About Us

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The U.S. Water Alliance, a 501(c)(3), was established in 2008 to break down the “silos” and provide sector-wide leadership for building a national platform for holistic water policy. The Alliance is committed to uniting people and policy for water sustainability in a changing climate. That means convening, inspiring, and educating to change the way America views, values, and manages water–from quantity to quality, above and below ground. The Alliance emphasizes the importance and value of each aspect of the water cycle and promotes more integrated, sustainable management of water and watersheds (a concept we call “one water” management). The Alliance focuses on changing old paradigms, such as shifting the perception of water from invisible to invaluable, and integrating more green […]

Become a Member

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Your membership supports the U.S. Water Alliance’s work in exploring the complex issue of water sustainability. Recurring gifts – monthly, quarterly, or biannually – allow the U.S. Water Alliance to plan for future developments by improving public awareness that advances holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges. Our annual membership year is based on our fiscal year which runs from October 1- September 30th.   Membership Benefits Membership on the Business Advisory Council and/or the Urban Water Sustainability Council Recognition with your organization’s link on our website Invitation to observe our influential conferences and events Monthly e-newsletters on Alliance activities and relevant water news Special invitation to attend annual U.S. Water Prize Awards Ceremony Listing in our Annual […]

U.S. Water Prize


The United States Water Prize honors individuals, institutions, and organizations that have made an outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation’s water challenges. Created, sponsored and administered by the U.S. Water Alliance, the United States Water Prize is the first of its kind to recognize successful efforts in protecting and improving the health of watersheds in this country.

Recent News

Blog: Ben Grumbles' Pipeline

  • Innovation

    Blue 2

    EPA’s new Water Innovation Technology Blueprint, Version 2, announced on April 7 at the US Water Alliance’s US Water Prize ceremony, is creating quite a buzz in water circles, and not just because of its references to the energy/water nexus:   The document is a comprehensive, thoughtful discussion of some of America’s greatest water challenges and opportunities. Gina McCarthy, Administrator of EPA, highlighted the brand new Blueprint’s features and gave examples of cutting edge technology, techniques, and strategies during her keynote at the US Water Prize ceremony, before a packed audience at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The Administrator explained the history and intent behind the plan.  Since Version 1 was released in March 2013, Acting Assistant Administrator […]

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    Stream Banks

    “Mitigation Banking” may be an difficult term but it’s proving to be an essential tool for improving and protecting wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources impacted by development.  It will only grow in importance as America yearns for energy security, while continuing to embrace noble goals of “no net loss” of wetlands and “fishable and swimmable ” quality under the Clean Water Act. For starters, the word “mitigation” is confusing. It has a different meaning in the Clean Water Act (CWA) and aquatic resources context compared to mitigation under Clean Air Act and greenhouse gas programs, where it connotes reduction, even prevention of emissions. For CWA and aquatic impacts, it’s essentially about compensation–the actions permittees must take to pay for […]

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    Breaking News!

    Water pipes and storage tanks can’t last forever and when they fail, neighborhoods and downstream communities can pay dearly. That’s hardly news. Pipes of all types and tanks of all ranks have been falling short of expectations ever since they were born to suffer the ravages of time, weather, neglect, and bad luck.  Recent events, however, underscore water’s value and vulnerability to an even greater extent. Just ask the communities where bone-chilling temperatures have wreaked Arctic havoc on water mains over the last few weeks and the residents of Charleston, West Virginia, who live and drink downstream of chemical facilities. Frozen Assets Winter is the cruelest season, when it comes to water pipes.  A 10-degree change in air or water […]

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    Beyond Eggnog

    Holiday drinking doesn’t have to include sweet and creamy or spiked and spicy elixirs– sometimes water is all you need, especially if you serve it with good food and great conversation. The U.S. Water Alliance (USWA) and the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) proved the point when they teamed up to host a meeting in the middle of the Holiday Season, December 16th. That date happens to be the 39th anniversary of the signing of the Safe Drinking Water Act, a landmark law providing for the nation’s health, wealth, and welfare. With support from the National Association of Water Companies, Troutman Sanders, Calgon Carbon, and co-host WWEMA, USWA convened a luncheon and roundtable discussion in the nation’s capital […]

