The U.S. Water Alliance announced that it has been selected by the Water Research Foundation (WRF) to lead a project to help water utilities measure their climate impact and communicate progress toward achieving net-zero targets.
Addressing the climate crisis requires urgent collective action to hasten the transition to net zero. While the water sector must take action to address its emissions, it also can play a pivotal role in helping reach ambitious and effective climate goals set by communities through One Water management approaches such as nature-based solutions, energy recovery and resource circularity. Greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking through comprehensive and accessible tools can help the water sector to achieve climate goals.
"Water utilities are not only impacted by our growing climate crisis; they can play a major role in helping solve the climate crisis and ensure all communities can thrive,” said Mami Hara, CEO of the U.S. Water Alliance. “This project is a vital step that will allow water utilities to do their part in reducing emissions to achieve a net-zero future.”
To develop consensus-based methodologies and open-source tools for GHG accounting in the water sector, the alliance assembled a team of utility practitioners, technical experts and academic researchers who will help guide and contribute to the project.
The team — which includes representatives from Princeton University, Brown and Caldwell, CDM Smith, Cobalt Water Global, GHD, Jacobs, Northern Tilth and Stantec — will develop user-friendly industry-wide guidance and an open-access tool for calculating GHG emissions by gathering feedback from utility partners to ensure its broad applicability.
“Understanding current greenhouse gas emission sources is a vital step for water and wastewater utilities working to mitigate climate change impacts,” said Peter Grevatt, CEO of WRF. “We are excited to work with the U.S. Water Alliance's strong cross-sector team to develop international, industry-wide consensus around GHG accounting and methodologies.”