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Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future

June 2006

This report, along with the 2008 report, "Water Needs and Strategies for a Sustainable Future: Next Steps," include consensus recommendations and action items to both encourage and assist local, state and federal planners and managers and private sector partners to coordinate effectively to prepare for and address challenges of over-appropriated watersheds, population growth, land use changes, water needs for in-stream uses, and water supply and water management strategies in Western states. These reports address six specific issues, including: examining water policies and population growth, providing water supply to meet future demands, maintaining water supply infrastructure, resolving Indian water rights, preparing for climate change, and conserving endangered species.

Author or Affiliated User: Mohd Khawlie

Resource Category: Planning

 

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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.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project

The Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP) was established through funding from the U.S. Government’s Office of Economic Opportunity in the 1960s. The Project helps low-income rural communities in the mid-Atlantic and the Southeastern U.S. obtain water and wastewater infrastructure for running water, indoor plumbing, and wastewater treatment. Water utilities in these rural areas often lack funding to provide such infrastructure. Households that are not supplied with drinking water tend to rely on wells and septic tanks, which can get contaminated by pollution from agricultural activity and the lack of suitable wastewater treatment. SERCAP assists both individuals and municipalities, and its services include installing infrastructure, providing financing and loans, and offering technical support. In addition to providing services related to water, SERCAP also provides support on housing issues.

Resource Category: Organizations

 

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Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms 

September 6, 2018

This Public Policy Institute of California report examines climate change impacts on water resources in California, and the state’s capacity for adaptation to water scarcity and drought. California’s 2012–2016 drought - which was the hottest in the state’s recorded history and one of the driest - is used to assess water management and responses from that time in four sectors: cities and suburbs, irrigated agriculture, rural communities, and freshwater ecosystems. Policy and management reforms are recommended for drought planning, water infrastructure and operations, water rights administration, and funding.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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An Equitable Water Future: Opportunities for the Great Lakes Region 

March 6, 2018

The U.S. Water Alliance has investigated water assets and systems in the Great Lakes region, and the equitable management of these assets. The report describes climate change impacts on water resources, along with other equity issues such as failing infrastructure, affordability, and workforce inclusion. Opportunities for the region to adapt the water sector, and detailed strategies provide a framework for making these water systems more inclusive.

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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Ripple Effects: Colorado Water Plan in Action 2017

November 2017

Ripple Effects: Colorado’s Water Plan is a 2017 update on implementation of the plan that was published by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) in 2015 - outlining two years of progress. Three main values are intended to guide the document: a productive economy, especially in the agricultural and tourism sectors; efficient water infrastructure; and a strong environment with healthy watersheds and wildlife. Many of the water plan’s objectives and strategies focused on climate change impacts to these focal sectors, and have been implemented according to this progress report.

Author or Affiliated User: Megan Holcomb

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Oregon 2017 Integrated Water Resources Strategy

December 2017

The 2017 edition of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy builds on the state’s 2012 strategy and is aimed at predicting and meeting the state’s instream and out-of-stream water needs, both now and in the future. The updated version addresses climate change as a “cross-cutting issue” and illustrates the need for continuous monitoring of water resources as predictions based off of historical data becomes unpredictable because of climate change. The state’s past efforts are highlighted, including a 2015 Executive Order which called for the 2017 strategy to address drought resiliency, which it does in Chapter 5 (section 5.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Water Research Foundation Climate Change Knowledge Portal

The Water Research Foundation has developed a website of “Knowledge Portals” on various topics relating to water resources and water utilities management - including climate change. The portal includes publications by the Foundation on climate impacts, vulnerability assessments, adaptation and mitigation in the water sector, and communication resources.

Resource Category: Adaptation Websites

 

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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.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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