Keynote 1:

Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Facilities 
Ed McCormick, President, WEF

Keynote 2:

Energy-Positive Wastewater Treatment and Re-Use 
Dr. Dick Luthy, Director, ReNUWIt, Stanford University
Panel Discussion:

Achieving Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Facilities 
Tom Speth, Director, Water Supply/Resources Division, ORD-NRMRL, EPA (Moderator)


Facilitating Deployment – Moving Systems to Market
Jason Turgeon, Environmental Scientist, US EPA Region 1 (Moderator)


Workshop Focus and Outcomes

The National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are jointly hosting the Workshop on Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery (EPWRR) to gain insights and identify specific technical and non-technical barriers that are hindering development and deployment of the water resource recovery facilities of the future.

Attendees are challenged to envision what will be state-of-the-art EPWRR in 20+ years:
  • What will it take to get there?
  • What efforts should be prioritized?
Topics Include:
  • Research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D): Identify the RDD&D needs and opportunities to support the realization of energy-positive water resource recovery.
  • Role of federal government: Through interactions with federal, state, NGO, private, and municipal stakeholders, identify the target RDD&D needs and opportunities where the federal government is uniquely positioned to make valuable contributions.
  • Non-technical considerations: Better incorporate larger socio-economic, policy, financing, and regulatory landscapes of both existing facilities and greenfield development into RDD&D planning and execution.
  • Systems perspective and sustainability: Target solutions that adopt a systems perspective, and incorporate the environmental, social, and economic elements of sustainability in both deliberations and outputs.
Workshop Facilitation and Structure

The workshop includes a combination of plenary presentations, panel discussions, and breakout session discussions. Professional facilitators will lightly guide the breakout discussions while capturing the diverse input of the groups. Participants are encouraged to come prepared to engage actively in breakout conversations

Breakout Topics:

Participants will be assigned to one of four parallel breakout groups, each consisting of a diverse array of perspectives. Each group will follow a parallel process answering similar questions


  • Envisioning the possibilities: This session will focus on visualizing the EPWWR facility 20+ years from now, and focus on long-term goals.
  • Assessing gaps and hurdles: Where are the gaps in terms of what we are trying to achieve versus the opportunities identified in the first breakout session?
  • Where could additional RDD&D have the greatest impact? Identify priority areas for technology and R&D investment.

The outcomes from the workshop will help to guide the water resource recovery community’s research and technology development efforts; inform NSF/EPA/DOE programs and strategic planning; and offer valuable information to other stakeholders focused on energy-positive water resource recovery. A joint report based upon this workshop is planned.

Come Prepared: Familiarize Yourself with these Documents

These foundational documents serve as background and stepping-off points for discussion at the workshop:

  1. Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Waste-to-Energy Workshop Report [Draft]: Held in November 2014, this workshop discussed the challenges and barriers related to the efficient production of biofuels and bio-based chemicals from wet waste feedstocks, specifically challenging participants to go beyond biogas.
  2. Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), A Guide to Net-Zero Energy Solutions for Water Resource Recovery Facilities [Executive Summary]: Pursued as two parallel energy-related research efforts: (1) Reduction in plant energy demand through lower energy alternatives to secondary treatment; (2) The capture of energy from water to support plant operations.
  3. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), The Water-Energy Nexus Report [Executive Summary]: The Water-Energy Nexus Report examines the interaction between our present-day energy and water systems.
  4. BETO/Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), Hydrogen, Hydrocarbons, and Bioproducts Precursors from Wastewaters Workshop [Rough Summary]: Held in March 2015, this workshop focused on the R&D needs of microbial fuel cells and anaerobic membrane digesters. The attached summary report is a preliminary synthesis of the outcomes.