateReuse is the only trade association that focuses solely on advancing laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse. Our niche strategy sets us apart from other organizations in the water industry.

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