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 infrastructure into the gray.
The Alliance is led by a highly diverse 35 member Board of Directors steeped in experience and leadership. The Board includes representatives from public and private water and wastewater organizations and utilities, businesses, state water and energy regulators, conservation, environmental and agricultural organizations, and academia from all around the country.
A National Water Vision
The Alliance is developing principles of sustainability through national dialogues, roundtables, and meetings. Shrinking budgets and increasing demands are putting pressures on the water sector overall to embrace innovation, integration and collaboration like never before. Engaging water association leaders to develop a national water policy framework helps to unify our voices and coordinate our efforts. The Alliance’s goal is to collaborate on a flexible framework that highlights the value of water and the need for specific and sustainable actions.
Five essential principles of sustainability include: 1) valuing water, 2) monitoring water, 3) integrating within the water sector and collaborating with other sectors such as energy, food, transportation, and housing 4) innovating through science, technology, regulation, and finance, and 5) convening and communicating for water’s future.
The Value of Water Coalition
The U.S. Water Alliance manages the Value of Water Coalition, which unites public and private sector leaders, utilities, and organizations to bolster public support for protecting water and investing in its future. The Alliance helps to plan and carry out the Coalition’s public awareness campaign, curates the Coalition’s online presence, including its website and social media feeds, and oversees current and new member relations and development. The Alliance continues to be a leader in shaping the Water Works! Campaign, a high-profile project of the Coalition to promote the economic, environmental, and social benefits of water infrastructure investment.
U.S. Water Prize
The U.S. Water Prize honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements. Created, sponsored and administered by the Alliance, the U.S. Water Prize is the first of its kind to recognize successful efforts in protecting and improving the health and wealth of water and watersheds throughout America.
One Water Network
The Alliance is convening leaders from an array of organizations to form a network to advance integrated, holistic watershed management (what the Alliance refers to as One Water Management). The Network focuses on exploring the gaps, policy priorities, and research needs for urban watersheds. There is a recognition among researchers and others that shifting the water paradigm will involve more than technical solutions but require a collaboration of leaders to meet challenges posed on the regulatory, policy and institutional fronts which is exactly why the Alliance hosts the One Water Leadership Summit.