RACINE, WI, May 21, 2014 — According to a Charting New Waters report released by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread on Tuesday, May 20, water and wastewater industry leaders are implored to develop a persuasive story about the potential severity of future water shortages, the consequences of a business-as-usual approach to water supply and demand planning, and the benefits of new water supply options.
“Ensuring Urban Water Security in Water-Scarce Regions of the United States” is the product of a meeting convened by The Johnson Foundation, which brought together a group of experts to examine the implications that water scarcityhas for the nation’s water infrastructure.
“We have learned that new ideas emerge when we bring together experts with different experiences and perspectives,” said Lynn Broaddus, director of the environment program at The Johnson Foundation. “Getting out ahead of our water security challenges and achieving long-term sustainability of the nation’s water resources in the face of climate change, energy constraints, diminishing groundwater supplies, financial challenges, and other resource constraints is going to take a comprehensive and cross-sector approach to the issue.”
In order to help urban water managers and other decision makers evaluate the available alternatives and invest in those that are most likely to result in a sustainable and resilient water supply, the report recommends a common set of principles for water security that can serve as a filter when evaluating options, including:
- Pursuing efficiency and conservation first
- Developing a diverse supply portfolio
- Accounting for climate variability in long-term planning
- Investing in local water sources