Eight water groups press US government to up focus on reuse

The WateReuse Association has joined seven other water sector organisations in pressing the US Bureau of Reclamation to use some of its US$ 100 million in new drought funds to invest in water reuse.

Under legislation approved by Congress, the bureau will receive a further US$ 100 million to address the ongoing Western drought.  In a joint letter, eight water sector groups cited a WateReuse Research Foundation study which quantified the opportunities and economic benefits of widespread water reuse, and asked the bureau of reclamation to use a portion of the funds in support of water reuse research and infrastructure.

“On an important issue like this one where there is potential to create significant new water supply at a time when it is urgently needed, it is vital that the water community speak with one voice in requesting federal support,” said WateReuse association executive director, Melissa L Meeker.

The letter included the finding that recycled water projects proposed in 92 agencies in 14 states could produce more than 900 Ml of additional water supply. The water groups said that funding reuse projects will have a direct, immediate, and powerful impact on extending water supplies, improving reliability, and enhancing economic development.

Congress directed the bureau of reclamation to announce, by early February, how it planned to distribute the new drought response funds.

The letter was signed by the WateReuse Association, National Association Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), American Public Works Association (APWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).