In early 2020, the Western States Water Council partnered with the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) to develop a survey of states regarding water reuse laws, regulations and practices. This was intended to update and build upon the 2011 Report by the WSWC, Water Reuse in the West: State Programs and Institutional Issues. Ten years later, water reuse across the west has grown and is maturing. Some states have been practicing various forms of water reuse for decades, whereas others are just starting to explore the practice on the ground. Some have robust legal and regulatory frameworks, whereas others have not yet defined reuse or water reuse practices within their statutes and rules. Regardless of where individual states are along this spectrum, most western states recognize the potential of water reuse to contribute additional water resources to meet growing urban and rural demands as the West experiences continued drought and as climate and weather patterns become increasingly variable and extreme.
This report details water reuse definitions, laws, regulations, and programs, and identifies opportunities and challenges to reuse within each state. We hope this can be a resource as states continue to navigate the complexities of water supply and water quality as water resources become increasingly scarce across western states.