On September 10, 2019, at the 34th Annual WateReuse Symposium in San Diego, California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a draft National Water Reuse Action Plan that identifies priority actions and the leadership and collaboration necessary between governmental and non-governmental organizations to implement these actions.
Water reuse represents a major opportunity to support our nation’s communities and economy by bolstering safe and reliable water supplies for human consumption, agriculture, business, industry, recreation, and healthy ecosystems. “Forty states anticipate experiencing freshwater shortages in certain regions within their borders over the next decade,” said U.S. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “Diversifying our nation’s water portfolio must be a nationwide priority, and water reuse has the potential to ensure the viability of our water economy for generations to come.”
The draft National Water Reuse Action Plan is the first initiative of this magnitude that is coordinated across the water sector; built upon extensive outreach, research and the prior engagement with the water sector. The inclusive approach used to develop the draft plan recognizes that meaningful advancement of water reuse is accomplished by working cooperatively with all water sector stakeholders.
The draft plan incorporates federal, state, tribal and local water perspectives and highlights key actions that support consideration and implementation of water reuse. EPA’s goal is to issue a final plan that will include clear commitments and milestones for actions that will further water reuse to bolster the sustainability, security, and resilience of the nation’s water resources.
EPA plans to solicit public input through a 90-day comment period in the public docket (docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0174) once the Federal Register notice is published.