USEPA provides US$ 10 million for water/wastewater research

Water reuse research will be in one of the key areas to be funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is giving US$ 10 million to Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) to evaluate new technologies to help utilities cope with aging and failing water and wastewater systems.

WERF will administer US$ 6.25 million to address wastewater and stormwater infrastructure research and will coordinate with the Water Research Foundation to administer US$ 3.75 million to address aging drinking water systems. These funds will be further leveraged by a 33.3% cost share to be provided by the investigators.

Research initiated under the cooperative agreement will examine innovative tools and procedures to improve cost-effectively the maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of aging sewer lines, water mains and other water and wastewater infrastructure. Efforts will focus on four key areas:

  • condition assessment for water and wastewater conveyance systems
  • system rehabilitation for water and wastewater conveyance systems
  • advanced design and engineering concepts
  • innovative treatment technologies for wastewater, stormwater, water reuse and drinking water
  • The development of this research program stems from EPA’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Initiative, which seeks to promote better use of resources, increase the sustainability of US water infrastructure, and reduce the gap between the projected need for infrastructure funds and actual funding.

    EPA projects a funding gap of $220 billion over the next 20 years if utilities and municipalities do not increase their investments in water and wastewater infrastructure. By better pricing and managing water use, as well as by implementing new technologies, that gap may be lessened, says the agency.