Water Recycling Leaders Remove Barriers and Elevate Opportunities

The world’s top experts in water reuse and recycling convened last week in Denver for the 2024 WateReuse Symposium to explore the unprecedented opportunities for global water recycling.

Water recycling, or water reuse, is the sustainable treatment and use of water multiple times before it is returned to the environment. It can serve many beneficial purposes including industrial cooling, environmental restoration, irrigation, and drinking. More than 900 water professionals from across the United States and around the world traveled to Denver to learn about the latest technologies, policy approaches, and operational strategies for building sustainable communities through water recycling.

“Today, more and more communities across the U.S. are becoming more environmentally sustainable from water recycling programs,” said Bart Weiss, Chief Officer for Innovation and Resiliency at Hillsborough County Public Utilities in Florida and WateReuse Association’s President. “That’s made possible by the hard work of the WateReuse Association and its members and the knowledge-sharing that takes place at this Symposium and other national, state, and local WateReuse events.”

The 2024 WateReuse Symposium featured a special focus on the role of water recycling in the future of the mighty Colorado River. The week began with a multimedia keynote address titled The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict from native Coloradan Pete McBride, a Sony Artisan of Imagery and a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Three municipal water leaders—Troy Hayes of Phoenix, Arizona; Alan Salazar of Denver, Colorado; and Deven Upadhyay of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California—participated in a lively plenary discussion about the river that their communities all rely on. The panelists discussed water recycling innovations and partnerships to help close the gap in the Colorado’s water supply, while balancing the needs of fast-growing cities and farms.

More than 50 international attendees from six continents joined the Symposium for the first Global Dialogue on Water Reuse. A new partnership between WateReuse Association and the International Desalination and Reuse Association (IDRA), the dialogue seeks to accelerate the adoption of water reuse in countries across the world. The Global Dialogue on Water Reuse will continue in December 2024 at the IDRA 2024 World Congress in Abu Dhabi.

On the final day of the Symposium, the 2024 Technology Showcase turned participants’ focus to the role of new technologies and processes in elevating water reuse opportunities. The showcase, in partnership with the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI), brought researchers and technologists to the stage to present their new and disruptive findings that could significantly improve or transform water recycling in the next five to 15 years.

“The advancements we have seen just in the past year are astonishing,” said Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association. “I cannot wait to see what new discoveries, ideas, and water reuse systems emerge by the time we meet again next year.”

The next meeting, March 16–19, 2025 in Tampa, Florida, will mark the 40th consecutive WateReuse Symposium.

Source: WateReuse Association

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