SWB Receives Update on Inaugural Volumetric Annual Reports of Wastewater and Recycled Water
On January 5, during their first meeting of 2021, the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) heard an informational item on the results of the first annual volumetric reporting for wastewater and recycled water. The reports were due last summer following the Board’s update of the recycled water policy in December 2018 and were required under Executive Order 2019-0037.
Board staff reported a 93% response rate (710 out 756) along with the reuse of 686,000 acre-feet of water in 2019 that was compliant with Title 22 standards. During the meeting, Board staff acknowledged this figure did not include the expected acre-feet from several large projects which have been initiated but are not yet operational, and likewise, that the figure was based on different criteria than the prior 2015 report which had included a significant amount of agricultural reuse and reuse for environmental enhancements which did not fall under Title 22 and therefore were excluded in the 2019 figure.
CASA and WateReuse both testified and plan to collaborate with the Board to attain additional information in the 2020 reports which will provide a fuller picture of the State’s progress in achieving its goals. Notably, Coastkeepers also testified and encouraged the use of permit requirements by Regional Water Boards to reduce ocean discharges and require more reuse. Finally, Board members and staff both recognized the need to eventually revise the current numeric recycled water goals to reflect the findings from the Water Research Foundation study assessing the quantity of water which feasibly can be recycled in California. Please reach out to Jared Voskuhl with questions.