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Meridian Institute

Report Explores Strategies to Ensure Urban Water Security

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - Brad Spangler

​The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread released, Ensuring Urban Water Security in Water-Scarce Regions of the United States, a report which delves into the challenges that chronic and episodic water scarcity present for our nation's water infrastructure. The report is based on the discussions that transpired at a December 2013 Charting New Waters conference that was the result of a partnership between The Johnson Foundation and the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). A diverse group of leading water experts convened to examine the implications that water scarcity has for the nation's water infrastructure.
“Cities in certain regions of the United States could be caught unprepared to meet water demands during an extended drought if they do not take proactive steps now to diversify their water supply,” said Lynn Broaddus, Director of the Environment Program at The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread. “Getting out ahead of our water security challenges and achieving long-term sustainability of the nation’s water resources in the face of climate change, energy constraints, diminishing groundwater supplies, financial challenges and other resource constraints is going to take a comprehensive and cross-sector approach to the issue.”
Participants came from different regions of the United States coping with water scarcity or anticipating future shortages and included representatives from the municipal water supply sector, government, industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. The report captures their exploration of what communities are, or should be, doing to secure water supply for drinking as well as industrial, commercial and other residential uses.
"We recognize the importance of changing the ways we manage urban water and identifying different solutions to secure water supplies, including potentially transformative water technologies and management strategies,” said David Sedlak, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Califfornia, Berkeley and Deputy Director of
ReNUWIt. "This diverse group of collaborators can help catalyze the process of converting great ideas into practical and sustainable solutions."
The report is available for download at: www.johnsonfdn.org/chartingnewwaters.