The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently announced the development of a Water Reuse Action Plan that will leverage the expertise of both industry and government to ensure the effective use of water resources in the United States.
“The Nation’s water resources are the lifeblood of our communities, and the federal government has the responsibility to ensure all Americans have access to reliable sources of clean and safe water,” said David Ross, U.S. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water. “There is innovative work happening across the water sector to advance water reuse, and the EPA wants to accelerate that work through coordinated federal leadership.”
The Water Reuse Action Plan will seek to foster water reuse as an important component of integrated water resource management. USEPA says it 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 in September 2019 at the Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego.
Water reuse – sometimes referred to as water recycling – may be viable for various applications, depending on site-specific conditions. Examples include agriculture and irrigation, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes, and environmental restoration.
In developing the Water Reuse Action Plan, the USEPA and its partners will evaluate opportunities for reuse to identify the opportunities and challenges in the following areas:
- Technological improvements, including development, piloting, validation, and data considerations;
- Regulatory/policy analysis at all levels of government, including public health considerations and addressing barriers to progress;
- Financial initiatives, including expansion and clarity of available funding mechanisms;
- Performance requirements, including efforts to ensure the quality of reused water is appropriate for the intended purpose;
- Access to water use and availability data, including the encouragement of watershed-based information sharing; and
- Outreach opportunities, including efforts to ensure public understanding of reused water as part of integrated water management.
For more information, including opportunities to engage with the USEPA on this effort, visit www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan.