Reprint of Press Release: EPA and Partners Announce Collaborative Implementation of the National Water Reuse Action Plan
WASHINGTON Feb. 27, 2020 — Today, at an event at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Mary B. Neumayr joined federal, state, tribal, local and water sector partners to announce the National Water Reuse Action Plan: Collaborative Implementation (Version 1). The actions that EPA and its partners commit to in the Action Plan will help strengthen the sustainability, security and resilience of our nation’s water resources by creating new partnerships, providing accountability and promoting communication and transparency with a new online platform.
“A reliable water reuse program provides great opportunity for alternatives to existing water supplies across the nation to enhance water security, sustainability, and resilience for communities, rural and urban alike, across the country,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By launching this phase of the National Water Reuse Action Plan, federal agencies are driving progress on this national priority and delivering on President Trump’s commitment to ensuring a reliable supply of water for our nation.”
“Under President Trump’s leadership, we are pursuing an aggressive approach to ensuring reliable and secure water delivery—driven by modern technology and the best possible science. As our water users are preparing for the future—by strengthening their own water systems and integrating new technologies—collaboration across federal partners is critical to supporting rural and urban water users alike. The National Water Reuse Action Plan will guide the Administration’s efforts to provide safe, affordable, and reliable water to the American people,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.
“President Trump and his Administration are committed to making it easier for farmers to succeed and to ensure they are the most innovative in the world. Administrator Wheeler’s action plan on water reuse will help inspire creative, problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests – ultimately improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“As we pursue practical approaches to address our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges, including water scarcity, this Administration strongly supports developing modern, resilient infrastructure to effectively manage our nation’s water resources,” said White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Mary B. Neumayr. “One way to support our nation’s communities, economy and environment is by continuing to develop additional opportunities for water reuse to promote safe and reliable water supplies for our homes, businesses, agricultural communities, recreation, and healthy ecosystems. The National Water Reuse Action Plan is a practical example of agencies coming together to improve use of technology to increase water reliability and better manage our nation’s water resources.”
“The Department of Energy is delighted to support EPA’s efforts on the National Water Reuse Action Plan through our Water Security Grand Challenge,” said U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Daniel R. Simmons. “Water is a critical resource for human health, economic growth, and agricultural productivity. We are calling on the power of competition and drawing on the strengths of our partners and stakeholders to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.”
“Our nation is blessed with abundant access to safe and reliable water sources throughout our country. However, as our country and economy continues to expand, we must ensure that this reliability continues for future generations. I am pleased the administration has taken a forward-looking approach to include federal, state and tribal agencies, along with a multitude of diverse stakeholders, to put out the WRAP. It is an example of the good that comes when government and the private sector work together to lay out practical suggestions to steward our natural resources well,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04).
“Finding new ways to preserve and protect water in Oklahoma is one of our top priorities as a state. Today’s release of the “Water Reuse Action Plan” shows that the federal government is serious about leading in their mission to assist all 50 states as well as sovereign tribal nations in developing valuable resources out of previously worthless water. These goals cannot happen without the full partnership of states, tribes, local governments and our federal partners across all agencies working together. Kudos to the Trump Administration and Administrator Wheeler for their leadership in this important endeavor,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Energy & Environment Ken Wagner.
“The U.S. Department of State is excited to use the WRAP as a tool to raise awareness about water reuse around the world. By encouraging partner governments to adopt water re-use policies, management approaches, and new technologies – many of which were made here in America – the State Department is helping to implement the President’s Global Water Strategy. And, through our outreach efforts, all of the people and agencies who contributed to the WRAP are also helping to make other nations more water-secure,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Marcia Bernicat.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to work with its federal partners and local sponsors to identify opportunities and include water reuse features in congressionally authorized Civil Works projects,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Ryan Fisher.
Over the next decade, 40 states anticipate some freshwater shortages within their borders. The Action Plan supports the President’s memorandum on Promoting a Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West and will help advance water reuse technology that has the potential to ensure the viability of our water economy for generations to come. The Action Plan is a collaborative effort that represents the first initiative of its magnitude to be coordinated across the water sector and builds on more than four decades of water reuse experience and practice. It frames the business case that water reuse is a viable and growing means of supporting our economy and improving the availability of freshwater for farmers, industry, communities, and ecosystems. The Action Plan identifies 37 specific actions across 11 strategic themes to be led by a spectrum of federal, state, local and private sector interests. The Action Plan reflects new partnerships, generates action through more than 200 initial implementation milestones and provides accountability through transparency and routine progress updates.
For more information, including opportunities to engage with EPA on this effort and to find implementation progress updates, visit: https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan
Produced water and flowback water are generated from the CBM, shale gas, and shale oil wells. Produced water is water that is withdrawn from the coal seam and shale through the vertical wells drilled into the coal seam and shale in order to release the hydrostatic pressure to enable gas/oil collection at the surface.
Flowback water is used to fracture coal seam cleats and shale in order to open the fissures that enable the release of the gas from the formation if the natural fissures are not fully developed. This water is pumped into the formation and then eventually collected at the surface in a manner similar to the collection of the produced water.
SCS Engineers employs several technologies to reuse, or at the end of the reuse cycle, dispose of production and flowback water.