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Alliance Publications

Collaborating for Healthy Watersheds:
How the Municipal & Agricultural Sectors are Partnering to Improve Water Quality

  The case studies in this paper demonstrate the gains to be realized by both municipalities and agriculture(including producers, landowners, and the supply chain) when they work together to address water quality and productivity concerns. This paper documents examples of successful municipal-agricultural collaborations that have achieved, or are striving to achieve, improved watershed health, with a focus on problem-solving regarding nutrient over-enrichment in our waterways and groundwater. The purpose of the paper is to identify common themes and approaches that have been used in these successful programs and to provide models to encourage others across the United States to engage in similar collaborative efforts. This paper also seeks to promote a partnership model for improving water quality as federal and state policies and programs are further developed.
 MRND Report Cover

Coming Together to Protect Mississippi River Watershed: Agriculture and Water Sector Collaboration for Nutrient Progress

Between March 2013 and February 2014, a group of committed leaders in agriculture and drinking water and wastewater utilities gathered four times in cities across the Mississippi River Basin to explore how their sectors might mutually benefit by working together to reduce excess
nutrients in waterways within the Basin. Through dialogue, skepticism about the benefits of collaboration between the agriculture and water communities was transformed into optimism and a readiness to work together. The meetings, which comprised the Mississippi River Nutrient Dialogues (MRND), were sponsored by the U.S. Water Alliance with support from the McKnight Foundation, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, and Meridian Institute, and also included representatives of conservation and environmental organizations and state and federal government agencies.

Statement of Principles


Statement of Principles In Support of Resource Recovery

In a world of increasing competition for scarce resources (including water, energy, and food) our future will depend increasingly on recycling and recovery of key resources. We should be viewing our traditional “wastewater” treatment facilities and infrastructure, as “centers of regeneration,” where energy considerations are prominently featured, not simply as treatment and discharge operations to reduce pollution impacts. The U.S. Water Alliance joins with other organizations, in endorsing the following Resource Recovery Principles and encouraging U.S. EPA, and other organizations, to adopt policies, strategies, and regulations which reflect these values.


Statement of Principles In Support of Green Infrastructure Solutions to Stormwater Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to update the nation’s stormwater regulations by November 2012. The outcome of this regulatory reform process has the potential to prevent a major and growing source of pollution in our nation’s waters. While there are many complex components to these proposed stormwater regulations, the U.S. Water Alliance endorses clear guidance and support of green infrastructure approaches that reduce runoff and manage stormwater on-site. In recognition of green infrastructure’s benefits, to our communities, our waters, and our members, the U.S. Water Alliance joins with American Rivers and other organizations in endorsing the following Green Infrastructure Principles and encouraging EPA to adopt regulations which reflect these values.

Barriers & Gateways to Green Infrastructure

gireportcoversm The U.S. Water Alliance is pleased to release its latest report, Barriers and Gateways to Green Infrastructure. The report summarizes the results of the survey and is informed by the ongoing green infrastructure research and education programs of the Alliance. Recommendations were developed and refined through conversations with partner organizations including American Rivers, The Conservation Fund, Low Impact Development Center, Smart Growth America, and the Alliance’s Urban Water Sustainability Council. The research survey was funded by the Turner Foundation to help inform U.S. EPA’s upcoming Stormwater regulations due to be released December 2, 2011.

Water Sustainability Principles for a National Policy Framework

 framework draft The U.S. Water Alliance’s Water Sustainability Principles for a National Policy Framework is now available for download. Originally developed through several national dialogues, this Framework has been refined further through the input of 50 water sector leaders. “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 discuss and revise the draft framework was a step toward unifying the voice for water” explains Alliance President Ben Grumbles. “We will continue to take comments on the water sustainability principles and broaden the scope of our collaboration to all interested sectors and citizens from coast to coast.” 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.

National Dialogue Reports

 Managing One Water National Dialogue Report

Managing One Water

The report summarizes the National Dialogue held in Los Angeles, CA on September 27-28, 2010. The Dialogue focused on what is and is not working today in terms of water management, what the barriers are, and what steps could be taken to better integrate drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, reused water, and stormwater. The report is a compilation of the thoughts and ideas of over 40 of the nation’s leading experts and highlights many of the recommended solutions to today’s water management challenges; some of which include unifying all water stakeholders behind a single message, demonstrating the linkage between water security and national and economic security, better integrating water programs at the state and federal and state level, and working more closely with other stakeholders from the agriculture, conservation and energy sectors.

 What's Water Worth National Dialogue Report

What’s Water Worth

The report summarizes the National Dialogue held in Washington, D.C. on March 25-26, 2010. The National Dialogue focused on how water is valued in the United States from multiple perspectives including energy, agricultural, ecological, municipal, and industrial. The report is a compilation of the thoughts and ideas of 42 of the nation’s leading experts in water policy. Participants engaged in a wide ranging discussion on the uses and values of water and concluded that without a dramatic improvement in how we price and value water – and use it – we will face severe consequences, to our economy, to our environment, to our lifestyle, perhaps to our existence. Participants agreed that the seriousness of these challenges requires the development of a new approach to water management, based on understanding the many values of water – in short, a new water ethic.

 The Need for an Integrated National Water Policy National Dialogue Report

A Call to Action: The Need for an Integrated National Water Policy

In September 2009, the Alliance hosted its first National Dialogue which brought together nearly 30 leaders and experts in the clean water community to discuss water sustainability. Our report summarizing the discussion, A Call to Action: The Need for an Integrated National Water Policy, states that the United States faces increasing challenges that threaten its ability to provide adequate supplies of clean and safe water to meet the demands of energy production, agricultural expansion, and population growth.

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