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The November 2016 issue of Water Environment & Technology (WE&T) features an article co-authored by three employees of MWH, now part of Stantec. “Seeking the final piece,” by Katherine (Kati) Bell of Nashville, Allegra da Silva of Denver, and Meredith Parkin of Sacramento, tackles the topic of direct potable reuse – a timely issue that is gaining attention worldwide, but comes with interesting regulatory challenges in the United States.

As utilities look to future-proof their water supplies, many are looking to direct potable reuse, a practice that is not governed by U.S. federal rules or regulations. As such, states must work within the existing regulatory framework provided by the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. The article examines the intersection of these acts, and how it applies to both de facto and planned reuse.

“While currently there are no federal regulations specifically governing potable reuse in the U.S., there are also no federal legal prohibitions against this practice,” the article states. While some states forbid direct potable reuse, the landscape is changing – North Carolina recently lifted its ban, for example.

The article is only available to WEF members due to copyright regulations, however please do feel free to reach out to the authors if you are interested in discussing their analysis of the current situation, as well as their recommendations for policy as the pressure on our water resources increases.

Kati Bell is the water reuse global practice leader for MWH, now part of Stantec. Allegra da Silva is the Rocky Mountain water reuse practice leader, and Meredith Parkin is a principal environmental scientist.