Media Contact: Lori Harrison, (703) 684-2480
October 18, 2011

WEF Board Adopts Position Statement on Renewable Energy Generation from Wastewater
Action encourages a greater drive for innovation in the water sector

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Board of Trustees approved a position statement on the recovery of resources from wastewater during WEFTEC® 2011—WEF’s 84th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference—taking place this week in Los Angeles, Calif. The statement, “Renewable Energy Generation From Wastewater”, calls for wastewater-generated energy to be widely recognized as a renewable resource and for a greater drive for innovation in the water sector.


"With the passage of this statement, WEF is encouraging our sector to lead the way in helping communities recover resources from wastewater,” said WEF President Jeanette Brown. “It couldn’t be more fitting for this significant step to take place at WEFTEC, which has long showcased progressive thinking and new ideas in water. Moving forward, we want WEF and WEFTEC to help catalyze the wider adoption of innovative approaches in the water field.”

WEF believes that recognizing wastewater generated energy as a renewable resource could have positive, long-term impacts by stimulating greater production from water resource recovery activities, creating more clean energy jobs, and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by alleviating electricity demand from fossil fuel-based power plants. It could also assist advocates in future policy discussions and encourage widespread adoption by making the practice eligible for federal funding.

Many wastewater utilities worldwide are already involved in all areas of renewable energy, from traditional sources—wind, solar, and hydropower—to more innovative approaches such as biomass and emerging technologies. With the energy contained in wastewater and biosolids greater than the energy required for treatment, wastewater facilities have the potential to be energy neutral or even net energy producers, with some plants having already achieved that status.

WEF believes that reaching the goal of energy neutrality relies upon achieving a holistic energy management approach, incorporating conservation practices, and generating renewable energy through the management of water resource recovery and its by-products.

“WEF leaders believe that emerging technologies can surely advance the potential for renewable energy from wastewater,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “WEF will work with stakeholders and partners who share our vision for resource recovery and will also help build understanding of the potential role of wastewater treatment facilities. It’s exciting to consider where the future could take us in terms of water quality innovation and I’m proud to be a part of that process.”

Click here to read the complete position statement.

As the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, WEFTEC provides the latest technologies and services for water environment preservation, restoration, and sustainability. WEFTEC 2011 is taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, October 15-19. With an anticipated attendance of more than 17,000 national and international water professionals, including 1,000 top water companies, the event is the city’s second largest convention this year. www.weftec.org  

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. To learn more, visit www.wef.org.