Water Reuse in the Potomac
Quantifying Reduction in Human and Ecological Health Associated with EDCs and Nutrients with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices in the Potomac Watershed
The Potomac River serves as the primary drinking water source for more than 4 million people and an important spawning and nursery ground for fish. Research has shown that the water quality in the Potomac River system is heavily impacted by endocrine disrupting compounds with large-scale potential for ecological and human health impacts. Furthermore, the Potomac has been classified as being of impaired water quality, and will require billions of dollars in investment to improve water quality to meet the TMDL for nutrients and sediment for the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. As the region pursues measures to both expand available water resources and improve water quality, it is absolutely necessary to prioritize actions in an effort to maximize benefit to human and ecological health within the context of sustainable implementation balancing water quality, water supply, economic, and social costs and benefits.
The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation is leading an effort to identify sources of contaminants, evaluate performance of existing and new water reuse and conservation measures to reduce contaminants, and quantify the impact of these measures to maximize human and ecological health in the Potomac Watershed system through the lens of a triple bottom line analysis. A project team has been assembled encompassing government, universities, and the private sector and is being lead by the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, University at Buffalo, the U.S. Geological Survey, DC Water, and Hazen & Sawyer.