ALEXANDRIA, VA, Jan. 14, 2014 -- New efforts to research the institutional issues and governance structures impacting established water, wastewater and stormwater management agencies have recently commenced.
Instigated by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), the research aims to understand what institutional challenges have faced organizations engaged in the One Water approach, and more importantly what strategies and actions were adopted to overcome them. The program is called, "Institutional Issues for Green-Gray Infrastructure Based on Integrated 'One Water' Management and Resource Recovery." (Visit the project's website for more details.)
One Water is the concept that water from all sources must be managed cooperatively to meet economic, social and environmental needs. WERF is seeking to:
- Understand the current state of institutional barriers or opportunities for more integrated planning and management of water services
- Illustrate the institutional issues identified, furthering discussion about how barriers may have been overcome
- Capture key institutional challenges and associated solutions confronting the development of a One Water approach in a useful framework
- Organize a series of workshops to engage international experts on this topic
"We recognize that the governance system and institutions developed over the past century to manage our water resources may be barriers to effectively meeting our current and future challenges," said WERF Program Director Theresa Connor. "Since institutions are difficult to change, it is critical to look at how communities are overcoming these barriers so that we can learn from each other and find ways to collectively manage our water resources for the needs of our communities, our economy and our environment."
The contract for this research was awarded the University of Technology, Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures. WERF is collaborating with the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and Water Research Australia in this effort.\
See also: "WERF seeking proposals for green-gray infrastructure research based on 'One Water' Paradigm."
The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues. For more information, visit www.werf.org.