Alexandria, Va. — The WateReuse Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation announced the merger of their organizations, effective immediately. The new not-for-profit powerhouse, called the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), brings together a rich portfolio of research in water, wastewater, and stormwater valued at more than $200 million. The merger strengthens the industry movement toward One Water, which realizes the true value of all water, wastewater, and stormwater.
The WateReuse Association continues to operate as a separate organization to educate policymakers and the public about the benefits of water reuse and to advocate for laws, policy and funding to increase water reuse.
“Bringing these two organizations together allows us to leverage our expertise to pursue an integrated approach to critical research in water,” said WE&RF Board Co-Chair, Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. “We are now the largest one-stop-shop for research in resource recovery and reuse.”
Since it was established in 1989, the Water Environment Research Foundation has been internationally recognized as a leader in research related to wastewater and stormwater. Established in 1993, the WateReuse Research Foundation has led the world in producing applied research in water reuse. The new Water Environment & Reuse Foundation will continue to focus on research in resource recovery and reuse, which provides the science for next generation technology and innovation to meet the growing demand for clean water.
“Our organizations shared a common goal, which is to produce research that solved real-world problems with water quality and supply,” said WE&RF Board Co-Chair Doug Owen, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, Arcadis. “By merging, we will be able to help more communities produce a safe, reliable, locally controlled supply of water that protects the environment and supports economic growth.”
The new organization is supported by more than 200 utilities, businesses, industrial and commercial enterprises, educational institutions, and government agencies. The water agencies combined, represent more than 50 million residential and small business water consumers across the country.
“Our merger is, in large part, the result of a movement that recognizes that all water has value,” explains WE&RF Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Meeker. “All water is reused and renewable, either through desalination, stormwater harvesting, more effective wastewater treatment, or any other number of avenues. Our merger reflects that fundamental principle.”
For more information, visit Frequently Asked Questions at https://watereuse.org/news-events/newsroom/foundation-merger-news.