35th Annual WateReuse Symposium Review
Morning Plenary and Awards for Excellence
The second day of the of the 35th Annual WateReuse Virtual Symposium opened with a morning plenary and Awards for Excellence program hosted by WateReuse Association Vice President Craig Lichty of Black & Veatch.
State of Water Reuse Research: Peter Grevatt
Peter Grevatt, CEO of The Water Research Foundation (WRF), opened the morning session with a report on the State of Water Reuse Research. Grevatt discussed WRF’s partnership with the State of California to conduct research to support the development of direct potable reuse regulations.
WRF is also working with federal partners, including the U.S. EPA and the Department of Energy, on more nationally focused water reuse related research. Grevatt also reviewed WRF’s research efforts to advance environmental surveillance of COVID-19 indicators in sewersheds.
WateReuse Awards for Excellence – President’s Awards
The WateReuse Awards for Excellence were streamlined to focus on the President’s Awards this year as the WateReuse community gathered virtually to recognize achievements. WateReuse President Gilbert Trejo of El Paso Water recognized the following achievements:
The Honorable Jennifer (Jeni) James Arndt, Member of the Colorado House of Representatives, was recognized for championing legislation that allowed reclaimed water to be used for flushing and edible crop cultivation; and, securing funding for the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s programs that invest in water recycling infrastructure and research projects.
Jeff Lape, a recently retired Deputy Director with the U.S. EPA, was presented the President’s Award for his success as National Program Leader for the Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). Jeff’s tireless work ethic on behalf of this effort garnered support and contributions from multiple stakeholders including federal agency partners, state regulators, and public and private entities working throughout the broader water community.
The Water Reuse Action Plan Team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Over 18 months, the staff team at the U.S. EPA tasked with implementing the WRAP collaborated with other federal agencies, state regulators, and hundreds of public and private stakeholders throughout the country to develop over 35 action items, map out over 200 implementation milestones, and build new partnerships all with the goal of advancing water recycling across multiple use applications and geographic regions.
The complete Awards for Excellence ceremony returns next year when the Symposium moves to its new timeslot of March of each year, and will recognize accomplishments for 2020 and 2021. Nominations are due September 30.
New Skills and New Opportunities – The Water Reuse Workforce of the Future
Hosted by EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management and the WateReuse Association, this workshop explored what it will take to develop and nurture skills for the reuse workforce of the future. The session was moderated by Jim Horne, Sustainable Utilities Program Manager in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Wastewater Management, and the panelists included:
- Charles Bott, Director, Hampton Roads Sanitation District;
- Kevin Flis, Business Development Manager, Xylem Inc.;
- Christina Montoya, Communications and Marketing Manager, El Paso Water Utilities; and
- Tressa Nicholas, Technical Support Coordinator WW Program, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
In the first part of the workshop, the panelists shared their insights. The audience then engaged in small group discussions to identify challenges and reuse workforce needs to understand the roles and related skills that need to be in place to ensure a robust and effective water reuse program for a community.
Operating Water Recycling Systems
For the final live plenary session of the day, a panel of operators and managers explored the state of the water recycling operations workforce at both onsite and centralized systems. The session allowed operators, managers, and project consultants to exchange ideas about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s needed to build a diverse, skilled, and talented water reuse workforce.
The session was moderated by Andrew Salveson, Water Reuse Practice Leader at Carollo Engineers, and featured the following panelists:
- Darrell Andrews, Chief Stationary Engineer, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
- Steve Jackson, Treatment Specialist, Colorado Springs Utilities
- Rebecca Shelton, Assistant Director, Department of Water Resources, Gwinnett County
- Joseph Vesey, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Xylem
- Cindy Wallis-Lage, President, Black & Veatch’s Water Business
In Case You Missed It…
The Symposium continues for its final live day on Wednesday, September 16, but the full program will continue to available to registrants through October 24.
Here are two sessions from Monday that you may have missed or may want to watch again:
Navigating the Geopolitics of Beneficial Reuse
Location: Sept 14 AM technical sessions, Policy and Planning
Curious to learn more about the drivers and perceptions for and of water recycling around the country? This session presents case studies and examples from coast to coast.
A Pathway to Regulating Direct Potable Reuse in Colorado
Location: Sept. 14 AM technical sessions, Water Recycling in the Rockies
Sponsor: Jacobs Engineering
Colorado is winding its way down the regulatory pathway to reuse. Discover the keen insights offered from recent projects.