2018 Water Reuse Program

Research Projects supported by State Water Board Grant 2
In 2018, the Water Reuse (potable and non-potable) research projects are supported by State Water Board grant agreement D1705003 + Advancing Potable Reuse fundraising initiative + WRF budget.


WRF is currently seeking proposals for several projects supported by State Water Board Grant 2. Visit the Funding page for more information. (8/29/18)

Potable Reuse

Integration of High Frequency Performance Data for Microbial and Contaminant Control in Potable Reuse Systems (Reuse-PD-18-01)
Operations, $400,000
Research Manager – Grace Jang
  • Evaluate the integration of performance data and statistical process control (e.g., control charts) into potable reuse operations.
  • Evaluate the use of control charts for process control.
  • Develop recommendations to design potable reuse monitoring and control systems to process and utilize the large quantity of data collected on a real-time basis.
  • Develop recommendations for the commissioning of sensors networks and monitoring systems.

Compiling Evidence of Pathogen Reduction through Managed Aquifer Recharge and Recovery (Reuse-PD-18-03) 
Monitoring and Validation, $100,000
Research Manager – Stefani McGregor
  • Document and quantify performance of pathogen reduction through groundwater based on the following parameters:
    - Residence Time
    - Aquifer characteristics, both physical and geochemical
    - Temperature
    - Source water quality
    - Method of introduction (surface spreading vs. direct injection)

Indicator Viruses for Advanced Physical Treatment Process Performance Confirmation (Reuse-PD-18-04)

Monitoring and Validation $300,000
Research Manager – Grace Jang
  • Review and summarize research conducted evaluating the removal of viruses by advanced physical treatment processes.
  • Recommend virus types and cost-effective quantification methods for use in periodic evaluation of performance of advanced physical treatment processes
  • Collect full-scale virus data (e.g. RNA, DNA, pathogens, etc.) for treatment processes and aquifer recharge projects
  • Correlate, where possible, full-scale sampling virus data with potential online surrogates.

New Techniques, Tools, and Validation Protocols for Achieving Log Removal Credit across NF and RO Membranes (Reuse-PD-18-05)
Monitoring and Validation, $350,000
Research Manager – Justin Mattingly
  • Build off the results from project WRRF-12-07.
  • Perform extensive challenge testing under a variety of conditions (ex: oxidized membrane, chemically clean membrane, new membrane).
  • Evaluate chemicals and particles at the same time; consider possible relationship between the two.
  • Consider the use of QPCR techniques.  

The Use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Metagenomics Approaches to Evaluate Anti-Microbial Resistance, Plant Challenge, Biological Removal Processes (Reuse-PD-18-10) 

Monitoring and Antibiotic Resistance, $300,000
Research Manager – Stefani McGregor
  • Include case studies that show the applicability of these technologies as well as pit-falls that may be encountered. Examples include, 1) how do microbial communities impact treatment systems (e.g., biological filtration), and 2) how these methods can be used to inform risk, including antibiotic resistance.
  • Special attention should be given to the following: data interpretation, databases used to query, importance of peer review and appropriate expertise in initiation and management of the project.

Review of Industrial Contaminants Associated with Water Quality or Adverse Performance Impacts for Potable Reuse Treatment (Reuse-PD-18-11)
Source Control, $200,000
Research Manager – Ashwin Dhanasekar
  • Identify contaminants or families of compounds related to industry or manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceuticals, CECs, etc.), and the types of industries that may discharge these compounds.
  • Group listed contaminants in terms of risk to water quality (public health and aesthetic) and impact to advanced treatment effectiveness (e.g. loss of throughput, impact to treatment, etc.).
  • Develop mitigation strategies including, but not limited to, treatment, inspection frequency and methodology, and monitoring requirements.

Considerations and Blending Strategies for Drinking Water System Integration with Alternative Water Supplies (Reuse-PD-18-12)
Treatment and Distribution, $400,000
Research Manager – Stephanie Fevig
  • Identifying and evaluating impacts of alternative water supplies, such as potable reuse, on the water quality to the end users’ existing drinking water systems that have known issues with tuberculation (e.g., corrosion, biological regrowth, legionella, aesthetics, biofilm, etc.)
  • Understand impacts of blending ratios of alternative water supplies, including potable reuse, at a full-scale system into existing treated water on a variety of issues (e.g., nitrification, total chlorine residual, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc.).
  • Develop management strategies and options to mitigate adverse impacts.

