When it comes to taking action to conserve water and improve water quality, one area deserves particular focus: building partnerships between water providers and the agricultural sector. Too often in our siloed water systems, we do not fully consider the impacts of agriculture and land management on our water sources. Yet the management of land presents one of the greatest opportunities for protecting water quality, preserving ecosystems, and safeguarding our drinking water supplies. Agriculture is one of the largest users of water in the US, and runoff from agricultural lands is believed to be the largest single source of nonpoint source pollution in US waterways. By concentrating on the development and implementation of best practices that balance conservation with productivity, we can greatly improve water quality of surface and groundwater resources, especially for downstream users.
This new, interactive website for water system partnerships is a one-stop-shop for states, public water systems, and the general public to find cooperative tools to address their drinking water challenges. The website will lead you through the story of partnerships, exploring the different types of partnerships to consider, and outlining examples of successful partnerships across the country. There are pages with resources, both national and state, to assist systems in the partnerships process.
America is at a crossroads. Now more than ever there is uncertainty around water supplies and quality across the country. At the same time, innovative leaders in regions across the country are driving groundbreaking solutions to secure a sustainable water future, now and for future generations. How do we foster a new era of collaboration and progress in water management? How do we align policy at every level of government to accelerate the innovative solutions that local leaders are pioneering?
We posed these questions and asked for solutions at 15 different Listening Sessions with 500 people across the country. Today, we are proud to begin the rollout of our One Water for America Policy Framework with the executive summary. Through the Listening Sessions we heard from leaders on the front lines of managing our nation's waters: utilities, city officials, farmers, environmental groups, community organizations, investors, and more. The insights from the Listening Sessions were then organized into 7 Big Ideas for the sustainable management of water, which we will release as a series of policy briefs starting in January.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new series called the Conservation Finance Network Toolkit. This series of articles focuses on individual tools practitioners can use. Our goal is to span the range of comfort levels our readers have – from simple to challenging. The toolkit will address conservation finance issues through the framework of “the Wedge,” which organizes tools according to the complexity and size of the funding opportunity.
EPA’s Water Finance Center partnered with the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) to develop Water Infrastructure Financial Leadership: Successful Financial Tools for Local Decision Makers. This document highlights successful strategies that have been used to fund and finance water infrastructure.
Why is Financial Leadership Important for Water Infrastructure?
Financial leadership practices for water infrastructure and services are an integral component of the overall economic health of every community. The health of all communities —small or large, wealthy or in need— depends on adequate infrastructure that can reliably deliver safe drinking water and provide clean wastewater and stormwater management.
This document is a resource that states and stakeholders can share with local decision makers. The information in this document can help local leaders:
- Identify what is needed for financial planning,
- Determine how to fund and finance a project, and
- Consider which strategic approaches can be used to protect local investments.
Where can I Find More Information?
This resource can also be found in the Water Finance Clearinghouse, an online database of resources and funding information that can help communities access capital to meet their water infrastructure needs.
SWMM-CAT allows users to evaluate climate change impacts on stormwater runoff volume and quality, and to explore how the application of various low-impact development (LID) options can be used to alter these hydrological parameters. SWMM provides a spatial and temporal analysis of runoff quality and quantity by dividing basins into multiple sub-catchment areas and analyzing runoff at different time steps. It covers a variety of different drivers that can cause runoff in urban areas, including rainfall, snowmelt, and groundwater percolation, among others, and also allows for mapping and modeling of different sub-catchment drainage system components, including pipes, channels, diversion structures, storage and treatment facilities, and natural channels. These components allow users to examine relationships between total rainfall, runoff, and various routing options at a sub-catchment scale to effectively plan and design stormwater and sewer systems.