Ample Water

When the well's dry, we know the worth of water. ~Benjamin Franklin

Ensuring that ample water remains in our ecosystems during all seasons of the year is essential to sustaining all life. How to advocate for ample water has become an urgent issue across our community, and not just in areas where water scarcity is common. In response, River Network will grow our support for local caretaker seeking to better understand what they can do to make a difference, share solutions that achieve both human needs and ecosystem functionality, and foster expanded impact through collaboration. This content will grow over time along with our website, but we are happy to start sharing trending news and important information relevant to what it takes to deliver ample water for people and nature immediately through the bullets below.

This Quarter’s News and Information

  • What is the one issue that keeps you up at night? Is it the same for our world’s leaders? We bet you didn’t think so, but according to news from the World Economic Forum, water is at the very top of the list – both quantity and quality.

  • If water is so critical to life, do we all have a right to it? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it is free even here in the US.

  • Public concern over desperately dry conditions in California helped pass the state’s recent water bond. What makes this measure different is that it isn’t just about new storage projects but also a more comprehensive approach to solving California’s water challenges, including watershed protection, which is in part why American Rivers, Cal Trout, NRDC, and others supported the measure. Now it’s time to get to work and get the implementation right, according to Andrew Fahlund, which may be very challenging. Keep your eyes on this one.

  • What novel approaches exist for reducing water demand? Water demand offset and water-neutral growth programs show promise as an effective way for communities to support sustainable growth, according to a new report just released. This report reviewed 13 communities throughout the United States that currently have a water demand offset policy or water neutral growth policy in place. Pretty interesting information from our friends at the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE). On the demand side where water utilities are involved, the Conserve 2 Enhance program, featured at this quarter's forum may also provide some new ideas.

  • Sometimes we have too much water. That was true 50 years ago in California, as Tim Palmer's recent op ed reminds us. Is your community prepared? Will the response to floods result in more engineered solutions or floodplain protection opportunities? EPA has just released a new interactive storm surge inundation map to help bring attention to current worst-case storm surge and inundation scenarios on the American Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This and other tools may prove useful when working with communities and utilities to improve investment in floodplain and watershed protection and restoration when aligned with climate resilience.

  • Just for fun: Do you know that New York City requires a billion gallons of water a day? Where does that water come from? How do their supply issues relate to healthy rivers and watersheds? Did you know New York’s approach has influenced utilities around the world? If you don’t know New York City’s water story (and even if you do), this video provides a good primer. For a deeper dive, check out Empire of Water and Liquid Assets.

Contact Information

Gayle Killam
Deputy Director of Science and Policy
(503) 542-8387