Evaluation of Tier 3 Validation Protocol for Membrane Bioreactors to Achieve Higher Pathogen Credit for Potable Reuse (Reuse-PD-18-17)
Monitoring and Validation, $25,000
Research Manager – Justin Mattingly
  • Determine if a proposed Tier 3 validation protocol for MBRs is feasible.
  • Adapt validation protocol for potential testing in the United States.
  • Develop recommendations on how to implement protocol.

Nonpotable Reuse 

Identifying the Amount of Wastewater that is Available and Feasible to Recycle in California (Ag-PD-02)
Research Manager – Stephanie Fevig
  • Identify the amount of treated municipal wastewater that is available for recycled water production now in California and projected into the future.
  • Determine how much of the treated municipal wastewater much could feasibly be produced and used, and the associated cost (feasibility should consider the required minimum instream flows, water quality, and feasibility considerations including cost).

Developing a New Foundational Understanding of SAR – Soil Structure Interactions to Provide Management Options for Reclaimed Water Use in Agriculture (Ag-PD-07)
Research Manager – Kristan VandenHeuvel
  • Investigation for a better understanding of SAR/EC interactions with specific soils (e.g. textural classes, SOM content).
  • Investigation of specific plant – soil interactions as affected by irrigation with saline waters.

Assessing the State of Knowledge and Impacts of Recycle Water Irrigation on Agricultural Crops (Ag-PD-09)

Research Manager – Kristan VandenHeuvel
  • Create a database regarding the characterization and variability of recycled water quality used for agricultural irrigation and treatment technologies.
  • Assess recycled water properties (such as TDS, SAR, sodium and chloride concentrations) and potential impacts on soil physical, chemical, and microbial properties crossing a range of different types of soil and agricultural management.

Potential of Oilfield Produced Water for Irrigation in California (
Research Manager – Ashwin Dhanasekar
  • Evaluate Title-22 Recycled Water Regulations as a Science and Policy Template for produced water.
    - Review the history – both procedural and scientific - for developing Title-22 Recycled water regulations.
    - Review Scientific Literature and Identify Data Gaps on produced water reuse.
    - Prioritize Data Needed in Support of a produced water Fit-For-Purpose Classification Framework.
  • Develop a geospatial model and online, interactive map identifying areas with the greatest potential for expanded reuse of produced water for irrigation, using inputs from the two indices, information on OPW availability, and water demand for irrigation, and other relevant factors.

Direct Potable Reuse Research Initiative

WE&RF, in partnership with WateReuse California, launched the DPR Initiative in June of 2012 to advance DPR as a water supply option in California. This was driven by the establishment in recent years of statewide goals for the use of recycled water, and a mandate from the California legislature to investigate the feasibility of developing uniform water recycling criteria for DPR by 2016.

This Initiative was built upon a solid research that started in 2011 when WE&RF began funding research identified in the Direct Potable Reuse: A Path Forward publication. That insightful effort informed a DPR Research Needs meeting held in December 2012 which forged the framework of the Foundation’s DPR research agenda.

Since 2012, the DPR Initiative has raised over $6 million for cutting-edge DPR research. There have already been several important publications. This includes $500,000 in matching funds from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD).  In addition, WE&RF received a $2.1 million grant from the Department of Water Resources and San Diego County Water Authority for a DPR demonstration project in San Diego.


DPR Initiative Summary
2010 California Senate Bill 918 on Direct Potable Reuse

Overview of California Direct Potable Reuse Initiative
DPR Initiative Impact

Progress Reports

2016 Progress Report (Spring-Summer)
2015 Progress Report (Fall-Winter)
2015 Progress Report (Spring-Summer)
2014 Progress Report (Fall-Winter)
2014 Funding Update (Fall)
2014 Progress Report (Spring-Summer)
2010 Workshop Summary

Fore more information on potable reuse, please contact Julie Minton

                  » Background
                  » Progress Reports