CUWA’s committees focus on current priority urban water issues. Each committee is led by one or two Board member(s) and includes one representative elected by each member agency. The committees are guided by a charter that articulates goals and operations and, based on the priorities of the Board, they develop an annual workplan that describes specific projects for the coming year. The CUWA Executive Director and committee members also participate in a number of external forums related to committee focus areas.
1. The Water Reuse Committee focuses on technical and policy water reuse issues. Building on its Water Reuse Policy Principles, CUWA released a Water Reuse Update that demonstrates the potential for urban water reuse to make significant contributions to future California water supplies.
The committee worked with several collaborative partners to develop the Potable Reuse Operator Training and Certification (PROTC) Framework white paper that can serve as a foundation for further development of actual training and certification requirements by the state, along with pending regulations for permitting and operating reuse facilities. The Enhancing Confidence in Potable Reuse with a New Operator Training and Certification Framework fact sheet summarizes the PROTC framework and next steps.
In 2016, the Committee collaborated with the Planning and Conservation Committee and the Stormwater Workgroup to develop One Water Policy Principles to provide leadership and perspective on how One Water or an integrated and collaborative approach to water management can benefit the reliability, resilience, and sustainability of California water while ensuring the protection of public health at all times.
In collaboration with California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), Water Research Foundation (WRF), WateReuse California, and California Water Environment Association (CWEA), CUWA recently developed a white paper on Adapting to Change: Utility Systems and Declining Flows. In this white paper, CUWA explores the impacts of declining flows on drinking water, wastewater, and recycled water systems. In parallel with this white paper, CUWA developed new policy principles on water use efficiency (WUE), conservation, and declining system flows, emphasizing the importance of considering the integrated nature of systems when developing policy associated with long-term WUE and indoor water use.
2. The Planning and Conservation Committee engages in State water planning and conservation efforts and develops technical and policy information and recommendations to help ensure that the urban perspective is represented, including CUWA’s priorities and concerns.
In the new Water Supply Reliability Fact Sheet, the committee summarized CUWA agencies’ progress in improving supply reliability by managing demands, diversifying supplies, expanding storage, investing in infrastructure, and more. This fact sheet is built on a distilled compilation of member agencies’ 2015 Urban Water Management Plans. As a complement to the fact sheet, CUWA’s compiled supplemental data summary provides more information on demands, supplies, investments, and unit costs of supplies. The Water Supply Reliability Policy Principles and Climate Change Policy Principles summarize CUWA’s current position related to providing reliable water supplies.
Our Conservation and Water Use Fact Sheet describes CUWA’s continued commitment to water conservation and drought response and clarifies per capita water use metrics.
The Committee reviews and evaluates regulatory, technical, cost/benefit, and policy issues regarding water efficiency and conservation, and has been doing technical work to better quantify conservation savings.
3. Through its Water Accessibility and Affordability Committee, CUWA endeavors to make a positive contribution by providing leadership to the growing statewide challenge of water accessibility and affordability, bringing creative ideas and approaches to the forefront for discussion. CUWA seeks to address issues related to access to clean, safe drinking water in rural areas and statewide water affordability. Most recently, the Committee developed a fact sheet that explores possible solutions for restoring access to safe, high-quality drinking water for residents in rural disadvantaged communities while highlighting the importance of developing strategies that won’t exacerbate the affordability concerns of low-income customers across the state.
4. The Water Quality (WQ) Committee helped complete the Central Valley Drinking Water Policy (CV-DWP), in conjunction with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and a workgroup representing a range of interests. The new policy was adopted in July 2013 for inclusion in the basin plan. See the drinking water policy fact sheet and resolution to amend the Basin Plan.
The Committee also coordinates Delta source water protection activities and takes action to ensure that CUWA interests are reflected in statewide drinking water regulation and policy. The WQ Committee released recently updated policy principles.
5. The Public Investment (PI) Committee has developed policy principles and provides guidance to inform any new approaches to public financing of water-related projects. Two Public Investment White Papers (Phase 1 and Phase 2) and a Presentation and Reliable Water Financing Policy Principles define key terms, review the public goods charge concept and describe a proposed beneficiary pays approach. The PI Committee released joint policy principles with CMUA on Reliable Water Financing in March 2013.
In 2016, CUWA formed a Stormwater Workgroup under the PI Committee to develop a new white paper—The Potential for Stormwater as a Water Supply. The white paper aims to inform ongoing statewide dialogue by characterizing current urban stormwater uses, as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with its increased capture to supplement California’s water supply.