Sep 12, 2019

U.S. EPA Releases National Water Reuse Action Plan Draft for Public Comment

Document includes reasoning for plan’s development & proposed actions

U.S. EPA leaders and WateReuse association leaders pose for a photo after EPA released its National Water Reuse Action Plan during the WateReuse Symposium in San Diego Sept. 10.
Top Row: Paul Jones, President, WateReuse Association; Aubrey Bettencourt, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science; Timothy Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior; Brenda Burman, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior; Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director, WateReuse Association. Bottom Row: Ryan Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Army Corps of Engineers; Dave Ross, Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Mary Neumayr, Chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Daniel Simmons, Assistant Secretary Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. EPA released a draft of its National Water Reuse Action Plan for public comment during the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 10.

Read about the referenced frameworks:

Catch up on the National Water Reuse Action Plan timeline:

The development of this action plan involved federal, state, tribal and water sector stakeholders all collaborating with a goal to support consideration of water ruse across the water market. According to the plan, 40 out of the 50 U.S. states expect to encounter water scarcity issues in the next 10 years. 

The plan references the U.S. Water Alliance One Water framework as well as the American Water Works Assn. Total Water Solutions concept, and aligns those ideas with each other. 

“Regardless of the terminology, the concept aims to replace the traditional, fragmented, siloed approach often applied to water resources management with broader, more comprehensive solutions and strategies to meet diverse water quality and quantity needs,” the plan states in its opening paragraphs.

With this draft, EPA is seeking feedback to prioritize goals and actions with a 90-day comment period in the public docket. The docket number for this plant is EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174 and can be accessed on the EPA public docket website.

The draft received applause from WateReuse Assn. Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi in a news releases Sept. 10.

“We commend EPA and David Ross, Assistant Administrator for Water, for launching this initiative and taking meaningful steps to break down barriers and create opportunities for water recycling in the U.S.,” Sinicropi said. “The actions outlined in the draft plan will help connect the dots and scale up recycling for a wide variety of important uses.”

The release also notes WateReuse Assn. sought input from its membership over the past eight months to include information and create a stakeholder community for the proposed plan. Also included in the months-long talks were AWWA, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation and the Water Research Foundation. Many of the recommendations from these agencies were included in the draft now available for public comment, according to the WateReuse release.

Read more articles about water reuse and water recycling:

Listen to an episode of Talking Under Water on water scarcity: