Blog

Monthly Water Reuse Update

EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox, is Green Sports Alliance Summit Keynote Speaker. This alliance is working to promote healthy and sustainable communities by highlighting best practices for greening operations. EPA Assistant Administrator Fox highlighted examples of effective water stewardships at stadiums, including water reuse. At the event, the alliance launched their “Play to Zero Playbook,” which includes strategies, such as water reuse, for water management in sports and entertainment venues.

EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox, at the Green Sports Alliance Summit.
Photo credit: Dune Ives.

World Bank Presents Three New Reuse Case Studies at ACE23. WRAP action leader Clémentine Stip highlighted the recent publication of three case studies which highlight the financial, institutional, and policy aspects of developing a centralized or decentralized water reuse system. These three case studies are now available on EPA’s website, and additional project examples are anticipated to be added this year. (Action 11.3: Develop and Highlight Case Studies Relevant to the Water in Circular Economy and Resilience (WICER) Framework)

Water Research Foundation Publishes Synthesis of Microbial Water Quality Information for Stormwater Capture and Use. This report synthesizes existing research on stormwater microbial quality and treatment processes and will serve as the basis for a Stormwater Use Roadmap to provide pragmatic guidance for the design and operation of stormwater use systems. This paper is part of WRF Project #5034, Assessing the Microbial Risks and Impacts from Stormwater Capture and Use to Establish Appropriate Best Management Practices, and is available to WRF subscribers or those with a Public Plus account.

EPA Updates Funding Integration Tool for Source Water (FITS). The FITS tool describes how users can integrate various federal funding sources to support activities, including water reuse, that protect sources of drinking water. To inspire their own source water protection activities, users may navigate between source water protection funding sources from across the federal government, planning and funding coordination information, and examples of funding sources in action.

New State Guidelines and Regulations Added to EPA’s REUSExplorer Tool. The Regulations and End-Use Specifications Explorer tool summarizes state water reuse laws and policies across different sources and end-use applications. EPA recently added new state summaries for industrial water reuse applications to the tool. (Action 3.1: Compile Existing Fit-for-Purpose Specifications)

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Initiates Colorado River Planning Process

DOI is beginning to develop new guidelines and strategies, which include water reuse, to protect the Colorado River and replace those currently in effect until the end of 2026. To learn more about this process, join one of the public meetings and/or submit a public comment to crbpost2026@usbr.gov by August 15, 2023.

Funding

EPA Releases 2023-2024 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant Topics, Includes Reuse. The EPA SBIR team announced the 2023-2024 research topics which include the reuse related topic of Zero-Liquid Discharge and Brine Concentrate Minimization. The team hosted an informational webinar to discuss the Phase I solicitation, which awards up to $100,000 for projects that demonstrate proof of concept in the following areas: clean and safe water, air quality & climate, land, homeland security, circular economy/sustainable materials, and safer chemicals. The proposal due date is August 23, 2023. (Action 7.5: Coordinate and Promote Water Reuse Technology in Federal SBIR Programs) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Funds New Academic Consortium to Advance Water Reuse. USACE has awarded a $12.3 million cooperative agreement for phase one of a three-phase $38 million program to a research collaboration among the University of Southern California, the University of Arizona, and the University of Nevada, Reno. This Water Reuse Consortium aims to tackle pressing water challenges through innovative research, education, communication, and unprecedented collaborative efforts between government, local communities, industry, and academia. They seek to revolutionize water reuse practices and promote sustainable solutions for the benefit of communities, industries, and the environment. Products will include workshops, seminars, and training programs to support education and knowledge expansion that empowers water professionals and the public to understand water reuse. EPA Announces Over $50 Million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Protect the San Francisco Bay. This funding will be used to protect and improve wetlands, water quality, and climate resilience. Because freshwater is limited in the area, one of the funded projects—the Palo Alto Horizontal Levee— will reuse treated municipal wastewater to enhance environmental benefits and has been permitted as a nature-based solution under the NPDES program.

Free Climate Change Risk Assessment Technical Assistance from EPA's Creating Resilient Water Utilities (CRWU) Initiative

Climate change poses significant challenges to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (water sector) utilities in fulfilling their public and environmental health missions. EPA’s CRWU initiative provides the water sector and its stakeholders with practical tools, training, and technical assistance needed to increase their resilience to climate change. For example, CRWU is working with a tribal community on a potential non-potable reuse project as a climate change adaptation measure. Utilities can request assistance until August 15, 2023 by emailing Aliza Furneaux.