Utilities across the country grapple with affordability concerns for their customers. The heart of the issue is ensuring that everyone has access to affordable water and sewer service, while also generating sufficient utility revenues to cover rising costs, deal with our aging infrastructure, and protect public health. While water service is generally affordable for most Americans, the lowest 20 percent of earners pay almost one-fifth of their monthly household income for water. Utilities in rural areas and cities with declining populations struggle to keep water affordable, while funding infrastructure needs to protect public health and comply with regulations. Water rates need to reflect the needs of the entire community, from the utility to the customer. Join us for part five of a seven-part series diving into each of the Seven Big Ideas in the One Water for America Policy Framework.
- Rob Curry, Executive Director, CHN Housing Partners
- Constance Haqq, Director of Administration & External Affairs, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
- Debra McCarty, Commissioner, Philadelphia Water
- Josie Pickens, Co-Director for Energy Unit, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
Water utilities are responsible for providing safe drinking water by treating water to regulatory standards, and by maintaining safe water quality through the distribution system. Water utilities do not control the quality of plumbing systems within individual property lines. But using their expertise, water utilities can be leaders to find solutions to their community’s lead problems, motivated by the imperative of public health protection. If we are committed to providing safe drinking water, we must reach across silos to generate community-wide solutions that engage healthcare systems, school systems, city departments, state agencies, and community groups. Join us for part six of a seven-part series diving into each of the Seven Big Ideas in the One Water for America Policy Framework.
The water industry is historically slower to adapt to technological innovation due to the innate risks of changing processes that affect public health. However, solving some of our most pressing water challenges requires investing in, developing, and deploying new technologies and processes that can transform water management. For example, wastewater, whether from industrial or municipal sources, can be converted into valuable resource streams. Sensors and satellites can provide precision data on water quality, water quantity, and infrastructure condition to facilitate decision making. Establishing a more enabling policy and regulatory environment is essential for innovation to flourish in the water industry. Join us for the final installment of a seven-part series diving into each of the Seven Big Ideas in the One Water for America Policy Framework.
Awarded on an annual basis, the US Water Prize celebrates outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable, integrated, and inclusive solutions to our nation's water challenges. It is the pre-eminent national recognition program for exemplary efforts to secure a sustainable water future for all. The winners will be announced and recognized at the 2018 US Water Prize Ceremony during the One Water Summit.
From July 10-12, 2018, leaders from across the country will gather at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis for a thought-provoking and action-oriented national summit on what it will take to secure a sustainable water future for all. This year we will focus on important, solutions-focused conversations about how we value and manage water to foster economic prosperity, community well-being, and environmental sustainability. Thank you to our 2018 host, Metropolitan Council, for inviting us to your One Water city.