The WateReuse Research Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved funding for seven new direct potable reuse (DPR) research projects, valued at more than $1 million. Since 2011, the Foundation has allocated $4.5 million to fund 26 DPR research projects, and with in-kind contributions and services, this research is valued at $11.5 million and counting.
The Foundation’s Direct Potable Reuse Intiative is supported by 71 water agencies, consulting firms, and manufacturers that have pledged more than $6 million to support research to advance DPR and to support California regulatory agencies in evaluating DPR as a potential water source in the state.
The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has set up an Expert Panel under its new Division of Drinking Water Programs (DDW) to make a determination about the feasibility of developing DPR criteria by 2016. All of the research under the Foundation’s DPR Initiative is made available to the Expert Panel for their consideration as they navigate this important task.
So far in 2014, the Foundation has had positive communication and collaboration with the Expert Panel. Through two meetings (March 5 and July 24) and a NWRI report (Vol Iand Vol II), WRRF has presented its DPR Research Plan and has received valuable guidance on additional research needed to ensure the safety of DPR.
In response to the research areas identified by the Expert Panel, the WRRF Research Advisory Committee (RAC) convened on September 6 in Dallas, TX to develop additional DPR research projects for funding. The RAC recommended a slate of seven new DPR projects valued at more than $1 million, which were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors during an October 2 teleconference. The Board also approved four DPR projects for funding earlier this year, which means that the Foundation has funded 11 new DPR research studies in 2014 alone.
Project Advisory Committees are being formed for the seven new projects and Requests for Proposals will be released in late 2014 and early 2015.