Water reuse is gaining in acceptance and popularity across the country, and for good reason. Water reclamation and treatment technology can treat and purify wastewater to such a degree that it is often cleaner than water in the local rivers or water bodies it is ultimately dumped into. It is only natural that recycled water should find a use in industrial applications, aquifer recharge, and indirect potable reuse. 

In our cover story, I interview Amy Dorman, deputy director of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department, about the city’s impressive Pure Water project. Within 20 years, Pure Water will be providing 83 million gallons a day (MGD) of purified water to San Diego; within 5 years, it should be providing 20 MGD. Exciting things are also happening up the coast at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Deven Upadhyay, Metropolitan’s chief operating officer and assistant general manager, tells us about the agency’s newly completed demonstration plant and its ultimate plan to build a full-scale, 150 MGD water reuse plant in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. 

You may not know it, but Target Field, the home of the Minneapolis Twins, is a water reclamation facility on a grand scale. Pentair, a large international water solutions company, has installed a rainwater capture system in the stadium that has saved 20 million gallons of water over the last decade, as well as drinking water stations for the Twins’ fans. Joe Mouawad of Eastern Municipal Water District tells us about even more uses for recycled water. Eastern provides reuse water not just to an artificial wetlands project but to farmland and industrial applications. Jason Dadakis of Orange County Water District tells us about the chemicals known as PFAS compounds and explains how his agency is helping detect their presence in water and ensuring that they are not introduced into groundwater through recharge activities. WateReuse Association Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi gives us a view from Washington with a report on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Reuse Action Plan. Finally, we speak with Art Shapiro of the Howard County, Maryland, Department of Public Works about how his agency provides 5 MGD of reclaimed water to an army post in his area. 

With so many applications across the country, it is no surprise that water reuse is growing in popularity. There is truly a use that is appropriate for every municipal water provider. I hope that the stories in this issue of Municipal Water Leader jump-start your thought process and get you to start thinking about what application is right for you. 

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader and Irrigation Leader magazines. He is also president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations, marketing, and publishing company he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at kris.polly@wateretrategies.com