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Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint - US Water Alliance

January 2021

The U. S. Water Alliance’s report “Recovering Stronger: A Federal Policy Blueprint” was released in early 2021 and addresses the acute needs of the nation’s municipal water infrastructure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term underfunding of water resources infrastructure and inequities in access to clean water. The report makes recommendations for how the federal government could make funding for municipal water resources more stable; make water supplies safer; improve access to safe drinking water and wastewater treatment in low-income communities, communities of color, and rural communities; modernize the water sector; improve resilience to climate change; and take a whole-of-government approach to managing the nation’s water resources.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Seattle Public Utilities - Utility Discount Program

2020

In recent years, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which is the city’s water utility and provides drinking water and wastewater treatment, has strongly emphasized community engagement and equity issues through the creation of a variety of organizations and programs. One organization, Connect Capital, which is comprised of SPU staff and members of a community foundation and a community organization, advises SPU on how to ensure that the benefits of future  investments are equitable and address climate threats to those at risk of displacement. One result of Connect Capital’s encouragement is SPU’s investment in infrastructure in frontline communities, such as the South Park Neighborhood. Another equitable initiative under SPU is the Utility Discount Program, under which seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income customers receive a reduction in their water and electricity bills. Households with incomes at or below 70% of state median income pay only 50% of their SPU bill. Further still, SPU’s Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division aims to promote inclusive community engagement and collaboration.

Related Organizations: Seattle Public Utilities

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Community-driven Water Solutions in California's Central Valley - Community Water Center

Formed in 2006, the Community Water Center (CWC) is a grassroots organization in California’s Central Valley that works to combat water insecurity in frontline communities through community organizing, policy advocacy and public education to influence water governance and decision making. Many residents of the Central Valley are from low income, predominantly Latinx communities that deal with water scarcity, groundwater contamination, or a lack of proper infrastructure. CWC provides technical and legal assistance for frontline communities, training residents as clean water advocates and helping to secure funding for sustainable drinking water projects.

Related Organizations: Community Water Center

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Connecticut State Water Plan

January 2018

In January 2018, the Connecticut Water Planning Council released the Connecticut State Water Plan to coordinate and improve water management in the state and address the impacts of climate change. The plan, designed for policy makers, planners, and regulators, was informed by consultation with stakeholders and drafted through consensus-based decision-making. The State Water Plan recommends policies and management strategies, prioritizes key issues for Connecticut’s water, and identify strategies for improved water management in the future.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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U.S. Water Alliance - Water Equity Clearinghouse

September 2017

The Water Equity Clearinghouse is an online database of organizations working at the intersection of water and equity, and presents emergent practices in equitable water management.  The clearinghouse highlights the work of utilities, community-based organizations, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, researchers, and others.  Climate mitigation and adaptation is one of the “Issues Addressed” filters that returns a number of organizations involved in climate change planning and resiliency around water resources.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance, Water Equity Network

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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A Risk Assessment of California Key Source Watershed Infrastructure

August 16, 2017

This comprehensive assessment of five key watersheds in northeastern California, details the climate risks and watershed restoration and conservation activities needed to improve the long-term quality and security of the state’s water supply. Following California AB 2480 which defined source watersheds as integral to the state’s water infrastructure and therefore eligible for repair and maintenance funding, this report lays out a framework for restoring and maintaining resilient watersheds.

Related Organizations: Pacific Forest Trust

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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An Equitable Water Future - A National Briefing Paper

June 6, 2017

From the U. S. Water Alliance, An Equitable Water Future explores the implications of water supply stress and management on vulnerable or disadvantaged communities and discusses the opportunities to build more equitable water systems. The report identifies the ways in which water issues like affordability and aging infrastructure disproportionately impact vulnerable communities, and highlights the potential to leverage water systems to build water equity. The Alliance determined that the focal elements to building water equity are to ensure that all people have access to safe, clean water; benefit from water infrastructure investments; and are climate resilient.

Related Organizations: U.S. Water Alliance, Water Equity Network

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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A Greater LA: Climate Action Framework - Water

December 2016

The Water section of Los Angeles County, California's Climate Action Framework (A Greater LA) identifies climate change impacts on water resources in the Los Angeles County region, and regional-scale priorities for improving the reliability of the region's water supply under future conditions. The Framework, which also contains sections for four other sectors, was developed by the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC) to support more coordinated and collaborative regional policies relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Related Organizations: Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC)

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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City of Chula Vista, California Water Stewardship Plan

November 2016

Chula Vista’s Water Stewardship Plan recommends strategies for sustaining the city's water supply, through water efficiency, recycling and diversification methods such as green infrastructure - while facing a growing population and increasing impacts of drought and climate change. Chula Vista is preparing for water scarcity as an extension of existing sustainability and climate adaptation efforts, recognizing the interdependence between climate change, energy, and water management.  The plan assesses current water use in Chula Vista and the city’s previous water stewardship policies and initiatives.

Related Organizations: City of Chula Vista, California

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Climate Change Adaptation in the Water Supply Sector - New Jersey

August 4, 2016

From the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance and Rutgers University, this report provides an overview of projected climate change impacts on water supply in New Jersey, as well as recommended adaptation measures and policy responses to address these issues. The report explores a wide range of local and state level adaptation options for the protection and management of water supply resources and utilities - and is intended to inform the policy discussion on water management in New Jersey to better include climate change impacts.

Related Organizations: Rutgers University, New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance

Author or Affiliated User: Daniel Van Abs

Resource Category: Planning

 

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