The One Water strategy stresses the value of all water sources including rivers, aquifers, storm water, rainfall, greywater and wastewater
A new Texas report called “Advancing One Water in Texas” advocated for a holistic approach to treating water that focuses on water reuse and municipal collaboration. The report recommends cities treat all water–from rainfall to greywater–and repurpose it accordingly. Additionally, the report stresses the importance of collaboration between municipal departments to manage water sources to their most efficient use.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, analysts predict that Texas could run out of water as early as 2020, so the One Water study aims to preemptively find a sustainable solution to water shortages through water reuse.
“The days of feeding vast Texas lawns with water so pure a newborn baby could drink it should cease immediately,” and wastewater should be utilized instead, according to the report. The One Water study also advocates for the consistent collection and treatment of storm water and greywater. Municipal hierarchies should collaborate between storm water managers, parks and energy utilities departments to collectively make water supply decisions, the report suggests.
“The economics have to be clear to everybody,” said Carol Howe, a co-author of the study. “But if you look at the system [of water use] in total, it makes heck of a lot of sense.” Howe and her co-author Rachel Cardone, funded by the Mitchell Foundation, view their report as a potential guideline to Texas municipalities moving forward in water reuse and sustainable water practices.