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Water Reuse Action Plan

On September 10, 2019, at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, California, EPA announced the release of a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan for public comment. This draft Action Plan seeks to foster greater consideration of water reuse across the water sector, such as agriculture, industry, potable water, national security, environmental restoration, and more. Safe and reliable water supplies for human consumption, agriculture, business, industry, recreation, and healthy ecosystems are critical to our nation’s communities and economy. Water reuse can improve the security, sustainability, and resilience of our nation’s water resources, especially when considered at the watershed or basin scale, through integrated and collaborative water- resource planning.

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Draft National Water Reuse Action Plan

The draft National Water Reuse Action Plan highlights key actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse across the water sector.  Development of the draft Action Plan has involved significant collaboration among federal, state, tribal, and water sector stakeholders. The draft Action Plan is intended to seek commitments across these stakeholder groups and levels of government, and drive action across the nation.  The plan consists of 46 proposed actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse applications across 10 strategic objectives.

EPA is seeking the engagement of governmental and non-governmental water sector organizations to identify priority actions and to lead and collaborate on actions identified in the draft Action Plan. EPA is soliciting public input through a 90-day comment period in the public docket (docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174).  Comment on or before December 16, 2019

Background on Water Reuse Action Plan Development

On February 27, 2019, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water, announced that the Agency would facilitate the development of a National Water Reuse Action Plan that will better integrate federal policy and leverage the expertise of both industry and government to ensure the effective use of the nation's water resources.

Since this announcement, EPA and its partners have engaged in significant efforts to identify and characterize opportunities to foster the consideration and implementation of water reuse. Development of the draft Action Plan has been informed from five different types of sources:

  • Analysis and summary of the water reuse literature (greater than 150 sources).
  • Outreach and dialogue with our collaborators and partners through existing forums with over 2,300 participants.
  • Public input submitted to the docket (more than 50 submissions).
  • WateReuse Association expert convenings held in 2019.
  • Review of selected international experiences.
  • Review of water reuse case studies from relevant applications throughout the United States.

A previous public comment period to inform development of the draft Action Plan closed July 1, 2019. Those comments can be accessed in the public docket at regulations.gov (docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174). EPA provided a discussion framework for the development of the draft action plan to frame the context of the draft National Water Reuse Action Plan during the public comment period.

About Water Reuse

Water reuse, sometimes also referred to as water recycling, may be viable for various applications, depending on site-specific conditions. Examples include agriculture and irrigation, potable water supplies, groundwater replenishment, industrial processes, and environmental restoration.

EPA supports water reuse as part of an integrated water resources management approach developed at the state, tribal, watershed, and local level to meet multiple needs. An integrated approach commonly involves a combination of water management strategies and engages multiple stakeholders and water needs.

EPA Resources about Water Reuse

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