The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan that identifies priority actions and the leadership and collaboration that is needed between governmental and non-governmental organizations to implement these actions.
“Forty states anticipate experiencing fresh water shortages in certain regions within their borders over the next decade,” said U.S. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “Diversifying our nation’s water portfolio must be a nationwide priority, and water reuse has the potential to ensure the viability of our water economy for generations to come.”
The draft National Water Reuse Action Plan was built upon extensive outreach, research and prior engagement with the water sector. The draft plan incorporates federal, state, tribal and local water perspectives and highlights key actions that support water reuse. EPA’s goal is to issue a final plan that will include clear commitments and milestones for actions that will further water reuse to bolster the sustainability, security and resilience of the nation’s water resources.
EPA is soliciting public input through a 90-day public comment period. For more information, including opportunities to engage with EPA on this effort, visit https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan.
The draft plan was announced Sept. 10 during a panel discussion with federal partners including USDA, the U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of the Army, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Council on Environmental Quality.
“The Water Reuse Action Plan is a dynamic collaboration of federal partners and stakeholders to innovate and utilize water reuse technology to meet water challenges of today and prepare for the water needs of tomorrow,” said Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior Tim Petty.
“Ensuring reliable water supplies for the future takes a combination of innovation approaches, from advancing critical infrastructure projects to implementing new conservation strategies. Water reuse is an important component of Reclamation’s all-of-the-above model, and we are committed to continuing our investment in water reuse for local communities throughout the West,” said Brenda Burman, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.
“Water and energy are intrinsically intertwined critical resources for America,” said Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel Simmons. “New research and technology innovation, along with increased collaborations identified in the new Water Reuse Action Plan will help advance our nations’ water security and reduce water-related risks for our energy systems.”
“USDA works side-by-side with agricultural producers—with the help of public and private partners—to make land management decisions that benefit natural resources, including conservation and reuse of water,” said Bill Northey, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Voluntary conservation on agricultural lands is one of the tools we have to address water challenges.”
“The National Water Reuse Action Plan will be a game changer,” said Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association. “Communities across the country are incorporating water reuse into their water management strategies as a proven method for ensuring a safe, reliable, locally controlled water supply--essential for livable communities, healthy environments, robust economies and a high quality of life.”