The proposed order responds to California’s current — and probable future — drought conditions. Public meeting scheduled for June 3.
The State Water Resources Control Board released a draft order establishing General Waste Discharge Requirements for Recycled Water Use. If adopted, Regional Water Quality Control Boards will be able to use the General Order to streamline permitting of non-potable recycled water uses by publically and privately owned water producers, distributors and other legal entities, such as joint powers authorities and irrigation districts. The streamlined process provides an alternative permitting process for recycled water projects.
Recycled water, primarily treated domestic wastewater, would be permitted for all uses authorized in Title 22 of California’s Code of Regulations, except groundwater recharge. The General Order identifies groundwater recharge activities as including surface spreading basins, percolation ponds and direct injection. Authorized uses of recycled water would include crop irrigation, dust control and certain industrial processes.
On the same day, Gov. Brown issued an executive order that suspended the application of the California Environmental Quality Act to the adoption of the General Order. The Executive Order also suspends CEQA for certain temporary water supply connections that mitigate the effects of the drought and to water transfers, forebearance agreements, water exchanges and other requests to the Department of Water Resources and State Water Board.
The General Order and Executive Order are intended to reduce the demand on potable water supplies for the current drought and for future years. The State Water Board will hold a public meeting on June 3 to receive public comments on the draft General Order.