Policy & Projects: North America

Desalination and Reuse Roundtable Session

In partnership with

23rd February 2021

This session, brought to you by GWI, in partnership with Aqualia and Woodard & Curran, focused exclusively on water reuse and desalination in North America, bringing together key players involved in some of the most significant projects in the region, recreating the high-value interactions that have otherwise become impossible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Increased water scarcity is decreasing reliability of existing water sources and driving up the price that utilities pay for their current supply. Both of these factors are causing alternatives like reuse and desalination to become more attractive. The federal government is also playing a role in advancing desal and reuse, and the market is ripe for technological innovation. 

This session, which replicates a traditional roundtable format in a virtual space, is a vital networking opportunity for those involved in the projects market in North America, providing insights into specific business opportunities and how these interface with aspects such as broader capital spending, and regulatory compliance needs, as well as the drivers and policies that are shaping the market. 20 industry expert speakers hosted table discussions on specific water reuse and brackish and seawater desalination projects that are in the conceptual or procurement stages, as well as broader policy issues affecting the desal and reuse market, such as regulations around potable reuse.

Agenda (Times in CT)
  • 11:00 – 11:10  Platform Familiarisation and Introduction
  • 11:10 – 11:30  Round 1
  • 11:35 – 11:55  Round 2
  • 12:00 – 12:20  Round 3
  • 12:25 – 12:45  Round 4
  • 12:45 – 13:00  Open Networking
Session Format

Expert speakers lead tables of 6-8 in tightly focused discussions on what is new and trending in the international water industry. 

  1. Choose a topic and join the table
  2. Meet the host and table guests
  3. Participate in an intimate, face-to-face exchange of ideas
  4. After four table rotations, you’ll leave the session with a new set of contacts, a meeting set up for later that day and a step towards your next deal.

Roundtable Topics

Corpus Christi SWRO, TX
Steve Ramos, Water Resources Manager, City of Corpus Christi, Texas

A number of seawater desalination projects are taking shape on the Gulf Coast of Texas, including a $220 million scheme spearheaded by the City of Corpus Christi.

Miami Dade Reuse, FL
Hardeep Anand, Deputy Director, Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department

In order to eliminate wastewater discharges to the ocean and reuse 60% of wastewater flows by 2025, the County’s plans include upgrades to 57 wastewater treatment projects.

Flagstaff direct potable reuse, AZ
Erin Young, Water Resources Manager, City of Flagstaff

A possible DPR scheme which could involve 14MGD of advanced treatment at an estimated cost of $145 million.

Los Angeles water reuse, CA
Rafael Villegas, Program Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The City has outlined ambitious targets to recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2035, which will include multi-billion dollar upgrades at the Hyperion WRP.

Brackish desal outlook in Texas
Bill Norris, President, NorrisLeal

Brackish desal is a key strategy to address water shortages across Texas, and the state last year saw its first BWRO under a P3 structure. What are the opportunities?

Advantages of Collaborative PPPs for desal and reuse  
Eva Arnaiz, Country Manager USA, Aqualia

The P3 model has helped to accelerate projects implementation, mitigate risk and support technology innovation for many desal and reuse projects around the world. Aqualia’s US Country Manager, Eva Arnaiz discusses their potential to foster a collaborative approach to project delivery within the American market.

The dawn of solar desal in the US
Sarah Gomach, Solar Prize Program Lead, NREL

The Department of Energy has launched a competition specifically for solar desalination systems. What are the opportunities?

Tampa Bay desal expansion, FL
Ken Herd, Chief Science and Technical Officer, Tampa Bay Water

An expansion of the existing 28.75MGD Tampa Bay SWRO plant by an extra 10-12.5MGD in order to meet projected water demand.

US-Mexico binational desal
Chuck Cullom, Central Arizona Project

A joint US-Mexico study assessed the options for a $3 billion desalination scheme on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. Is it feasible?

Brine: Beyond 100,000 mg/L
Keith Minnich, Principal, Third Bay

This roundtable will present the financial, regulatory, and environmental drivers to concentrate brines, current practices, and trends. A short history of ZLD and the current challenges will provide a context for the discussion.

