A collaborative of water and wastewater utilities and public health agencies from across the nation and chaired by the SFPUC has received the President’s Award for Excellence for the group’s leadership in advancing onsite water reuse. The award was announced at the 34th annual WateReuse Symposium held this week in San Diego.
As a pioneer in the innovative use of water in the urban environment, the SFPUC has been leading a diverse group of utilities, municipalities, and public health agencies since 2014 to address challenges to widespread adoption of onsite water reuse. The SFPUC formalized the partnership and established the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems along with the US Water Alliance, the Water Research Foundation and WateReuse. Today, the group is comprised of more than 30 members representing 12 states and the District of Columbia.
The collaborative has made significant research contributions and advanced policies and regulations for onsite water reuse over the years. Leveraging funding from the Water Research Foundation, the collabortive has researched reports, guidebooks, and most recently, a training manual for designing and permitting onsite water systems were developed.
Buoyed by the leadership of the commission, numerous states, including California, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state, Oregon, and Washington D.C. are currently advancing regulations and policies supporting onsite water reuse programs. Several other states including Texas and Alaska are considering similar steps forward.
The SFPUC has long been a leader in onsite water recycling programs. In 2012, San Francisco passed an ordinance allowing for the collection, treatment, and use of alternate water sources for non-potable applications in individual buildings and at the district-scale. Earlier this year, the SFPUC celebrated the launch of the largest private onsite water recycling project in San Francisco.
Along with being honored for its work with the National Blue Ribbon Commission, the SFPUC’s Paula Kehoe received the Advocacy Achievement at the WaterReuse Symposium. That honor recognizes individuals who are making significant contributions in support of greater adoption of water reuse. As the Director of Water Resources, Kehoe oversees a team dedicated to developing new high-quality local water sources while diversifying the SFPUC’s water supplies.