OCWD Commends Collaboration of EPA’s National Water Reuse Action Plan
The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for releasing the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP) which was developed in collaboration with water sector organizations to accelerate adoption of water reuse.
The plan identifies priority actions and the leadership and collaboration that are needed between governmental and nongovernmental organizations to implement these actions. This is a significant step forward to diversify water portfolios and increase the supply of safe and reliable water.
“We commend EPA for making reuse a national priority,” said OCWD President Vicente Sarmiento. “There’s tremendous potential to expand these types of projects. In Southern California alone, there are 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater discharged to the ocean every day. Here in Orange County, we see wastewater as a resource and I am proud to say that we are tapping into that resource as we expand what is already known as the world’s largest water reuse project of its kind, the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). In 2023, the GWRS will produce 130 million gallons a day of water, which is enough for 1 million people.”
EPA announced its intent to facilitate the development of the WRAP in February 2019. National water organizations including the WateReuse Association, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, and The Water Research Foundation worked in partnership with utilities, businesses, and governments to provide recommendations for the plan.
The WRAP identifies tools related to education, policy, technology development, research, and a variety of other mechanisms to increase the likelihood that more cities and states will consider incorporating water reuse into their water management strategy. Continuing collaboration among public and private partners through the WRAP could enable the U.S. to recycle as much as 80% of all its water in the next 50 years.
OCWD supports the National Water Reuse Action Plan and will continue to collaborate on this important issue. Having operated the GWRS, a joint project of OCWD and Orange County Sanitation District, for more than 12 years, it has been committed to sharing information and best practices for the success of water reuse projects around the globe.
“It was a tremendous honor to hear EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler recognize the GWRS as a shining example for communities across the nation, as he launched the Nation Water Reuse Action Plan. We welcome thousands of visitors annually to see our plant and taste the water so that we can continue to create awareness of and support for water reuse. We are one water community and collaboration is key to the success for a water resilient future,” added President Sarmiento.