Recycled Water Research Program
Quick Links for Recycled Water
Recycled Water Research Program
The State Water Board works with members of the recycled water community to identify knowledge gaps in recycled water research areas, for both potable and non-potable applications. Staff uses this input to develop recycled water research funding priorities. The State Water Board has historically funded recycled water research through the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, and Flood Protection Act (2000 Water Bond, Proposition 13) and other funding sources. The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (2014 Bond Law, Proposition 1) provides grant and low interest financing for water recycling projects.
The State Water Board may dedicate up to three percent of the Bond funding allocated to recycled water, as well as three percent of repayments from Bond-funded water recycling construction loans, to recycled water research and development as set forth in Water Code section 79144. The availability of Proposition 1 funding has provided the State Water Board with the opportunity to continue to facilitate recycled water research to advance the use of recycled water in California. The State Water Board authorized the Deputy Director of the Division of Financial Assistance to enter into agreements for recycled water research for the use of these funds in Resolution 2017-0034.
NEW! The Water Research Foundation has released a Request for Qualifications titled “Develop Standard Operating Procedures for the Collection, Storage, and Extraction of Aqueous Samples for IVB (in vitro bioassay) screening”.
This research will compliment research under development through the State Water Board's Recycled Water Research Program to expand the suite of bioanalytical screening tools for water quality applications.
Qualifications are due January 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm MT and the maximum award is $245,000.
Title: Research to Support the Development of Methods for Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA), Pathogen Monitoring, and Identification and Treatment of Unknown Contaminants for Potable Reuse Projects
|Recipient||The Water Research Foundation|
In March 2014, the State Water Board convened an expert panel, pursuant to Water Code section 13565, in part to provide the State Water Board recommendations regarding the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse. The expert panel stated that no additional research was needed to establish uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse, but recommended several areas of research that could be conducted either before and/or concurrently with the development of regulations to enhance the understanding of direct potable reuse and to further ensure that direct potable reuse is protective of public health. In December 2016, the State Water Board passed Resolution No. 2016-0061, stating it supports and encourages the use of recycled water, in part, by providing funding for research that will fill critical knowledge gaps to advance recycled water in California.
The purpose of this grant is to enhance the understanding of direct potable reuse in California by improving knowledge of quantitative microbial risk assessments and pathogen monitoring, and by identifying and treating for unknown constituents in direct potable reuse projects. This Research can be used by recycled water purveyors when developing direct potable reuse projects, so they have the information they need to develop and operate recycled water facilities in a safe and reliable manner. More information on the development of regulations for direct potable reuse can be found at the Division of Drinking Water’s website on direct potable reuse.
Title:Research to Advance Potable and Non-Potable Reuse in California
|Recipient||The Water Research Foundation|
To achieve the goals outlined in the Recycled Water Policy, research is needed to enhance the scientific understanding of non-potable and potable water reuse in California. In December 2016, the State Water Board passed Resolution No. 2016-0061, stating it supports and encourages the use of recycled water by providing funding support for research that will fill critical knowledge gaps.
The purpose of this grant is to enhance the understanding of potable and non-potable water reuse applications in California. Each year of the grant term (three years total), The Water Research Foundation identifies, develops, and prioritizes potable and non-potable recycled water research using their long-standing multi-phased process. Each year of the grant term, the Water Research Foundation convenes multiple subject-specific Advisory Committees (ACs) (e.g., Water Reuse and Desalination AC, Intelligent Water Systems AC, Sustainable Integrated Water Management AC), which are allocated a budget for their research area for the year. The ACs develop and identify the highest priority research within their area of expertise and recommend a list of research projects to the Research Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC reviews the proposed research recommendations from all ACs and develops consensus on a program of research within the allocated budget for the year that is reviewed and approved by the Water Research Foundation’s Board.
Research Selected in 2017
Research Selected in 2018
WRF 4959: Evaluation of Tier 3 Validation Protocol for Membrane Bioreactors to Achieve Higher Pathogen Credit for Potable Reuse
WRF 4960: Review of Industrial Contaminants Associated with Water Quality or Adverse Performance Impacts for Potable Reuse Treatment
Research Selected in 2019
WRF 5049: Benefits and Challenges in Pathogen Removal when Blending Advanced Treated Water with Raw Water Upstream of a Surface Water Treatment Plant in DPR
WRF 5052: Standardizing Methods with QA/QC Standards for Investigating the Occurrence and Removal of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria/Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARB/ARGs) in Surface Water, Wastewater, and Recycled Water
Please go to the Water Research Foundation website for more information on how to open RFPs.
Title: Research to Develop and standardize Bioanalytical Screening Tools
|Recipient||Southern California Coastal Water Research Project|
This grant is for the purpose of creating an in vitro bioassay (IVB) toolbox for a variety of ecological and human health endpoints to screen for bioactivity associated with exposure to a wide range of chemicals found in ambient and recycled water using a multi-stage development process.
