The arid west and the southeast regions of the U.S. face unique water quality and quantity challenges. These challenges are predicted to intensify with the changing climate, increasing demands over water supplies, and a growing concern over degradation of water quality and heightened regulatory requirements.
Among NACWA’s highest priorities is to ensure that these challenges can be addressed effectively through the Association’s national policy agenda, and through a more focused collaboration with existing organizations that are also dedicated to these issues at the local, state, regional, and national level.
NACWA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the WateReuse Association in an effort to expand cooperation and work more closely on water reuse and water recycling. Leveraging the WateReuse Association’s technical expertise, this agreement will help NACWA’s unique advocacy efforts in supporting and encouraging resource recovery and water reuse. NACWA and WateReuse will coordinate on federal funding, research, regulations, and federal statutes – as well as engagement in knowledge-sharing, learning opportunities, and collaboration between members and staff.
In 2017, NACWA also partnered with the Western Coalition of Arid States (WESTCAS) and held roundtable discussions with a wide range of water professionals hailing from key western states. During these discussions, it became clear that many of the water quality and quantity challenges extend well beyond the arid west borders, and thus demand a greater national focus. NACWA developed a Concept Paper outlining these key issues.
NACWA is also engaging on emerging challenges regarding salinity issues. Across the country, there is a growing, national trend in freshwater salinization from road salt application, water reuse, desalination, water softeners, and high natural background levels. NACWA has met with key EPA staff to discuss how this growing trend is impacting the municipal clean water community.
NACWA’s advocacy around water quantity/water quality issues is focused on critical topics such as climate change and resiliency, water reuse/recycling, regulatory improvement and Clean Water Act reform, affordability and financing, the Utility of the Future concept, and the water quality-water quantity nexus.
In order to tackle some of these issues, NACWA has convened the Arid State and Water Quantity workgroup which will which will focus current and emerging arid state and water quantity topics—and subsequent solution-oriented strategies—as vital national advocacy priorities.
For those interested in joining the Arid State and Water Quantity workgroup, or learning more, contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’S Director, Regulatory Affairs.