Water Reuse Interagency Working Group
The Water Reuse Interagency Working Group, established May 2022 under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Sec. 50218), develops and coordinates actions, tools, and resources to advance water reuse across the United States. The Working Group is also charged with continued leadership of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP): a collaboration, begun in 2020, in which federal, state, tribal, local, and water sector partners work together to build communities’ capacity to pursue water reuse practices.
The Working Group builds on the WRAP’s initial success and momentum, continuing to drive technical, financial, and institutional progress on water reuse by leveraging the knowledge of scientists, policymakers, and local experts to create a more resilient water future for communities of all sizes. The Working Group will remain active until at least 2028 and can be extended at the discretion of the Chair.
On this page:
The Working Group is composed of senior representatives from across the federal government. Working Group members convene regularly to support ongoing federal engagement and coordination around water reuse, including through implementation of the WRAP.
Members were selected from an earlier federal workgroup established in 2019 to help develop the WRAP. A compilation of profiles, available online, illustrates each federal partner’s context, role, and opportunities to champion reuse within their mission area.
Working Group participants that partner on WRAP actions and/or provide water reuse insight and expertise include:
- Executive Office
- Council on Environmental Quality
- Office of Management and Budget
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- General Services Administration
- U.S. Agency for International Development
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Agricultural Research Service
- Economic Research Service
- Food Safety and Inspection Service
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Water and Environmental Programs
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Defense Centers for Public Health-Aberdeen
- U.S. Department of Energy
- U.S. Department of the Interior
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- U.S. Geological Survey
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The Working Group’s responsibilities are described, along with the ways in which it fulfills each of them.
Leverage the expertise of industry, the research community, nongovernmental organizations, and government. More than 100 federal, state, tribal, local, and water sector organizations actively partner on the implementation of WRAP actions. Additionally, Working Group members coordinate with industry stakeholders, researchers, and NGOs as appropriate to each agency’s mission and share relevant observations and feedback with each other through quarterly informational meetings.
Foster water reuse as an important component of integrated water resources management (IWRM). An IWRM approach to reuse is one of the guiding principles outlined in National Water Reuse Action Plan: Collaborative Implementation (February 2020): “Water reuse must not be considered in isolation or as a unique outcome; rather, it should be considered as one potential tool in the [IWRM] framework ‘toolbox,’ and it is perhaps best accomplished at the watershed scale.” To help drive progress on this front, the first WRAP strategic theme is “Integrated Watershed Action,” which includes several actions that reflect strong involvement of Working Group members.
Conduct an assessment of new opportunities to advance water reuse and annually update the WRAP with new actions, as necessary, to pursue those opportunities. EPA and Working Group agencies regularly assess new opportunities and potential partners to advance water reuse. EPA facilitates the onboarding of new WRAP actions, which reflect voluntary commitments by the involved leader organizations. Newly released actions are featured in the WRAP Quarterly Update, and the public is encouraged to provide feedback and express interest in being a collaborator.
Coordinate federal programs and policies to support the adoption of water reuse. National water programs are implemented throughout many federal agencies and departments. Stakeholders have expressed that the lack of a unified, coherent federal policy supporting water reuse can be a barrier to fully leveraging federal resources (technical and financial). As an initial step toward a more coordinated federal approach to reuse, the very first WRAP action (Action 1.1) developed a federal policy statement to support and encourage consideration of water reuse in a watershed-scale planning context. This Working Group helps maintain that coordination through ongoing conversations and collaboration on water reuse priorities.
Consider how each federal agency can explore and identify opportunities to support water reuse through the programs and activities of that federal agency. EPA has been convening federal partners to coordinate on water reuse opportunities and activities on a quarterly basis since the WRAP was first conceived in 2019. In fact, about 80 percent of WRAP actions reflect federal involvement. Importantly, beyond each agency’s individual efforts, the WRAP encourages interagency collaborations that represent critical progress toward incorporating water reuse into programs and policies, supporting technical and scientific advancements and understanding, and building awareness and sharing knowledge.
Consult, on a regular basis, with representatives of relevant industries, the research community, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). EPA and other Working Group members facilitate broad, ongoing external engagement as part of the overarching WRAP effort. Additionally, federal partners leading actions meet quarterly with external action leader organizations, which include relevant industries, the research community, and NGOs. EPA also welcomes broader public feedback and involvement. For example, anyone may propose and lead new actions that advance water reuse planning and implementation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, while the Online Platform includes contact information for each WRAP action to facilitate input and collaboration.
EPA will submit a report to Congress on the activities and findings of the Working Group beginning in 2024 and continuing every two years as long as the group remains active.
The Online Platform contains the most up-to-date information on WRAP actions that represent the collaborative efforts of more than 100 partner organizations.
Additionally, the WRAP collaborative releases monthly newsletters and quarterly updates through its public listserv (email email@example.com to join). Current and archived WRAP quarterly updates are also posted online.