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WE&RF to Receive $4.5 Million Grant from California State Water Board for Recycled Water Research
June 21, 2017 (Alexandria, VA)  On June 6, 2017, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) was awarded a $4.5M grant from the California Water Resources Control Board. Under this grant, WE&RF will identify, prioritize, solicit, and select for funding research studies related to potable and non-potable water reuse.
Under the California Water Recycling Funding Program guidelines, the State Water Board has dedicated funding for recycled water research and development. In addition, the State Water Board’s Recycled Water Policy includes goals to significantly increase the use of recycled water over 2002 volumes. To achieve these goals, the State Water Board is investing in research to enhance the understanding and acceptability of all types of water reuse in California.
The potable reuse research projects funded under this grant will be guided by a recently completed State Water Board sponsored expert panel on the feasibility of developing direct potable reuse (DPR) regulations. In December 2016, the State Water Board published a legislatively mandated report that determined it is feasible to develop uniform water recycling criteria for DPR in California. That report, which relied in part on WE&RF research findings, identified scientific and technical challenges that must be addressed before criteria can be adopted to ensure that public health is reliably protected at all times. In addition, the expert panel recommended several areas of research that would enhance the understanding and acceptability of DPR in California. These research recommendations included conducting a literature review on potential health risks of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) likely to be present in recycled water, improving monitoring of pathogens in raw wastewater, and developing comprehensive analytical methods to identify unknown compounds. 
Under this grant, non-potable research projects will address water recycling for industrial, agricultural, and produced water (from energy). Potential topics include: health, social, and environmental issues; potential for non-potable reuse; critical gaps in treatment technologies and water quality; assessment of economic benefits; implementation of best practices; acceptance by users; approaches to optimize these processes; and analyses of the need for new reuse approaches in future non-potable water reuse management.
WE&RF has a longstanding research program which helps policymakers and the public understand the science, economic value, and environmental benefits of recycled water and the feasibility of new technologies. This grant builds on WE&RF’s existing recycled water research portfolio, which has helped to establish potable reuse – indirect and direct potable reuse – as a solution to the nation’s water supply challenges and as a reliable and sustainable component of integrated water management. 
“This research partnership between the State Water Board and WE&RF underscores California’s commitment to advancing recycled water and the Foundation’s capabilities to manage and conduct research,” explains Michael Markus, Co-Vice-Chair of the WE&RF Board of Directors and General Manager of California’s Orange County Water District. “This commitment of funding illustrates the value our Foundation provides to California and states across the U.S. that are implementing projects to improve water reliability,” he continued. 
Announcements on opportunities for researchers to be involved will be shared on later this summer.


The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) is a nonprofit (501c3) organization officially formed in July 2016 as the result of the merger of the Water Environment Research Foundation and the WateReuse Research Foundation. The merged research foundation, with a combined research portfolio representing over $200 million, conducts research to treat and recover beneficial materials from wastewater, stormwater, and seawater including water, nutrients, energy, and biosolids.