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    Hydro Hubs

    Whether you call them water clusters or innovation stations, these town-gown-business techno centers are gaining steam in strategic locations around the country and that’s good news for water, jobs, and communities. “Cluster” isn’t a new concept but the notion of water technology innovation locations has gotten a lot of traction in recent years, particularly in January 2011 when EPA and the Small Business Administration announced the formation of a “Water Technology Innovation Cluster” in the Cincinnati, Dayton, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana region, now known as “Confluence”.  The organization works with private and public entities, including the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), SBA, and regional economic development organizations to promote the regional effort by bringing water research stakeholders […]

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    Extremely Valued

    Two recent national events underscore water’s worth and its vulnerability to weather. One is the convergence of cities and thought leaders to promote integration, sustainability, and resiliency at the U.S. Water Alliance’s One Water Leadership (OWL) Summit.   The other is the launch of a unique Value of Water Coalition to change the way America views, manages, and invests in its greatest liquid asset. Wild weather, polluted storm water, stressed water supplies, stretched budgets, and looming government shutdowns are challenging communities across the country.  The good news:  More leaders are stepping up to integrate and innovate to save and sustain the wealth of their watersheds and neighborhoods. The “bad” news: Their success is still relatively secret and the need for […]

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    Onsite Insight

    “Out of sight, out of mind” is a syndrome but “onsite, decentralized” is a solution, and it can rear its beautiful head in many ways. Take septics, for instance, please. Septic tanks may be maligned and misunderstood at times, but the future is bright with a new generation of technology, stewardship, and watershed-specific strategies to collect, treat, disperse, and recycle the wealth of our waste.  Erma Bombeck may have written a catchy slogan for a book (“The Grass is Always Greener over the Septic Tank”) but here’s one of my favorite slogans: “Clean water begins at home”. That was the mantra for the decentralized treatment program in the Wastewater Management Office when I was at EPA, and although the initiative […]

  • Aqua Knots Hands

    Aqua Knots

    Author: Ben Grumbles Here’s a summer time tribute to students of all ages, who are researching and analyzing to shed light on some of water’s most intractable problems. We may be creeping towards a national water crisis of sorts but at least we are seeing some impressive and creative initiatives at colleges and nonprofit organizations around the country. One of my favorite examples is Columbia University’s Columbia Water Center. The students there have even formed an Aquanauts club to foster exploration, innovation, and awareness. The Aquanauts hosted their first major event, Make Your WaterMark: The Water Crisis and Campus Activism, on April 5th. They convened student speakers, a film producer and water industry experts to provide students with a well-rounded vision […]

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    Urban Jewels

    Author: Ben Grumbles Urban water sustainability includes conserving natural assets but also discovering (and re-discovering) hidden treasures like metro/suburban parks, mini-refuges, river walks, and wetlands often buried deep within compact cityscapes rather than rural landscapes. Recent meetings and collaborations point to progress in protecting and restoring these gems so vital to sustainable urbanization and access to America’s great outdoors. An earlier Pipeline column described the need for “Water Parknerships”  and the work of diverse organizations to advance green infrastructure, smarter regulation of stormwater, and expanded use of recycled water. There’s a growing number of city sustainability officers and mayors joining forces with environmental planners and developers to grow the green in cities and suburbs and points in between. For example: the […]

  • Water Glass

    Cup and Trade

    Author: Ben Grumbles Smart market-based strategies aren’t just for carbon pollution and climate change–they can make a big difference in protecting water supplies and ecosystems. With the right sidebars and safeguards, water quality trading can improve watershed protection, particularly when excess nutrients, sediments, and temperature problems among multiple parties are to blame. Efficient exchanges of credits and offsets among watershed players can save time and money and grow partnerships for holistic, sustainable protection. And yet, the promise from over a decade ago, when a national water quality trading policy was issued, still hasn’t been realized, at least not at the scale and degree possible. It’s time to understand why and also to consider improvements, new tools, and new partnerships to […]

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