Earlier this month, the US Water Alliance and Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) launched the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems. Over the next several years, the Commission will develop model state and federal guidelines based on best practices and research in order to support the implementation of onsite non-potable water systems. The commission will also serve to identify new opportunities for water utilities to implement non-potable systems on a larger scale.
Although the benefits of non-potable systems have been widely recognized, policy and regulatory barriers have continued to constrain the adoption of non-potable water systems. With the national Blue Ribbon Commission formed, the goal will be to breach the political and regulatory barriers and develop a unique path that opens the door for water resiliency to all communities.
Decentralized water systems collect and treat wastewater onsite for beneficial reuse. These systems are efficient and provide a sustainable source of non-potable water that reduces strain on an already burdened municipal water and sewer system. Utilizing an alternative water source reduces the need to use valuable potable water for non-potable purposes such as heating, cooling, irrigation, and toilet flushing.
”Systems that treat and reuse water within buildings for irrigation, toilet flushing, and cooling, are an innovative tool for managing water resources,” said Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance in an interview with WE&RF. “But policy and regulatory barriers have prevented broader adoption for local municipalities. The US Water Alliance is proud to work with public health and water utility leaders to find solutions to these challenges.”
Over 30 individuals will meet for the first time in San Francisco to discuss plans for developing policy framework, business models, and methods for implementation. As communities, businesses, and policy makers advocate for a more sustainable source of water, the National Commission will lead the push to secure decentralized water reuse as a key instrument in the future of managing water resources.
Published December 29, 2016
 Water Environment & Reuse Foundation. US Water Alliance and Water Environment & Reuse Foundation Launch National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Systems. Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, December 2016. Web. http://www.werf.org/c/PressReleases/2016/US_Water_Alliance__WE_RF_Launch_National_Blue_Ribbon_Commission_for_Onsite_Non-potable_Water_Systems.aspx