Proposition 1 Funded Projects
- Research to Support Criteria Development for Direct Potable Reuse
- Reverse Osmosis Concentrate Treatment Research Results and Context for San Francisco Bay
Proposition 13 Funded Projects
- WERF 15-01 Potable Reuse Research Compilation: Synthesis of Findings Final Report, Water Environment & Reuse Foundation
- WERF 15-03 Scorecard for Evaluating Opportunities in Industrial Reuse
- WERF 15-08 Agricultural Use of Recycled Water Impediments and Incentives
- 2018 Final Report: Monitoring Strategies for Constituents of Emerging Concern in Recycled Water: Recommendations of a Science Advisory Panel (PDF)
- WRF-01-001 Alternative Methods for the Analysis of NDMA and other Nitrosamines in Water and Wastewater
- WRF-01-002 Removal and/or Destruction of NDMA during Wastewater Treatment Processes
- WRF-01-004 Best Practices for Developing Indirect Potable Reuse Projects
- WRF-02-001 Rejection of Wastewater-Derived Micropollutants in High-Pressure Membrane Applications Leading to Indirect Potable Reuse
- WRF-02-002 Investigation of NDMA Fate and Transport
- WRF-02-004 National Database on Water Reuse Facilities
- WRF-02-006a Zero Liquid Discharge and Volume Minimization for Wastewater Utility Application
- WRF-02-006b Beneficial and Nontraditional Uses of Concentrate
- WRF-02-006c Impacts of membrane Process Residuals on Wastewater Treatment
- WRF-02-006d Regional Solutions for Concentrate Management
- WRF-02-007 Using Surfactants in Optimizing Water Usage on Turfgrasses
- WRF-02-011 Framework for Developing Water Reuse Criteria with Reference to Drinking Water Supplies
- WRF-03-001 Pathogen Removal and Inactivation in Reclamation Plants – Study Design
- WRF-03-005 Marketing Nonpotable Recycled Water – A Guidebook for Successful Public Outreach and Customer Marketing
- WRF-03-006-01 Water Reuse Economic Framework Report
- WRF-03-006-02 An Economic Analysis of Sustainable Water Use – Benefits and Cost
- WRF-03-009 Reclaimed Water Aquifer Storage and Recovery: Potential Changes in Water Quality
- WRF-03-014 Development of Indicators and Surrogates of Chemical Contaminants and Organic Removal in Wastewater and Water Reuse
- WRF-04-010 Extend the Integrated resource Planning Process to Include Water Reuse and other Non-Traditional Waters
- WRF-04-011 Application of Microbial Risk Assessment Techniques to Estimate Risk Due to Exposure to Reclaimed Waters
- WRF-04-014 Decision Support System for Selection of Satellite vs. Regional Treatment for Reuse
- WRF-05-009 Dewatering Reverse Osmosis Concentrate from Water Reuse Applications Using Forward Osmosis
- WRF-08-02 Attenuation of PPCPs through Golf Course Using Recycled Water
- WRF-04-012 Collecting, Exploring, and Interpreting Microbiological Data Associated with Reclaimed Water Systems
- WRF-04-013 Development and Evaluation of Ultrafiltration Methods to Concentrate Pathogens from Reclaimed Water
- WRF-05-004 Development of Surrogates to Determine the Efficacy of Groundwater Recharge Systems for the Removal of Trace Organic Chemicals
- WRF-08-07 Disinfection Guidelines for Satellite Water Recycling Facilities
- WRF-08-06 Evaluation of Alternatives to Domestic Ion Exchange Water Softeners
- WateReuse-10-12 Feasibility Study on Model Development to Estimate and Minimize Greenhouse Gas Concentrations and Carbon Footprint of Water Reuse and Desalination Facilities
- WRF-05-011 Formation and Fate of Chlorination Byproducts in Desalination Systems
- WRF-05-002 Guidance Document on the Microbiological Quality and Biostability of Reclaimed Water Following Storage and Distribution
- WRF-05-005 Identifying Hormonally Active Compounds, Pharmaceuticals, and Personal Care Product Ingredients of Health Concern from Potential Presence in Water Intended for Indirect Potable Reuse
- WRF-08-10 Maximizing Recovery of Recycled Water for Groundwater Recharge Employing an Integrated Membrane System
- WRF-05-010 Oxidative Treatment of Organics in Membrane Concentrates
- WRF-04-017 Reaction Rates and Mechanisms of Advanced Oxidation Processes for Water Reuse
- WRF-05-008 The Effects of Salinity on the Removal of Contaminants of Concern during Biological Water Reclamation
- WRF-04-008 The Psychology of Water Reclamation and Reuse
- WRF-08-09 The Value of Water Supply Reliability in the Residential Sector
- WRF-08-05 Use of Ozone in Water Reclamation for Contaminant Oxidation
- WRF-09-03 Utilization of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Approach for Evaluating Integrity of Treatment Barriers for Reuse
Other Funded Projects:
2021 Panel on Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Ambient Ecosystems
The State Water Board and Ocean Protection Council are jointly funding the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project to reconvene the Science Advisory Panel on Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Aquatic Ecosystems (Panel) to update its recommendations for monitoring and management of CECs in marine, freshwater, and estuarine ecosystems. The Panel will update the risk prioritization framework developed in the 2012 report, Monitoring Strategies for Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California’s Aquatic Ecosystems, to address classes of chemicals, structurally-related chemicals, and data-poor chemical classes. The Panel will also provide the State Water Board with guidance on which classes of CECs have the potential to adversely impact marine, estuarine and freshwater wildlife, ecosystems, and beneficial uses, and will recommend management actions for the Water Boards to take to better address CECs in the aquatic environment.
