The Heat, the Facility, and Demographics Top AWRA Concerns

Climate change concerns, aging water resources infrastructure, and changing population demographics are among the water resources issues that must be addressed by 21st century policymakers, according to the American Water Resources Association's Fourth Water Resources Policy Dialogue in September.

The association, the Environment and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Wildlife Federation reviewed the results of three previous National Water Policy Dialogues held in 2002, 2005, and 2007, and then identified the most pressing challenges facing the Obama Administration and 111th Congress.

Attendees to the dialogue included water resources experts from the public and private sectors and congressional and federal agency staff. Their recommendations to the new administration include addressing the following policy needs:

• An immediate assessment of the nation's water resources;

• Development of a national [not federal] water resources vision and overarching principles to guide water resources development;

• Better coordination of water-related activities of federal agencies and congressional committees;

• Reevaluation of federal government's role in water resources in light of growing state attention and direction of water resources activities; and

• Use of a watershed context where underlying water resources planning is conducted in partnership with states and local entities.

The complete Summary Report of the 2008 Dialogue and the results of the prior Dialogues are available at