Water policy and research priorities were the focus in a September 7 meeting of water industry leaders with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Seven organizations representing utilities that provide service to 90 percent of the population in the United States served by drinking water, wastewater, resource recovery, reuse, and stormwater systems discussed issues and common concerns in the energy-water-food nexus with the Secretary, as well as explored opportunities for collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE).
The group presented the water community’s energy and water management challenges and opportunities in water supply, treatment, and resource recovery, including:
• Legislation, Policy, and Regulation that Support Life Cycle Environmental Responsibility
• Alternative Water Resources, Availability and Demand, Treatment
• Emerging Technologies and Processes
• Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, and Demand Response
• Energy Recovery and Generation
• Climate Change Impacts
• Reliability and Resiliency
• Systems Complexity, Regional Challenges
The water sector organizations at the meeting included the Water Research Foundation, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and National Association of Water Companies. They are the leading national water sector research, educational, and advocacy organizations with memberships consisting of the majority of the large and medium U.S. water/wastewater utilities, plus consulting, manufacturing, academia, government, and other related stakeholders.
The group promotes the view that research and collaboration between the energy and water sectors can result in reliable, resilient, and sustainable systems that will stimulate energy efficiency and water conservation to benefit the customers we serve, public health, the economy, and the environment. DOE asked the organizations to provide further detail on the efforts that have shown promise in the identified areas of challenge and opportunity, with suggestions on the strongest opportunities for further support.