Water Security Examined in Water-Scarce Regions of United States
In a new report, Charting New Waters explores new approaches to urban water management to ensure future water supply resiliency.
Water sector leaders need to develop a persuasive story about the potential severity of future water shortages, the consequences of a business-as-usual approach to water supply and demand planning, and the benefits of new water supply options, according to a Charting New Waters report released by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.
“We have learned that new ideas emerge when we bring together experts with different experiences and perspectives,” 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.”
In order to help urban water managers and other decision makers evaluate the available alternatives and invest in those that are most likely to result in a sustainable and resilient water supply, the report recommends a common set of principles for water security that can serve as a filter when evaluating options, including:
- Pursue efficiency and conservation first
- Develop a diverse supply portfolio
- Account for climate variability in long-term planning
- Invest in local water sources
Alongside the report, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread invited four participants to contribute additional thoughts to its new online dialogue, Inspiring Solutions – an online forum to convene, share ideas, and find innovative solutions with sustained impact. Participants were asked to dive deeper into little deeper into water scarcity.