WWD interviews Patricia Sinicropi, Executive Director of the WateReuse Association
The WateReuse Association will present the 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium March 6-9, 2022 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas. Most of the symposium will also be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing on the WaterReuse virtual conference platform.
Ahead of the symposium, WWD Senior Editor Bob Crossen spoke with WateReuse Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi about the event and what lies ahead for the growing reuse sector. some water.
What is the WaterReuse Symposium?
Bob Crossen: Could you describe the WateReuse Symposium for those who don’t know?
Patricia Sinicropi: The annual WaterReuse Symposium is the premier conference dedicated to helping communities build resilience through water recycling. We have a truly comprehensive program that covers virtually every aspect of water recycling, from technology and innovation to policy and communications. Our collaboration with the Water Research Foundation in planning the event also means that we are able to include sessions that highlight cutting-edge research on water reuse.
The San Antonio Riverwalk is the perfect backdrop for our return to in-person symposiums. San Antonio has been a longtime leader in reuse and we will be able to tour local facilities and hear from local leaders. Since 2020, we have also developed and tested a robust virtual environment for the conference. We are therefore able to offer two great experiences: the in-person conference in San Antonio and a fully virtual conference. Or you can sign up for both!
Reasons to attend the WaterReuse Symposium
cross: Why should industry professionals attend?
Sinicropi: We have organized this year’s program as a call to action for the water reuse community to respond to the urgency of our changing Earth, including floods, fires, droughts and pandemics. There are nearly 90 technical sessions, plus a host, plenary panels and breakout sessions. Thus, the WaterReuse symposium is a convenient option for business and utility leaders to get the education and training they need to plan, implement, and maintain successful water reuse projects that support economic growth and climate resilience.
Utility leaders from across the country have already registered to present and attend, including Texas, California, Florida, South Carolina, New York and beyond. The main consulting firms in the field of water will also be present. This will be our first symposium with an in-person option since 2019 and opportunities to connect and network will abound.
cross: What makes this event different from others throughout the year?
Sinicropi: The WaterReuse Symposium focuses on the issues facing water recycling today. This means sessions on topics such as direct potable reuse, on-site and industrial reuse, technological innovation like carbon-based treatment and advanced oxidation processes, contaminants of concern and how to obtain funding and l public acceptance needed to achieve your reuse goals. You’ll meet and hear from the most relevant experts in the industry without getting lost in a sea of topics and booths.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Act Funds Water Reuse Efforts
cross: What role do you think the bipartisan Infrastructure Act (formerly known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) will play on water reuse initiatives in the coming years?
Sinicropi: The WaterReuse Association and our members were instrumental in securing $1 billion for water reuse in the infrastructure bill. This is an all-time high for reuse and means we will see large-scale investment over the next five years.
Now we are working to ensure that the money is used immediately. WateReuse has published a guide to new funding opportunities, and we’ll be highlighting these tips throughout the March symposium. This includes a special session featuring the EPA, Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal agencies involved in directing federal funding.
The future of water reuse
cross: How do you see conversations about Water Reuse evolving in 2022?
Sinicropi: This year, the WaterReuse Symposium program highlights the trends we are seeing in water reuse. One of them is nationwide adoption. Our panel discussion on “Different Drivers, Different Strategies” will highlight that water reuse is no longer just for the arid West. It features utilities from the East Coast, Midwest, and South, explaining how water reuse technologies offer solutions to stormwater management, water quality, industrial demands, and more.
Objectives of the WaterReuse association for 2022
cross: What are the 2022 objectives for the WaterReuse association?
Sinicropi: We are doing everything for our members this year. The WaterReuse association is particularly well placed to help our members benefit from the law on investment and employment in infrastructures. And we will continue to work with partners to advocate for funding proposed in Congress’ Build Back Better Act: $125 million for National Alternative Water Source Grants. We will also continue our leadership role in implementing the National Action Plan for Water Reuse, alongside the US EPA and other partners. We also continue to grow as a national organization. Our South Carolina chapter just launched in late 2021 and other mid-Atlantic and southern states are looking to establish official WaterReuse chapters. Our Texas Chapter has just hired a General Manager, highlighting the rapid growth of the water reuse industry in the region. With our chapters and membership at large, we will continue to engage, educate and advocate for increased adoption of water recycling programs to prepare more communities for the future.