Water Board Moves Forward with DPR Expert Panel 

Emerging Issues, Regulations, Resource Recovery

This article is part of our water reuse coverage, supported by Hazen & Sawyer >

The California state Water Board is beginning the development of Direct Potable Reuse (DPR) statewide regulations by assembling an Expert Panel as required by AB 574 (Quirk-2017). This panel is expected to assist the Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water in assessing the potable reuse research and developing regulations that are protective of public health for both forms of DPR — Raw Water Augmentation and Treated Drinking Water Augmentation.

The facilitating organization for the Expert Panel will likely be announced by the end of 2020, according to the Division of Drinking Water.  Depending upon a number of factors, including Water Board staffing, DPR regulations may be complete by end of 2023.

Importantly, Governor Gavin Newsom Water Resilience Portfolio – the Administration’s blueprint to develop a climate-resilient sustainable ware supply – includes a recommendation for the Water Board to develop Raw Water Augmentation regulations.

“With climate change impacts already challenging our traditional notions of water supply coming from snowpack and reservoirs, the continued development of recycled water and direct potable reuse remains a thoughtful and critical diversification of our state’s water portfolio. Guided by rigorous science, we must continue to innovate to ensure our communities have access to safe and reliable drinking water today and in the decades ahead,” said State Water Resources Control Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel.
While the Water Board has authority to permit projects on a case-by-case basis, the development of statewide regulations for all types of potable reuse is something the water reuse community has consistently sought.  Statewide regulations allow local agencies to understand the full scope of regulatory requirements and possible financial implications in advance of significant project investments. Regulations also help assure the public that the water meets and exceeds drinking water standards.

DPR Progress in Various States


Potable Reuse – Newly Defined Types