Valley Water’s Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Facility (Photo by Sundry Photography,

California’s Water Associations Applaud Historic Approval of Direct Potable Reuse Regulations

Technology and Innovation, Wastewater News

On December 19th, the State Water Board made California history by granting approval for direct potable reuse regulations, also known as DPR. California’s water and wastewater associations are joining forces to celebrate this momentous achievement. United in the spirit of ‘One Water’ we are proudly working together to build California’s utilities of the future.

Following a final State administrative review, expected to conclude in April, the DPR regulations provide a roadmap and standards for municipal water agencies to follow when building advanced water treatment facilities (AWTFs). These state-of-the-art systems have a proven track record of transforming recycled water into pure water. Already, two pure water facilities are nearing completion in the San Diego area, with dozens of additional facilities in the planning pipeline. 

The purified water that flows from these advanced facilities holds the potential to be harnessed by water agencies for raw water augmentation or treated drinking water augmentation. The water is tested and treated one more time at a drinking water treatment facility before being sent into the distribution pipelines.

Over the last six decades, California’s water associations have steadfastly championed water recycling innovations, with the aim of creating dependable local water supplies and reusing our available water supplies as many times as possible.

“The passage of these DPR regulations heralds a new era for water reuse in California. We believe this will benefit communities by providing a safe and resilient supply. These regulations will serve as a model for the nation,” said Jennifer West, managing director of WateReuse California.

“It’s essential for Californians to know there’s nothing to waste in wastewater. It is a resource we can recycle over and over again. With the introduction of these rules, the State is opening the flood gates for water reuse ideas and innovation to start flowing,” said Jenn Jones, Executive Director and CEO of the California Water Environment Association (CWEA). “As communities ramp-up water recycling projects, California is going to experience a jobs boom, a construction boom, and a technology-innovation boom. Water reuse will create supplies that last for generations to come.”

“Adoption of the DPR regulations is a pivotal step forward for the clean water sector and all Californians. Increasing water reuse opportunities and maximizing options for resource recovery will provide an important public benefit, and help cultivate a sustainable water supply for the future,” said Adam Link, Executive Director of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA).

“Regulatory staff, advocacy groups, industry partners, manufacturers, academia, associations, and the general public have all played a crucial role in this historic accomplishment. The regulations adopted today are grounded on science, innovative technology and knowledge sharing activities that have spanned decades,“ said Sue Mosburg, the Executive Director of the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association (CA-NV AWWA). “These DPR regulations advance water management and sustainability while prioritizing public health. They also emphasize the importance of operator education and certification to safeguard water quality, and reinforce the value of trained professionals that have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate advanced facilities.“

“Recycled water has been an important tool in California’s water supply tool kit for decades. These criteria will allow the expanded use of advanced recycled water, in a manner that undergoes extensive treatment and monitoring, to be protective of health and safety. This will provide greater water supply reliability and environmental benefits,” said Dave Eggerton, Executive Director for the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).

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California’s water associations are actively preparing for a future that embraces advanced treatment and new DPR water supplies. The upcoming conferences and training opportunities include:

  • January 24-26 – CASA’s Winter Conference, Palm Springs (More information)
  • February 6 – Enhanced Source Control Workshop, Delta Hotels, Anaheim (More Information)
  • February 12-15 –  Advanced Water Treatment Operator Workshop, West Basin MWD Edward C Little AWTF, El Segundo (More Information)
  • April 9-12 – CWEA Annual Conference & Expo (More information)
  • March 26-27 – CA-NV AWWA Operator Symposium (More information)
  • June 10-13 – AWWA’S Annual Conference & Expo, Anaheim (More information)
  • September 15-17 – WateReuse California, Los Angeles  (More information)

Discover more about careers and certifications within the advanced water treatment profession through the Advanced Water Treatment Operator certification program at Additionally, explore numerous career opportunities within the California water sector at


Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the State Water Resources Control Board adoption of regulations on Direct Potable Reuse:

“We’re grateful to the state board for taking this important step that advances water reuse to the next level while making public health and safety the top priority.

These new regulations give water managers a critical new tool as we confront the challenges of climate change. They will enable Metropolitan to advance development of Pure Water Southern California, which will be one of the largest water recycling facilities in the world and benefit 19 million people in our service area.

Importantly, these regulations will give us additional flexibility in how we manage our Pure Water facility. A portion of the purified water produced will be used for groundwater replenishment, while a portion will go through an additional DPR treatment process, then be delivered to one or two of our water treatment plants for further treatment and delivery across the region. This flexibility will allow us to ensure Southern California has a reliable water supply in dry years, while taking full advantage of water available in wet years.

Not only will these new regulations help advance large-scale water recycling projects already in development, like Pure Water Southern California, they will enable water managers across the state to consider new projects that have not yet been contemplated. Water reuse will become an even more integral part of our state’s supply reliability.”

Link to MWD’s Pure Water project >

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Anselmo Collins, LADWP’s Senior Assistant General Manager for Water Systems shared the following comments with CWEA:

“LADWP applauds the State Water Resources Control Board for achieving this historic milestone. The development of groundbreaking Direct Potable Reuse regulations are expected to play a significant role in the City of Los Angeles’ water future, and we thank you for your leadership in developing this forward-looking regulatory framework. 

As climate change and severe drought conditions continue to plague the entire State, the DPR regulations align with Los Angeles’ goals to enhance water sustainability through the development of local and resilient water supplies. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power applauds the Water Board for developing a robust set of DPR regulations that are fully protective of public health.” 

Link to Operation NEXT project >

Valley Water

Hossein Ashktorab, Valley Water Recycled and Purified Water Unit Manager shared the following comment with CWEA:

“DDW’s promulgation of DPR regulations is a key policy milestone that will provide agencies such as Valley Water with the ability to develop additional local, reliable, and safe water supplies.

Direct potable water reuse will provide the people of Santa Clara County with a flexible and resilient source of safe and high-quality drinking water.”

Link to Valley Water’s Advanced Water Purification Center >