May 16, 2016

Foundations Join Forces to Advance Concept of One Water

Combined research portfolio demonstrates value of used water

merger, non-profit, WERF, WRRF, join forces, partnership

The Water Environment Research Foundation and the WateReuse Research Foundation announced the merger of their organizations. The new non-profit, called the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), brings together a portfolio of research in water, wastewater and storm water, valued at more than $200 million. The merger strengthens the industry movement toward One Water, which realizes the true value of all water.

“Bringing these two organizations together allows us to leverage our expertise to pursue an integrated approach to critical research in water,” said Kevin Shafer , WE&RF board co-chair and executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. “We are now the largest one-stop-shop for research in resource recovery and reuse.”

Since it was established in 1989, the Water Environment Research Foundation has been internationally recognized as a leader in research related to wastewater and storm water. Established in 1993, the WateReuse Research Foundation has led the world in producing applied research in water reuse. The new Water Environment & Reuse Foundation will continue to focus on research in resource recovery and reuse, which provides the science for next generation technology and innovation to meet the growing demand for clean water.

“Our organizations shared a common goal, which is to produce research that solved real-world problems with water quality and supply,” said WE&RF Board Co-Chair Doug Owner,WE7&RF board co-chair and executive vice president and chief technical officer for Arcadis. “By merging, we will be able to help more communities produce a safe, reliable, locally controlled supply of water that protects the environment and supports economic growth.”

The new organization is supported by more than 200 utilities, businesses, industrial and commercial enterprises, educational institutions and government agencies. Together, the water agencies represent more than 50 million residential and small business water consumers across the country.

“Our merger is, in large part, the result of a movement that recognizes that all water has value,” explained Melissa Meeker, WE&RF Chief Executive Officer. “All water is reused and renewable, either through desalination, storm water harvesting, more effective wastewater treatment or any other number of avenues. Our merger reflects that fundamental principle.”

Water Environment & Reuse Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable corporation seeking to identify, support and disseminate research to enhance the quality and reliability of water for natural systems and communities with an integrated approach to resource recovery and reuse, while facilitating interaction among practitioners, educators, researchers, decision makers and the public.