About Us

raibow reflection

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

Pouring a young plant from a watering can

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 is a celebration of sustainable solutions that advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges. 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. Founded in 2008, the U.S. Water Alliance is the only organization with the charter and mission of bringing together a diverse array of interests to create integrated, holistic water policies for America. The Alliance is dedicated […]

Recent News

Blog: Ben Grumbles' Pipeline

  • ben sweet spot 3

    Sweet Spot

    Four years ago I landed back in Washington DC (from a great stay in AZ) and into the warm embrace of the US Water Alliance, the watershed-loving, diversity-infused nonprofit formerly known as Clean Water America Alliance. Since then, I’ve had the wonderful, continuously flowing opportunity to serve, learn, partner, and create with staff, members, and friends of the Alliance. And now, after four fruitful years, it’s time to move on, at least just a bit, and let others share more fully in the noble mission and work of the US Water Alliance. On January 21, I’ll be starting as Maryland Governor-Elect Larry Hogan’s nominee to be Secretary of the Environment. Most of you who read my monthly Pipeline columns already […]

  • coolwater2

    “Forty More Years!”

    Now that the 2014 election dust has settled and thousands of campaign pledges have aired (and erred),  it’s time to focus on a longer term national  campaign:  Celebrating the Safe Drinking Water Act’s (SDWA) 40th birthday beyond a single day in December and recommitting to its future for decades to come. Forty years ago, Congress came together in overwhelming bipartisan fashion to pass a comprehensive national program of federal and nonfederal standards, regulations, enforcement, and research for drinking water.  President Gerald “Whip Inflation Now” Ford signed the legislation on December 16, 1974 and with the support of states, utilities, cooperatives, and citizens helped to usher in a new era of public health for urban and rural America. This December’s milestone […]

  • joint authorities

    Joint Authorities

    Defining the lining and limits of “cooperative federalism” is never easy, particularly when you get into the weeds of growing “weed” with federally supplied water. My former colleague, Professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University Law School, tackles one of the more interesting questions of the day in his op-ed “Fighting Pot with Water” (USA Today, July 7, 2014): Should the federal government be able to cut off federally-supplied water to marijuana growers in states that have legalized the production and use of the plant? Turley critiques the Bureau of Reclamation’s May 2014 decision to deny federal water for growing marijuana in the 17 western states served by Reclamation projects and concludes emphatically…no! I tend to agree but without the […]

  • icy-washington-reflections-potomac-river-blue-hour_livingston

    Catch and Trade

    Stormwater innovation is hitting the rooftops and hardscapes in the nation’s capital in a big way: Washington DC’s District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is using regulatory drivers, market-based incentives, and public-private partnerships to get cleaner water and a greener city. This is just one of many profiles in courage and innovation that will be discussed at the 2014 One Water Leadership Summit in KC, Missouri, September 15-17, where urban water sustainability champions converge to share solutions. What’s happening in the District and why is it important? It’s all about onsite and offsite stormwater retention credits (SRC) and stormwater fee discounts in the context of Clean Water Act Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits and watershed implementation plans under […]

  • Grill, Baby, Grill

    Grill, Baby, Grill

    Important and fractious debates over shale gas and oil continue to play out in watersheds and communities this Fourth of July.   As America searches for answers and assurances about scientific, legal, and policy risks, here’s my own personal take on some of the more interesting  trends since my “Drill, Maybe Drill” blog in May 2011. 1. More reporting and disclosure.  On the journalistic side: The ranks of thoughtful and probing reporters are growing.  I attended a June 2014 national workshop of Society of Environmental Journalists in Pittsburgh PA, and was impressed by the reporters’ depth of knowledge on facts and policy disputes in Shale plays throughout the country.  They engaged with academic researchers, industry, environmental advocates, and regulators, and visited […]

  • The United States Capitol Building is reflected in the water at sunrise in Washington

    Congressional Water Works

    May in the nation’s capital is proving to be more promising and productive than predicted, at least on the “waterfront”. (Notice I don’t bring up the energy efficiency front, the immigration front, the health care front, etc.) Here are two of my favorite examples of May work for water progress: Congress finally forged a bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that keeps the wheels (and paddles and turbines) of progress moving forward and a Value of Water Coalition has tapped into the power of utility general managers, association directors, and corporate officers to launch a Water Works! campaign to make a lasting difference in how citizens view, value, and invest in water infrastructure. On the WRRDA Front: In […]

  • 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 […]

  • bg_opt2

    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 […]

  • 11553710-a-broken-pipe-that-leaks-water-in-all-directions

    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 […]

  • cheers

    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 […]

Signup E-Newsletter

Contact Us

1250 24th St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20037
P: 202.263.3677