One Water Management
The U.S. Water Alliance is building a network of leaders representing an array of research foundations, national trade associations, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to unite for integrated water management. To-date, 14 organizations have signed on to a Statement of Collaboration that commits them to consider next steps and implementation toward the “One Water Management” vision which is closely aligned with and builds upon the extensive national and global work on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). All recognize that breaking down barriers, entrenched “silos,” inside and outside the water sector, will be a long process with policy, institutional, and technical aspects. A network willing to lead and determined to stay on the path will be essential to its success.
In a meeting organized by the Alliance and supported by the Water Environment Research Foundation last February, more than 60 leaders met to discuss One Water Management (OWM) and the formation of a network. The discussion deepened understanding by identifying differences and commonalities in organizational perspectives. At the same time, participants began to identify obstacles, gaps, and priorities for research and policy. The meeting was note-worthy both for the diversity of organizations represented as well as for the enthusiasm that was expressed for OWM. From flood and stormwater managers in the East; water suppliers and recyclers in the West; efficiency and conservation gurus in the Midwest; and urban planners and smart growth advocates in the South, all were united in recognizing the value of integrating for better water management.
In coming months, the OWM network will seek to harness the momentum and elevate it to the next level from talking about working together to actual collaboration. They will consider next steps and chart a course for action while being informed by ongoing research. Activities of the network may focus on information sharing, staff training and capacity building (e.g. exchange programs among different utilities and agencies in different levels of government), and identifying barriers and developing pilot projects to reduce or overcome barriers. In addition, this action-oriented network will work hand-in-hand with research institutions to analyze best practices, support demonstrations, and test decision-making tools for utilities.
The network seeks to broaden its ranks and increase its perspective by growing the network. The 14 organizations signing on to the OWM network to-date include:
|Alliance for Water Efficiency||National Ground Water Association|