Statement of Principles
Communities nationwide, and particularly in the West, face severe water challenges due to a rapidly changing climate, drought and other factors. Sustainable water solutions – efficiency, conservation, green infrastructure, reuse, recycling, source water protection, groundwater management -- have enormous untapped potential to address these challenges and promote community resilience and independence.
While federal and state water policies are crucial elements, decisions about how to provide water to people and businesses rest largely with public urban water providers. The WaterNow Alliance is a network and coalition of urban water agency political leadership that catalyzes and facilitates widespread adoption of environmentally and economically sustainable water solutions in local communities at scale. The Alliance is intended to be a significant positive force for sustainable water solutions, capable of attracting broad support, galvanizing local action, and achieving impact.
Adoption of non-traditional, sustainable water solutions at scale will require building political support for these solutions with the municipal decision makers who are ground zero for determining their communities’ water future. The opportunity is to provide these leaders – elected board members as well as utility managers -- with a locus of information, resources and demonstrated benefits of these solutions in tangible and measurable terms. Success in this case breeds not only success, but also growing and widening political support for sustainable water solutions.
The Alliance’s specific objectives are to support local utility leaders – whether elected or appointed, part of city or county government or special districts – in their efforts to identify, finance and implement sustainable water strategies ands solutions by serving the following functions:
1. Develop, curate and provide a forum for information, data, experience, and best practices to accelerate implementation of sustainable water solutions;
2. Provide tangible solutions, tools and resources for members and partners to build sustainable approaches to water resilience and security within their communities;
3. Identify opportunities for collaborative action to advance sustainable water solutions;
4. identify and overcome barriers to implementation; and
5. Serve as a voice for communities supporting water resilience in appropriate policy forums.
Resilience and sustainability are core values animating the Alliance. For Alliance purposes, the term “resilience” refers to the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions. “Sustainability” refers to methods of using natural resources, such as water, without completely using up or destroying the resource; allowing it to remain usable for the future in a healthy condition, meaning robust and sound, as opposed to stressed or in significant decline.
The specific sustainable water solutions, approaches and options that the Alliance will support include, but are not limited to reuse, green infrastructure, water use efficiency, conservation, recycling, groundwater management, stormwater recapture, watershed protection. The terms “water conservation” and “water use efficiency” are often used interchangeably to mean reducing water use. In general, “water conservation” refers to any beneficial reduction in water use, loss or waste; “Water use efficiency” refers to a means of conserving water, the accomplishment of a function, task, or result using the least amount of water possible. For Alliance purposes, both terms refer to the preservation and careful management of developed water resources, and are broadly inclusive of strategies and technology.