The Panel began its deliberations with four two-hour public webinar meetings Oct 12-15, 2020. The Panel plans to deliberate through summer 2021 and will produce its final report in December 2021. For more information, please visit the SCCWRP website.
2018 Panel on Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Recycled Water
In accordance with the provisions of the Recycled Water Policy, Resolution 2016-0061, and Resolution 2017-0034, the State Water Board provided a grant to the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) to reconvene the 2010 Science Advisory Panel for Recycled Water that presented recommendations for monitoring CECs in recycled water. The Panel reviewed the conceptual framework developed in the 2010 report, evaluated the scientific literature since the Panel last met, and assessed the potential health risks associated with CECs in various water recycling qualities allowed under the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, and use of recycled water for augmentation of surface water reservoirs used to supply drinking water.
- Final Report: Monitoring Strategies for Constituents of Emerging Concern in Recycled Water: Recommendations of a Science Advisory Panel
Recycled Water Research Needs in California
October 2015 Workshop
The State Water Board held a workshop on October 27-28, 2015 in Costa Mesa focused on the state of the science, monitoring techniques, and water treatment reliability for constituents of emerging concern (CECs) in recycled water. The goal of the workshop was to help the State Water Board identify knowledge gaps to identify and prioritize CEC monitoring and treatment activities that will ensure water supplies from recycled water, including potable reuse, are protective of public health and the environment. The workshop included presentations from experts regarding monitoring and treatment performance for CECs, as well as breakout sessions intended to review and discuss the most important CEC research needs. At the conclusion of each day, a summary of recommendations based on the breakout discussions was developed by the participants.
October 27-28, 2015 Workshop Summary
October 2014 Workshop
The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) held a workshop on October 29, 2014 to enhance interaction among the many water quality management agencies affected by transition of drinking water oversight from the California Department of Public Health to the newly created State Water Board Division of Drinking Water. The workshop focused on developing shared research priorities for water reuse and stormwater capture, and included 57 invited leaders from stormwater, wastewater treatment and drinking water entities, as well as staff from the State Water Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards (collectively, Water Boards). The workshop considered issues associated with direct potable reuse, indirect potable reuse and surface water augmentation, and was organized around four research themes: (1) water quality and human health, (2) performance reliability (treatment, operations and training), (3) ambient water effects and (4) financial, environmental and social considerations. Participants were provided summaries of present knowledge and research needs within each theme area and were asked to help prioritize those needs.
October 29, 2014 Workshop Summary
2012 Panel on Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Aquatic Ecosystems
In April 2012, the State Water Board and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation jointly funded a scientific advisory panel to provide recommendations for monitoring CECs in aquatic ecosystems. The Panel provided recommendations in a report titled, “Monitoring Strategies for Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California’s Aquatic Ecosystems.” In the report, the Panel recommended using a risk-based screening framework to identify an initial list of CECs to monitor in aquatic ecosystems. The Panel also recommended implementing an adaptive, phased monitoring approach to assess the presence of the CECs and their potential risk to the environment.
- 2012 Final Report: Monitoring Strategies for Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) in California’s Aquatic Ecosystems – Recommendations of a Science Advisory Panel
2010 Panel on Constituents of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Recycled Water
In accordance with the provisions of the Recycled Water Policy, a Science Advisory Panel was established to address questions about regulating CECs with respect to the use of recycled water. The Panel’s primary charge was to provide guidance for developing monitoring programs that assess potential CEC threats from various water recycling practices, including groundwater recharge and urban landscape irrigation. Under contract with the State Water Resources Control Board and using advice from a diverse stakeholder group, SCCWRP convened the Science Advisory Panel.
Subscribe directly to the Recycled Water Policy Email List
Subscribe to our Recycled Water Policy email list to receive notifications and the latest updates. After subscribing, you will need to check your email host for a confirmation email to complete the subscription.