The Clean Water America Alliance:

Each day, more Americans are confronting an unsettling fact of life in the 21st century: our supplies of clean, dependable, affordable water are more fragile than at any time in our history. While the amount of water we have on this planet remains finite, population expansion, economic development, climate change and water-intensive energy and agricultural practices threaten to overwhelm this vital resource. We are at a crossroads where our ecosystems, physical infrastructure and management systems, which have previously provided for our water needs, are at risk.

The Clean Water America Alliance was formed to challenge policymakers, key stakeholders and the public to imagine a world where water is viewed, managed and valued as one resource. A world where the silo thinking that has kept clean water, drinking water, stormwater and water reuse interests segregated erodes away ? and a movement toward meeting future challenges on a watershed basis, with a focus on sustainability and green cities, emerges in its place. Changing the water paradigm to ensure a sustainable future that balances our commitment to social, environmental and economic needs ? this is the vision of the Clean Water America Alliance.

Founded in 2008, the Clean Water America Alliance is the only organization with the charter and mission of bringing together the most experienced and forward-looking thinkers and advocates on water sustainability to energize and focus the nation on the need for a new approach to providing clean and safe water to future generations.

The Alliance?s diverse board of directors includes leaders from the private sector, municipal utilities, state agencies, the environmental community and academia ? as well as three former assistant administrators of water for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each member accepted the call to serve not based on current or past organizational affiliations, but instead because of their strong desire to identify the best possible way to meet future challenges. Its founding members harness an unmatched range of experience, knowledge and passion and are dedicated to helping forge a new vision for a sustainable water future.

Below are a few of the programs on which the Clean Water America Alliance is currently working.

Defining a National Water Policy

The Alliance believes that water is water, and that is why we need to look at all aspects ? wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, water supply ? as a whole and not as separate entities. The first step in achieving an integrated national water policy is to bring together experts from all relevant fields ? water practitioners, public officials, environmentalists, water users, local/state/federal authorities, agriculture, land use planners and others with a stake in the outcome ? to seek common ground on the various aspects of a national water policy. Only then can we assess the obstacles to achieving it and outline the concrete steps that can be undertaken to attain that goal.

Last September, the Alliance hosted its first National Dialogue, which brought together nearly 30 leaders and experts in the clean water community to discuss water sustainability. The 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. A full copy of the report can be found online at

The Clean Water America Alliance?s next National Dialogue, ?What?s Water Worth (W3)?? will be held March 25-26 in Washington, D.C., to seek common ground on the value of water and move us toward an integrated national water policy. Participants will represent the best and brightest from all relevant
fields ? water practitioners, public officials, environmentalists, water users, local/state/federal authorities, agriculture, energy, land use planners and others with a stake in the outcome.

Green Infrastructure

Another key initiative of the Clean Water America Alliance is promoting the use of green infrastructure in urban areas to address water quality challenges. While traditional gray infrastructure ? pipes and pump stations ? will always play a fundamental role in our treatment process, we cannot afford to overlook the broad benefits of natural systems. Wetlands can absorb pollutants from stormwater and floodwater before they enter our rivers, lakes and estuaries; permeable pavement allows rain water to soak slowly into the ground rather than rushing into the storm drain; and bioswales planted with native vegetation capture stormwater.

Our Green Infrastructure Task Force, launched in November 2009, is bringing together leaders in the field who can provide new ideas and share their experiences regarding the implementation of green infrastructure to address water quality challenges at the municipal and local level. The Alliance is still in the in the process of recruiting members for the task force and invite you to get involved.

If you are interested in learning more about the Green Infrastructure Task Force, please visit the website.

U.S. Water Prize

The Clean Water America Alliance strongly believes that recognizing organizations and individuals for outstanding achievements in water quality and quantity improvement is critical. That is why the Alliance created the U.S. Water Prize to celebrate sustainable solutions that advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges.

The inaugural U.S. Water Prize will be presented in Washington, D.C., in 2011 to honor one leading U.S.-based institution, organization or individual whose project or initiative represents effective innovation in ensuring water sustainability. Initiatives may be in the following topic areas: education, public awareness, research, technology, water resource management or policy development. More information is available on the website and nomination applications will be available soon.

This is a watershed moment. Make sure you are a part of it! Let?s work together to achieve an integrated, holistic water policy that will sustain generations of Americans to come.

Ken Kirk is president of the Clean Water America Alliance.

Clean Water America Alliance Founding Members

Black & Veatch Corp.
Burns & McDonnell
Camp Dresser & McKee Inc.
CH2M Hill
Greeley and Hansen LLC
HDR Engineering Inc.
Infilco Degremont/United Water
Insituform Technologies Inc.
Malcolm Pirnie Inc.
MWH Americas Inc.
PennWell Publishing Corp.
Siemens Water Technologies Corp.
Veolia Water North America
Alexandria Sanitation Authority (Virginia)
Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (California)
City & County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services (Hawaii)
City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management (Georgia)
Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (Texas)
Independence Water Pollution Control Department (Missouri)
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Illinois)
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (Wisconsin)
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (Ohio)
Philadelphia Water Department (Pennsylvania)
Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association Inc.

Clean Water America Alliance Board of Directors

Dick Champion, Chair
Jack Baylis
D. Randall Benn
Julius Ciaccia
James H. Clark
Carol Collier
Michael B. Cook
Mohamed Dahab, Ph.D.,?PE,?BCEE
Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Esq.
Richard C. Fox
Benjamin H. Grumbles
James Hall
John Hattle
Patrick T. Karney, PE, BCEE
Dick Lanyon
Charles Logue, PE
Steve Mahfood
G. Tracy Mehan, III
Erik J. Meyers
Pat Mulroy
Howard M. Neukrug, PE
Cornelius P. O?Leary
Michele Pla
Andrew W. Richardson, PE,?BCEE
Beth C. Sauerhaft, Ph.D.
Amy Shanker
James F. Stahl
Rich Sustich
Chuck Voltz
Neil Weinstein
LaJuana Wilcher

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *