Marana Water News: No water. No beer.

Earlier this month, Marana Water participated in an application that was submitted to the Arizona Community Foundation’s Water Innovation Challenge. The challenge is to bring together a collaborative team in Arizona that can develop the most innovative and inventive market-based, technological, or entrepreneurial solution to advance the sustainability of water future. The winner receives an award of $250,000 to implement the submitted project.

Marana Water is participating in an application as a part of the Southwest Water Campus. The growing population and dependency on groundwater and Central Arizona Project (CAP) resources, makes the future of water reliability a bit vulnerable. Focusing on new uses for treated reclaimed water is being explored as one way to address water reliability. In this project, the members are building and touring a full scale, direct potable reuse pilot program. This pilot project will produce craft beer throughout the state culminating in a Brew Competition at the 32nd Annual WateReuse Symposium held in Phoenix in 2017. Working with breweries throughout the state, different water sources will be safely used to create a craft beer for the competition. Central, Southern and Northern Arizona will all have submissions, and will include public outreach events at each location. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the story for more details.

Other entities participating in the project are Tucson Water, the Pima County Water Reclamation Department, the University of Arizona WEST Center, AquaTecture, and Arizona WateReuse. These members came together after years of collaborating on technical committees and professional memberships discussing water quality and water sustainability.

Being a part of this innovative project is exciting for all of us here at Marana Water. The idea that treated water can be used in alternative ways, paints an optimistic outlook for the future of water reliability in Arizona. While this project is just a small pilot program, the results could be useful for large scale versions of this treatment type. There are public perception questions that are going to be addressed as part of the community outreach portion of the pilot program. Communicating how the water is treated, what safety measures are taken, and how the water is tested are all components of the project.

The application submission is just the first step. Now, the Southwest Water Campus members wait to see if their project is selected for a follow up interview. If chosen, the award will be given in November. Determining ways to incorporate potable reuse as a more common part of any community’s water portfolio is on the horizon.

Providing safe and reliable water is in the mission for Marana Water. Finding new paths toward meeting this mission is an exciting part of our work here. Keep an eye out to see if our project is chosen.