Richard Atwater, Foothill Municipal Water District board president, has been appointed to serve on a new research panel on stormwater and graywater under the National Academy Sciences/National Research Council (Water Science Technology Board). Atwater will join 11 other nationally recognized experts in conducting a study and preparing a report that will analyze the risks, costs, and benefits of on-site water reuse of stormwater and graywater and approaches needed for its safe use. The study will address the current and potential quantity of stormwater capture and graywater reuse occurring in the United States, treatment levels and storage of the resource, the safety and reliability of stormwater and graywater as a resource and the costs and benefits of stormwater capture and graywater reuse.
“The possibility of understanding and expanding the use of stormwater and graywater at a local level is important in increasing efforts to conserve both water and energy usage. I am pleased to be part of this committee that could have long-term impacts on the use of water supplies and energy,” stated Atwater.
The National Academy of Sciences was established by Congress more than a century ago to provide scientific and technological advice to the nation. The Academy is comprised of four organizations – the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council. The National Academies bring together experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor as volunteers to address critical national issues and give unbiased advice to the federal government and the public.
Atwater is also the executive director of the Southern California Water Committee, a non-profit public education and outreach focused on solving the water problems of southern California. He has over 35 years experience in water resources management and development in the western U.S., and has pioneered many award-winning water projects and implemented numerous innovative water resource management programs.
Prior to joining the SCWC, he served as the CEO and GM of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, an agency that provides wholesale water and wastewater utility services to over 850,000 customers. Throughout his career, Atwater has accumulated extensive public agency management experience in directing the development of some of the largest water projects in the United States.