CivicUS Offers Advice on Water, Stormwater

CivicUS, an advisory service firm for leadership in state and local government, recently released "Water Utilization: Awareness First" and "MS4 Permits: Playing Catch with a Live Hand Grenade," which offer advice on water as an emerging threat.

Water's historically low cost and the industry's rate-base model provides virtually no incentive for utility companies or the public to reduce water consumption. The firm warns that cheap, clean water will not last and suggests governments work with large water companies to encourage a model that advocates conservation.

"Drinking water as a key environmental issue does not receive the attention it deserves," said Joseph Aamidor, program director of the Environmental Quality and Sustainable Practices service at CivicUS. "Government and business leaders need to address the issue now before it becomes too dire to develop long-term solutions to protect the public." The firm suggests employing new rate structures and working with large water consumers to set examples for all consumers.

In "MS4: Playing with a Live Hand Grenade," CivicUS recommends that an independent manager and dedicated source of funding will help governments and the business community address the contentious issue of stormwater management.

"Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permits are among the newest of controversial technical topics facing environmental regulators." According to Joaquin Gonzalez, senior vice president and research director at CivicUS, "Jurisdiction over stormwater management is shared among several departments, including Public Works, Environment, Transportation and Planning, increasing its complexity and the difficulty in implementing sound policy to solve it."

CivicUS will host a teleconference, "Still the Ones: Air, Water and Land" on Sept. 23. There is no charge to participate, but attendance is limited. For information, call 301.296.4440 x1271 or send e-mail to

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