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EPA taps public, private channel toward Water Reuse Action Plan

A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative aims to leverage industry and government expertise to ensure the effective use of the nation’s water resources. “[They] are the lifeblood of our communities, and the federal government has the responsibility to ensure all Americans have access to reliable sources of clean and safe water,” says Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “There is innovative work happening across the sector to advance water reuse, and the EPA wants to accelerate that work through coordinated federal leadership.”

The Water Reuse Action Plan will seek to foster recycling as an important component of integrated water resource management. EPA will facilitate discussions among federal, state, and water sector stakeholders and form new partnerships to develop and deploy the plan. A draft of the plan is scheduled for release and public review in September at the Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego. Agency actions are part of a larger effort by the Trump Administration to better coordinate and focus taxpayer resources on some of the nation’s most challenging water resource concerns, including ensuring water availability and mitigating the risks posed by droughts. EPA will work with the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, plus other federal partners to collaboratively address water supply, resiliency, and other resource management priorities.

“Communities across the country are facing water shortages, and it is the role of the federal government to ensure that all have reliable access to the water needed to protect human health and maintain our robust economy,” notes Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tim Petty.

EPA has previously supported water reuse efforts, including development of the 2017 Potable Reuse Compendium and Guidelines for Water Reuse, but the Water Reuse Action Plan is the first initiative of this magnitude that is coordinated across the sector. Ongoing efforts by other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grand Water Security Challenge, and by various non-governmental organizations dedicated to water resources management, will be coordinated as part of the overarching strategy to advance water reuse.