Two New Alternative Water Supply Resources are Now Available

New Guidance for Direct Potable Reuse

A new guidance document, entitled Framework for Direct Potable Reuse, was published on September 14, 2015 by a National Water Research Institute (NWRI) Independent Advisory Panel.  The Framework document was developed to help state regulatory agencies and water utilities develop guidelines for safely converting wastewater into municipal drinking water through the emerging practice of direct potable reuse (DPR). It is the result of a collaborative effort between WateReuse, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, and NWRI.

The Framework document includes information about costs, benefits, energy requirements, and comparative issues with other water sources and measures; and examines three key components of a DPR program that include regulatory considerations (e.g., measures to mitigate public health risks), technical issues related to the production of advanced treated water, and public support and outreach.  For more information and to download the report, go to:  www.watereuse.org.

GWPC Publishes Alternative Water Supplies Chapter in Groundwater Report

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) has published a new chapter (Section 11) on alternative water supplies as part of its Groundwater Report to the Nation…A Call to Action.  The 26 page document includes general information about climate variability and water scarcity; discusses options for using alternative water supplies; shares case studies; and recommends actions for legislation and regulatory programs, education, research, and resource planning.

The chapter includes case studies from Kansas, Oregon, Texas, Hawaii, and Colorado; and covers topics on saline groundwater resources and desalination; hydraulic fracturing impacts on water quantity; stormwater harvesting; aquifer storage and recovery; and water reuse.  Some of the recommended actions at the end of the document include:

  • Congress should support research and development of innovative water conservation and supply augmentation strategies, and fund groundwater-related information collection required to implement national initiatives and legislation (such as the SECURE Water Act).
  • States should consider changes to water laws and practices that allow flexibility for addressing drought or climate impacts, and options for using water recycling to meet competing demands and requirements.
  • States and local governments should implement new stormwater regulations and innovative technologies to address surface water quality problems and prevent contamination of groundwater.
  • EPA and states/tribes should examine and address problems that are preventing the use of aquifer storage and recovery and desalination technology.
  • Education programs should be developed to highlight the value of using alternative water supplies, and provide information to water planners on how to characterize alternative resources; select treatment technologies; and determine costs to produce, develop, and provide delivery infrastructure.
  • USGS and states should continue to develop brackish and saline water resource information.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation, EPA, DOE, and USGS should continue to support research on the benefits and obstacles for implementing wastewater reuse, as well as define and study effects of emerging contaminants on drinking water.
  • States should identify water requirements needed for future growth, and develop integrated growth and water supply impact scenarios.
  • All levels of government should evaluate current and future capacity for using alternative water resources as part of their water management planning process and provide funding to address management at the local level.

For more information on the Groundwater Report to the Nation and to read and download the chapter on alternative water supplies, visit the GWPC web site at: http://www.gwpc.org/ground-water-report-nation.

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