Report Urges Optimized Use of Water Resources

Optimizing use of available water supplies is among the top objectives of a six-year project by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread to address U.S. water resource and infrastructure challenges.

The final report of the Charting New Waters initiative concludes that, ?Without significant changes, existing water systems will soon no longer be able to provide the services that citizens have come to expect.?

The report offers recommendations in five key areas:

  • Optimize the use of available water supplies
  • Transition to next-generation wastewater systems
  • Integrate the management of water, energy and food production
  • Institutionalize the value of water
  • Create integrated utilities

Regarding optimized use of supplies, the report calls on water utilities ?to dramatically increase the efficiency of their distribution systems through effective asset management, water audits, pressure management and systematic monitoring? and communities ?to establish water rates as well as policies and programs that incentivize conservation and efficiency while maintaining service providers? financial stability.?

Longer term recommended actions include:

  • Building “more flexibility and redundancy” into storage and distribution infrastructure
  • Diversifying supplies “by tapping underused water resources, such as rainwater”
  • Integrating “indirect and direct non-potable and potable water reuse” supply portfolios
  • Treating water ?to different quality levels? that ?match the right quality water to the right use.?

To access the complete report, visit www.johnsonfdn.org/aboutus/capstone.

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