What Does it Take to Address Climate-Related Challenges?

Erica DePalma, US Water Alliance, and Marc Cammarata, Philadelphia Water Department | July 13, 2023

In March, we held our second Regional Convening of 2023 in Philadelphia, PA, uniting Water Equity Network cities located in the Delaware River Basin. We were joined by five City Teams—Trenton, NJ; Allentown, PA; Reading, PA; Camden, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA—who gathered to discuss challenges and identify shared priorities with an emphasis on climate resiliency. Paula Connolly, Director of Local Engagement and Senior Advisor for Distributed Infrastructure at the Alliance was joined by Marc Cammarata, Deputy Water Commissioner; Planning, at Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), to discuss insights from Philadelphia's progress and offer lessons learned to peer utilities and City Teams within the region. | More >

One Water Field: Stronger than We Think It Is

Emily Simonson, Director of Strategic Initiatives, US Water Alliance | June 29, 2023

Building a sustainable and equitable water future requires building a healthy, effective One Water field of practice and eventually growing the One Water field of practice into the dominant approach for water management in the United States. In 2022, members of the One Water Council put forward a framework and ran a survey to investigate the current state of One Water—and the results are in! | More >

Taking Climate Action with Inflation Reduction Act Funding

Laura Miller, Network and Development Manager | June 14, 2023

The water sector is on the front lines of climate change, with climate-related water stress such as floods, droughts, and severe storms impacting communities around the country. Water infrastructure and services can also play a significant role in mitigation; recent studies estimate that freshwater sources and water and wastewater services account for at least 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2023, the US Water Alliance’s One Water Council was joined by experts to learn about funding opportunities embedded in the recent Inflation Reduction Act and how best to access them to advance sustainable One Water management. Key funding sources discussed by the One Water Council include the Investment Tax Credit, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program. | More >

A Deep Dive in the Deep South: The Water Equity Network's Southeast Regional Cohort Meets in New Orleans

Clare Auld-Brokish, Program Associate, and Erica Rawles, Arts and Culture Program Manager | May 23, 2023

The Southeastern United States faces an array of water equity hurdles: climate change impacts and increased instances of extreme weather, aging infrastructure, and a history of racial injustice. The region also has an abundance of powerful water stories and strong community voices dedicated to centering the needs of those most heavily impacted by water inequities—Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color, as well as low-income communities—to achieve a sustainable water future. Our 2023 convenings kicked off in March with the first-ever meeting of our Southeast Regional Cohort in New Orleans, Louisiana, an exceptionally resilient city with a history and future heavily shaped by water.  | More >

Scorecard Finds that Most States Are Responding Slowly to Escalating Water Supply Challenges

Ron Burke, President and CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency | January 25, 2023

With climate change fueling more frequent and severe droughts nationwide and water services becoming increasingly costly and unaffordable for many, there is an urgent need to advance water efficiency and conservation, which are typically the fastest and least expensive ways to save water. These measures also help to lower water bills, reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and protect waterways. Additionally, water efficiency helps build resilience to extreme weather events that are increasing because of climate change. | More >

Washington DC Update—August 2022

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | August 30, 2022

The August recess is here, with the House being out until September 13 and the Senate being out until September 6. Lawmakers have been working feverishly to either pass or tee up legislation in accordance with their agenda before the upcoming midterm elections in November determine the balance of power in Washington. | More >

The US Water Alliance Celebrates the Work of its Water Equity Network Members

Clare Auld-Brokish | August 26, 2022

The compounding impacts of climate change and deepening social divides bring new challenges for the water sector in America, particularly for marginalized non-white communities already overburdened with economic, environmental, and health challenges. A 2019 US Water Alliance report found that race is the strongest predictor of water and sanitation access and that poverty is a key obstacle to water access. For these communities in the coming years and decades, fundamental concerns of water affordability, safety, and security will continue to grow unless action is taken today. | More >

We apologize and hope for the opportunity to make it right.

US Water Alliance | June 30, 2022

Our mission is to advance an equitable One Water future. Those who join us in this work come from a variety of perspectives, organization types, sectors, and regions. When it comes to advancing equity, we require a collective commitment to learning and growing together. We endeavor and aspire to advance water equity and racial equity in authentic, meaningful, and healing-centered ways. We endeavor and aspire to prevent equity-washing and honestly address the painful histories that demonstrate why a focus on water and racial equity are so very necessary. 

We failed in our aspirations to advance water equity and racial equity in authentic and honest ways when we published content in our newsletter citing the Great Lakes Water Authority’s commitment to affordability without also acknowledging the real harms endured by Detroiters because of GLWA’s words, policies, and actions in the past—particularly concerning water service shutoffs. In failing to do our work the way we hope to, we harmed those impacted by water affordability and those working tirelessly to seek accountability and meaningful community-led solutions. We are deeply sorry. | More >

Washington DC Update—June 2022

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | June 29, 2022

The biggest development in water policy this month was the EPA’s new actions on several of the chemicals in the PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) family of chemicals. PFAS are used to make things nonstick, water repellent, and/or stain-resistant and were used in countless consumer, commercial, and industrial products for decades. These chemicals either slowly degrade or do not degrade at all and can build up in living organisms over time and remain there indefinitely. The Biden administration has drastically lowered its existing lifetime health advisories for the two best-known types of PFAS, known as PFOS and PFOA—both of which have been phased out of use by US manufacturers. These new advisories are set at “near-zero” levels, below what can be currently measured by existing technology and replacing 2016 guidelines that set them at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). | More >

Onsite Water Reuse and Affordable Housing: An Equitable Investment

Jorge Losoya, Jennifer Walker, and Jonathan Seefeldt, National Wildlife Federation: Texas Living Waters Project | June 15, 2022

In the shadow of a snarling interstate exchange just a few blocks south of downtown Minneapolis, a patchwork of gardens grows around a set of colorful buildings. The greenery is, in fact, a rain garden system, capturing and filtering rainwater from the surrounding roofs. Built atop a former brownfield site long associated with urban blight, Minneapolis’ Rose Apartments may seem an unusual setting for onsite water reuse—a growing suite of technologies often associated with commercial or niche development projects. Yet localized capture, treatment, and re-deployment of water is simpler and more affordable than it may seem, and its broad benefits have the potential to make a significant positive impact on a critical area many water-reuse advocates have so far overlooked: the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis.  | More >