Blog  /  July 2018  /  Q2 2018 Regional Roundup: Part 1/3

Blog Post Teaser

This blog series examines major trends and newsworthy events that occurred in the US water industry during the second quarter of 2018.  The first part of the series focuses on activity within the Southwest and West regions of the US.  Also check out part two of the series, which covers the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South regions of the US; and part three of the series, which covers the Midwest/Great Lakes and Central Plains regions of the US, as well as grant and funding information related to the water industry.


The Southwest region consists of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

  • During the second quarter of 2018, Texas comprised more than two-thirds of the Southwest region’s requests in most categories, including infrastructure upgrades, installation and maintenance work, water quality and treatment, testing and analysis, fluid and materials handling, and stormwater management.  Additionally, at the state level, Texas alone accounted for nearly 9 percent of the total US demand for water-related projects in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Elsewhere in Texas, the Harris County Flood Control District has proposed plans to build massive underground tunnels to carry stormwater away from multiple Houston-area bayous and toward the Houston Ship Channel.  The project, which is budgeted to cost billions of dollars and take several years to complete, would allow major Houston-area waterways to contain massive storms within their banks and could drastically reduce the flood risk for thousands of Texas residents living along the bayous.
  • During the second quarter of 2018, the Moon Valley Country Club and the Lookout Mountain Golf Club partnered with the City of Phoenix to construct a pipeline that will pull recycled wastewater from the Arizona Canal to their respective golf courses for irrigation.  Upon completion, which is expected to occur by the end of 2018, the switch to treated wastewater will reduce the cost of maintaining the courses by about 40 percent compared to groundwater, which is currently used to maintain the greens.


The West region consists of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. 

  • The greatest demand for planning, design, and consulting services across the US in the second quarter of 2018 was seen in the West, with California generating just over 55 percent of the region’s total demand.  Opportunities within the state included the development of a groundwater sustainability plan, the provision of construction engineering services for a sewage lift station project; and the design of a sewer main repair project that incorporates an assessment of existing sanitary sewer systems.
  • In April 2018, the Washington State Department of Ecology officially designated Puget Sound as a No Discharge Zone, the first of its kind in the state.  The new designation makes Puget Sound off limits to any type of vessel sewage, treated or untreated, in an effort to protect shellfish, water quality, and public health.  Going forward, vessels seeking to empty their loads must use a pump-out station or wait until they enter a discharge zone.
  • In May 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed two new bills (SB 606 and AB 1668) into law that require municipalities and water districts throughout California to establish permanent water conservation rules, even in non-drought years.  Under the terms of the new bills, each urban water provider will be required to set strict annual water use budgets by 2022 that include standards for indoor residential use, outdoor residential use, and water losses due to leaks in water distribution pipes.
  • In June 2018, an agreement was signed that transfers the regulation of pollutants dumped into Idaho’s lakes and rivers from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on July 1st.  The law requires Idaho to be at least as strict in its rules and regulations as the federal government is; however, the Idaho Legislature must approve any attempts from the DEQ to make the state’s pollutant regulations more stringent than those imposed by the EPA.
  • During the second quarter of 2018, it was announced that a new type of ocean plastic cleaner would begin collecting plastic trash in July 2018 from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a spot in the Pacific Ocean halfway between California and Hawaii that spans more than 617,000 square miles and contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic.  Debris collected by the device will be transferred to large ships that will take it to shore for recycling.


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