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Water Reuse Action Plan Announced

Posted By Johanna M. Bell, Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2019

EPA is facilitating development of a Water Reuse Action Plan in collaboration with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and water sector stakeholders to enhance the availability and effective use of our Nation’s water resources.

The Water Reuse Action Plan will seek to foster water reuse as an important component of integrated water resource management. EPA will facilitate discussions among federal, state, and water sector stakeholders and form new partnerships to develop and deploy the plan. A draft of the plan is scheduled for release and public review this September at the Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego.

EPA’s actions are part of a larger effort by the Administration to better coordinate and focus taxpayer resources on some of the Nation’s most challenging water resource concerns, including ensuring water availability and mitigating the risks posed by droughts. This includes working closely with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal partners to collaboratively address western water supply, resiliency, and other resource management challenges.

More Water Reuse Resources and Updates:

SAVE THE DATE: 2019 Idaho Reuse & Operators Conference (IROC)

Federal News and Goods:

US House of Representatives Convene Hearings on Key Drivers for Water Reuse

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife heard from witnesses on the State of Water Supply Reliability in the 21st Century, while the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change. The Water Supply Reliability hearing included significant discussion of water recycling and the Climate Change hearing included testimony on the importance of investment in modern water reuse infrastructure and the need to encourage water use efficiency.

Bill Proposed to Increase Funding for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Water Recycling Competitive Grant Program

Rep. Grace Napolitano, concerned that water-recycling infrastructure is underfunded, has introduced HR 1162 to increase funding authorization for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI water recycling competitive grant program to $500 million from $50 million. Witness Tony Willardson, Executive Director of the Western States Water Council, said that his organization supports Rep. Napolitano’s approach to diversifying water resources and supplies.

State Updates:

Legislation Introduced to Change Terminology for Recycled Water in California

California Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) introduced a WateReuse California sponsored bill (AB 292) on January 28 that would remove the terms “indirect” and “direct” from sections of the California code that discuss potable reuse. AB 292 builds on previous legislation and recent work by the State Water Resources Control Board and WateReuse California to align the terms with how California water agencies are using recycled water. In 2017, Assembly member Quirk introduced AB 574, which was signed by the Governor, and requires the state water board to develop regulations for the safe use of recycled water through raw water augmentation. The legislation introduced last week is intended to ensure clarity in the uses of recycled water. In 2016, in a report to the Legislature the water board concluded it is feasible to develop and adopt regulations for using recycled water as drinking water, provided that certain research and key knowledge gaps are addressed.

Washington State - One Year Into Reclaimed Water Rule Adoption

On January 23, 2018 the Department of Ecology adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-219 WAC, Reclaimed Water. This rule addresses all aspects of reclaimed water; including permitting for the generation, distribution, and use of reclaimed water across Washington state. It applies to all existing and proposed facilities that are — or will be — designed, constructed, operated, and maintained in the state of Washington to generate, distribute, and/or use reclaimed water.


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