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EPA Facilitates Further Progress in Evolution of the National Water Reuse Action Plan

09/16/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (September 16, 2020) — Today, at the virtual 35th Annual WateReuse Symposium, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) facilitated a “charrette” to identify challenges and map solutions to continue advancing the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). While EPA and its partners across the water user community have made expeditious and meaningful progress under the WRAP, the charette lays the groundwork to accelerate this progress and help ensure the security, sustainability and resilience of our nation’s water resources—today and for future generations.

“Water reuse must be a central theme in EPA’s efforts to meet 21st century demands for water,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “While we are extremely proud of the progress made, the WRAP was designed as a living plan where EPA and its partners can build momentum from successes to continue diversifying our nation’s water portfolio while supporting our water economy for generations to come.”

During a live interactive session on envisioning the future of water reuse, Assistant Administrator Ross delivered remarks that outlined a vision for reuse where communities, agriculture, and businesses in both water-scarce and water-rich regions increasingly turn to reuse to diversify their supply portfolios for current and future needs. The panel discussion considered reuse through the lens of a water-scarce community, a water-abundant community, and an industrial customer. It featured New York City Department of Environmental Protection Senior Policy Advisor to the Bureau of Sustainability Dr. David Lipsky; Austin Water Systems Planning Engineer Katherine Jashinski; and Coca-Cola North America Supply Chain Water/Wastewater Technology Manager Paul Bowen.

Additionally, during the symposium, WateReuse President Gilbert Trejo presented the association’s 2020 President’s Award to EPA’s WRAP team for facilitating the collaborative development of the Water Reuse Action Plan, released earlier this year. The WRAP identifies 37 specific actions led by a spectrum of federal, state, local and other water sector interests to improve the security, sustainability and resilience of our nation’s water resources.

Over the coming months, EPA will be seeking input from stakeholders that will help inform the next iteration of the Action Plan, which is slated for release in Spring 2021. The next version will highlight progress on individual actions, demonstrate collective impact, and onboard a new suite of actions to continue to advance water reuse considerations. For more information on the WRAP effort and action implementation progress, visit: https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan.

Background

Water reuse—sometimes referred to as water recycling—is an innovative and dynamic strategy that can dramatically change the future of water availability in the United States. Water reuse can be used to meet water demands and mitigate the risks posed by droughts. Additionally, recycled water can be used for a wide variety of applications, including agriculture, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes and environmental restoration. Further developments in water reuse provide more secure, sustainable and safe water supplies across the country.