For over three decades, the WateReuse Association has been dedicated to advancing laws, policy, funding, and public acceptance of recycled water. WateReuse represents a coalition of utilities that recycle water, businesses that support the development of recycled water projects, and consumers of recycled water. On a recent episode of MPT’s podcast, The Efficiency Point, the association’s executive director, Pat Sinicropi, shared her vision of the organization’s mission and the water industry’s future.
MPT: How does the WateReuse Association’s mission advocate for expanding the use of recycled water?
Pat Sinicropi: Our mission is really to start a movement, a national movement, toward water recycling, to develop public acceptance across the country and across the many regions where water resource challenges are putting pressure on rate payers and regions and emphasize ways that water recycling can help.
So our mission is pretty expansive, but we think really in many ways, water recycling is the future of water resource management and our mission is to expand its adoption. We do that through advocating for policies and funding at the federal level and our sections—we have several state sections—who do the work at the state level, advocating for policies and funding to facilitate the adoption of water recycling practices locally.
MPT: More people—both in industry and municipalities—are accepting the notion of water as a finite resource. What are some ways water reuse can ease the pressure on our available water supply?
Pat Sinicropi: First of all, don’t waste water. Often you’ll hear the phrase wastewater, but there’s no such thing as “waste” water—it’s only wasted water. And water recycling attempts to use every reuse, every drop of water, for a beneficial purpose, so whether you are along the coast or in the middle of the country. If you are facing supply challenges, water recycling allows you to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the water you’re using. Not only once, but twice and three times, so we really try not to waste water.
MPT: Which industries do you see reaping the most benefits from water reuse today? And where is there the biggest potential for growth?
Pat Sinicropi: We’re seeing a lot of growth in the tech sector, specifically in data centers’ use of recycled water, which they use for cooling. It’s easier to recycle water as a coolant as it doesn’t need to be repurposed as drinking water quality water for cooling. Some of these facilities are enormous and generate a great deal of heat, so it takes a lot to keep those data centers cool and running, and we’re seeing a lot of growth in the use of water of recycled water.
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