Wichita Falls DPR, TX
Daniel Nix, Utilities Operations Manager, City of Wichita Falls

What can we learn from one of the first direct potable reuse projects in the US?

Large-scale aquifer recharge in Virginia
Jamie S. Heisig-Mitchell, Chief of Technical Services, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, USA

The 120MGD “SWIFT” initiative will use large-scale aquifer recharge to address groundwater over-abstraction and seawater intrusion.

Innovation, Trends and Emerging Technologies in US Desal
Tom Pankratz, Editor, Water Desalination Report

Join Tom Pankratz, Editor of the Water Desalination Report (WDR) as he discusses the latest innovations, trends, and emerging technologies in the desal market.

Groundwater recharge in Orange County, CA
Sandy Scott Roberts, GWRS Program Manager, Orange County Water District

Orange County pioneered the largest indirect potable reuse project in the US. What are the lessons learned?

Valley Water reuse expansion, CA
Aaron Baker, COO, Valley Water, California  and Jill Jamieson, President & CEO, Illuminati Infrastructure Advisors

A 9MGD expansion of Valley Water’s advanced wastewater treatment and groundwater recharge programme under a DBFO structure.

JEA potable reuse, FL
Tom Bartol, Manager for Water/Wastewater Policy, Permitting, and Compliance at JEA

A $815 million potable reuse scheme involving the build out of 40MGD in new treatment capacity to meet JEA’s alternative water supply targets by 2035.

El Paso brackish desal and DPR, TX
Scott Reinert, Water Resource Manager, El Paso Water

To offset water shortages from the Rio Grande river the City is planning a 15MGD expansion of the Kay Bailey Hutchison BWRO and a possible DPR scheme.

Potable reuse regulations in California
Eileen Idica, Principal Engineer at Trussell Technologies, Inc & Anya Kaufmann, P.E, .Senior Engineer at Trussell Technologies, Inc
From surface water augmentation to direct potable reuse, how is the regulatory environment for water reuse evolving in California?

US Bureau of Reclamation’s R&D programme
Yuliana Porras-Mendoza, Advanced Water Treatment Research Coordinator, United States Bureau of Reclamation

USBR is funding dozens of lab and pilot-scale desal and reuse projects. Which technologies have shown promise?

Energy-Water desal hub
Peter Fiske, Director, Water Energy Resilience Research Institute (WERRI), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
The National Alliance for Water Innovation was selected in 2019 to support the DoE’s $100 million Energy-Water Desalination Hub. What are its plans?

Pure Water San Diego, CA
John Stufflebean, Program Director, Pure Water San Diego

The City plans to generate one third of its water supply needs through indirect potable reuse, which will involve 83MGD (314,190m³/d) of reuse capacity by 2035.

EPA’s water reuse action plan
Jon Freedman, Global Government Affairs Leader, SUEZ & Justin Mattingly, Biologist, US EPA

The EPA launched a comprehensive water reuse action plan in 2020. What has been achieved so far?

OneWater San Francisco, CA
Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources, San Francisco

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s holistic view of water management involves both centralised and decentralised wastewater reuse.

DPR in Texas
Erika Mancha, Manager, Texas Water Development Board

Texas is the only state to have successfully adopted direct potable reuse to date. What is the outlook?

MWD’s Regional Recycled Water Program
Bruce Chalmers, Program Manager, Regional Recycled Water at MWD

A phased 150MGD regional recycled water programme in Southern California.

Intakes, Outfalls and SWRO in the US
Tim Hogan, TWB Environmental Research and Consulting

Minimizing the environmental impacts of intake and outfalls on aquatic life is the biggest challenge to SWRO growth in the US. How can the industry effectively manage this challenge?

The Energy Economics of Desal and Reuse
Alyson Watson, CEO, Woodard & Curran

Newly appointed CEO of Woodard & Curran, Alyson Watson discusses the potential impacts and challenges of alternative energy sources in the development of the US Desal and Reuse market.

California’s reuse report card
Rebecca Greenwood, Engineering Geologist, Recycled Water and Desalination Unit, State Water Resources Control Board, California

The SWRCB presents its new analysis of volumetric reuse trends in the Golden State.

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