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California Water Board Streamlines Recycled Water Use

Water flows into a sewer line.
Capital Public Radio
Water flows into a sewer line.

California state water managers have approved a new process to promote the use of treated wastewater during the drought.

The California State Water Resources Control Board says the new rules were created in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s drought declaration in January.

The board says now there are more streamlined rules around the production and use of recycled water for irrigation.

Dave Smith of the trade group Water Reuse says that’s important for securing California’s water future.

“We are going to be in a constant state of being at risk for water supply shortage, whether it’s wildlife demands, in stream demands for fish, population growth and reduced precipitation in the state and less snow fall and more rain fall where we can’t capture it in the snow, we need recycled water to make up for that," says Smith.

California water advocates say they support the increased use of recycled water, but they’re disappointed the new framework doesn’t include more quality safeguards and monitoring requirements.

The state of California has made $800 million available in low interest loans for water recycling projects.

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