WATER POLICY: The Clean Water America Alliance Generates Industry Momentum

The Clean Water America Alliance (CWAA), a newly formed organization focused on the promotion of water sustainability and the development of a viable national water policy to better address the provision of clean safe water for future generations, recently hosted its second national dialogue.

The two-day program, held in Washington, D.C., brought together more than 50 water industry experts and practitioners to debate and review the issues associated with the value of water. Dialogue participants included representatives from the legal community, private sector equipment suppliers, engineering firms, consulting firms, public officials and local, state and federal authorities.

Titled ?What?s Water Worth?? ? or W3 ? the second national dialogue recognized the need for the country to begin to succinctly re-evaluate how we use water as a result of regional population increases, challenges associated with climate change and the evolving energy-water nexus. While the inaugural dialogue in fall 2009 centered around the topic of water sustainability, this most recent dialogue specifically sought to advance the vision for the establishment of an integrated national water policy.

Chaired by Ben Grumbles, the director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the former Assistant Administrator for the U.S. EPA?s Office of Water, the second national dialogue included presentations by Robert Glennon, the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Arizona; Nancy Stoner, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. EPA?s Office of Water; and David Scott, Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Baltimore (Md.).

Key issues and observations raised in the national dialogue:

  • The need to improve the valuation of clean water in the United States. The average price of water around the country does not reflect the actual cost associated with the provision of water;
  • Water is not just a natural resource, it is also a precious resource;
  • The need to build a base of knowledge on issues like water footprinting, water reuse, water conservation, improved water efficiency practices, water asset management, etc.;
  • The sustainability of water/wastewater municipal systems across the country must become more of a national funding priority ? a priority that encompasses a varied menu of available funding options;
  • The challenges that the nation will face if the quality and quantity of the water supply diminishes in the future given the close link between water availability and the nation?s economical, ecological and social well being.

The next major event of the Clean Water America Alliance is the launch of the Business Advisory Council. As envisioned, the Business Advisory Council will provide a forum for forward-thinking business and industry partners to explore water sustainability and infrastructure challenges as well as establish new collaborations to promote the development of a national water policy. The Honorable Sherwood Boehert, former Chair of the House Science and Technology Committee and the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, will serve as the Honorary Chair for the Council?s inaugural meeting.

For more information on the Clean Water America Alliance visit www.cleanwateramericaalliance.org.

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