Dec 20, 2013

Water Experts Explore Water Security in Water-Scarce Regions

New approaches to urban water management explored to ensure future water supply resiliency

 The Johnson Foundation Wingspread Charting New Waters Urban Water Management

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread partnered with the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt) in convening a diverse group of leading water experts to examine the implications that water scarcity has for the nation's water infrastructure.

Conference participants identified key technical uncertainties and institutional impediments that must be resolved to ensure reliable and resilient future supply in water-scarce parts of the country. The convening comes shortly after the Obama Administration’s introduction of the interagency National Drought Resilience Partnership—a new partnership between seven federal agencies to help communities better prepare for droughts.

Participants came from different regions of the U.S. coping with water scarcity or anticipating future shortages and included representatives from the municipal water supply sector, government, industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. Together they explored what communities are, or should be, doing to secure water supply for drinking as well as industrial, commercial and other residential uses.

The dialogue is part of Charting New Waters, an initiative bringing together experts to examine freshwater challenges, successes, innovations and potential solutions that can bridge geographies and inform national policy.

The Johnson Foundation formally launched Charting New Waters in 2010 as an effort dedicated to catalyzing new solutions to U.S. freshwater challenges. Charting New Waters is the work of a diverse group of leaders from business, agriculture, academia and environmental organizations that have publicly committed to improving U.S. freshwater resources by advancing the principles and recommendations of the group. These recommendations were captured in a consensus report, "Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges," issued in Sept. 2010.