Mayors Water Council Convenes At USCM Annual Meeting

In June, more than 230 mayors from across the United States convened in Dallas, Texas for the U.S. Conference of Mayors? (USCM) 82nd annual meeting.

The issue of water was a critical topic of discussion this year for the Mayors Water Council and for the USCM within sessions involving discussions on energy and environment. The issue of green infrastructure was also consistently referenced during the annual meeting. Both the Mayors? Water Council meeting and the Environment Committee meeting were brief, and ran just 75 minutes each.

At the Water Council meeting, presentations by mayors and select guests focused on the U.S. EPA, best practices when it comes to wastewater and stormwater management and the achievement of an environmentally and financially-responsible clean water plan. Presentations also included a review of various resolutions focused on prioritizing natural infrastructure, investing in the nation?s water infrastructure and strategic water resource development. Other resolutions addressed the need to support levees that protect communities, the financial support needed by municipalities seeking to implement integrated plans that follow the EPA?s integrated planning framework, and the role of municipal concerns when it comes to Clean Water Act regulations.

U.S. Conference of Mayors president ? and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson ? along with other USCM leaders signed a revised agreement that emphasizes the need for local actions in order to help cities adapt to changing climate conditions and to build grassroots support for local conservation initiatives including water conservation. The agreement urges federal and state governments to enact bipartisan legislation and programs that can assist mayors in their efforts to lead the nation towards improved energy independence, environmental protection, improved water reuse, improved water supply and the tackling of climate change.
Both the EPA Administrator and the U.S. Energy Secretary applauded the U.S. Conference of Mayors in the development and signing of the revised agreement focused on climate change.

?If cities are going to drive the revitalization of this nation, then we need to become the laboratories and incubators of change,? said Mayor Johnson. ?We must be the engines driving the local and national economy. We have to have a resilient economy, able to weather the storms of recessions and depressions. We accomplish this by adopting an aggressive, pro-growth agenda comprised of new ways of thinking about infrastructure investment, sustainability, income inequality, trade and education.?

Moving forward, it will be up to the professionals working within the water/wastewater infrastructure and service sectors to make sure mayors across the United States follow through and include the water/wastewater infrastructure and service sector as part of their specific agendas for achieving local long-term local sustainable development.

Information in this news piece was provided by Kathy Shandling, UIM contributor and International Private Water Association executive director.

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