Water-reuse bill to be debated in California assembly

A bill to completely revise California’s water-reuse legislation was passed for its third reading on 25 May 2012 and will come up on the floor of the state assembly this week.

Bill AB 2398, proposed by San Diego’s Democrat assemblyman Ben Hueso, would establish a statewide goal to recycle a total of 1.5 million acre-feet (1,850 million m³) of water per year by the year 2020 and 2.5 million acre-feet (3,085 million m³) per year by the year 2030.

The Water Recycling Act of 2012 would revise and consolidate existing provisions relating to recycled water and make other changes to existing law. It would seek to simplify permitting, modify criteria for reuse and require the various departments and agencies involved to encourage water-reuse and meet the state goals.

Potable reuse through public water supplies via raw water augmentation would be allowed under permits issued by the Department of Health. The Act would also establish a Water Recycling Research Fund.

The bill may be considerably amended, but could be passed for approval by Governor Jerry Brown by the autumn. Brown has yet to take a position on the bill.