WE&RF and Brown and Caldwell Partner to Further Potable Reuse Research

The adoption of potable reuse and the ability to improve water supply reliability is poised to accelerate, as the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) brings on more partners to help fund research through its newly launched Advancing Potable Reuse Initiative.   

In addition to $4.5 million that WE&RF was recently awarded from the California State Water Resources Control Board, water utilities, consulting firms, and other partners are stepping up to make monetary donations and in-kind contributions. 

Brown and Caldwell, a leading environmental engineering and construction firm, made a $100,000 contribution in September to support the Initiative’s goal of establishing potable reuse as a solution to the nation’s water supply challenges and as a reliable and sustainable component of integrated water management. 

The Advancing Potable Reuse Initiative will build on WE&RF’s existing water reuse research portfolio and will help policymakers and the public understand the science, economic value, and environmental benefits of recycled water and potable reuse. Under the Initiative, WE&RF proposes raising $4 million in matching funds to address questions in states across the U.S. that are developing potable reuse regulations and/or implementing projects. 

Potable reuse programs are currently underway in a number of states, including California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia. Many of these states are considering groundwater replenishment and/or surface water augmentation with recycled water for the first time. In addition, there is strong interest in the potential for direct potable reuse. 

“This initiative will have far-reaching benefits not only in California, a state greatly in need of alternative water supply solutions, but in other regions, as well,” said Wendy Broley, Brown and Caldwell water reuse leader. “Collectively, we can make significant strides towards helping communities adapt to water shortages, make their systems more resilient, and diversify water portfolios while reducing environmental impacts.” 

Jonathan Heller