Nominated USEPA chief drops “direct potable reuse” hint

Probably for the very first time, a US government nominee has admitted the possibility of direct potable water reuse, as well as pointing to increases in water recycling and desalination.

Peter Silva, President Obama’s nominee to head the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, drew a large audience to the opening session of the annual conference of the American Water Works Association in San Diego on 15 June 2009. He noted that the water sector was seeing a merging of issues from the drinking water and wastewater side.

“There is a growing nexus between the way we supply water and how we face environmental impacts,” Silva said, referring to increased use of water recycling and desalination in the response to drought and increased water demands.

“Even direct potable reuse is being considered,” Silva said.

Silva currently serves as a policy advisor to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, specializing in Colorado River issues.