Reclaimed water: planning for the future
April 2012 Project Update
King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) has been engaged in a planning process to determine if, how, when, where and by what funding mechanisms King County should expand its existing reclaimed water program over the next 30 years. Based on the results of analyses, WTD recommends optimizing WTD’s investments made to date to deliver reclaimed water and not carry out any further expansion of the County’s reclaimed water program.
• WTD planning process recommendation and reclaimed water policies to guide the reclaimed water program.
• Results of Step 4 of the planning process now available on the library page.
• Results of identification and scoping of alternatives to reclaimed water that may achieve similar benefits now available on the library page.
View project update (PDF), April 5, 2012
Overview of reclaimed water planning process (PDF), approved by the King County Council through Motion 13483 (PDF), schedule updated May 2011
The reclaimed water comprehensive planning process will explore if, when, where, and by what funding mechanisms King County's existing reclaimed water program should expand in the next 30 years. It will evaluate reclaimed water as a means to reduce reliance on discharging to Puget Sound, to enhance the environment through water resource augmentation, and to further prepare the region for addressing the uncertainty of population growth and climate change. It will take a broad look at potential reclaimed water uses and evaluate strategies for serving these uses.
The planning process (PDF) includes a broad range of opportunities to engage community leaders, environmental groups, regulatory agencies, water/wastewater utilities, tribal governments, business and civic organizations, the general public, and potential agricultural, recreational, commercial, and industrial user groups to provide input and advice throughout the planning process. The process is designed to be open and transparent. It is a dynamic and flexible process, based on a set of deliberate steps with several decision points and potential outcomes. Because of this, adjustments to the schedule may be necessary.
The planning process will attempt to answer the following questions
- What are the potential uses for reclaimed water now and over the next 30 years?
- What are the potential volumes of reclaimed water that would be needed to serve the potential uses for reclaimed water?
- What are the different ways that King County’s regional wastewater system could produce and deliver the volumes needed to serve potential uses for reclaimed water?
- What are the costs and benefits associated with producing and distributing reclaimed water to serve potential uses?
- What are the environmental impacts associated with producing and providing reclaimed water to serve potential uses?
- If it is recommended that the existing reclaimed water program should be expanded, what are the ways that future reclaimed water investments could be financed and paid for?
- What policies are needed to guide future reclaimed water decisions and investments?