Alexandria, Va. — The WateReuse Association joined seven other water sectors groups in urging the Bureau of Reclamation to use a portion of newly received drought response funds to invest in water reuse activities.
Under the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations legislation approved by Congress and signed into law last month, Reclamation will receive an additional $100 million to address the ongoing Western drought. Citing a WateReuse Research Foundation study which quantifies the opportunities and economic benefits of more widespread water reuse, a joint letter from eight water sector organizations asked 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 provided results from a recent survey that found that 92 agencies in 14 states across the country are developing recycled water projects that could produce more than 900,000 acre-feet of additional water supply. The water groups also explained that funding reuse projects will have a direct, immediate, and large impact on extending limited water supplies, improving reliability, and in enhancing economic development.
Congress directed the Bureau of Reclamation to announce by early February how it plans to distribute the additional 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).