Water: Sustainability Principles
Meeting water supply needs is a key function of many local governments. In addition to water scarcity in some jurisdictions, the high amounts of energy and chemicals required for traditional water treatment processes pose significant challenges to human and environmental health. Environmentally sustainable approaches to the management of local water systems will ensure the protection of this vital human resource.
Develop a Comprehensive Plan That Integrates Water Use and Watershed Management
Sustainable water planning understands the interdependence among water infrastructure, ecological systems, and the built environment. Plans should simultaneously address and integrate habitat conservation; water storage, treatment, and conveyance methods; and water uses.
Create Cross-Jurisdictional Partnerships as Needed
Water systems cut across political & jurisdictional boundaries. Sustainable water management must recognize this simple fact and establish inter-jurisdictional agreements and partnerships to effectively plan and manager water resources.
Link Land Use and Water Management Plans
Land use planning and development must include a secure water supply and green spaces dedicated to resource protection.
Promote Innovation, Efficiency, and Conservation in Water Use
Design policies and public education campaigns that incentivize creative water conservation methods among end-users. Encourage the use of products that reflect the latest in water-efficient technologies and designs.
Water Management Sustainability Principles – Storm Water
Incorporate Storm Water Management Features Throughout the Built Environment
Effective storm water management extends beyond centralized municipal stormwater infrastructure to include on-site catchment, treatment, and use. To the greatest extent possible, cities should make maximum use of both the natural and engineered urban landscapes to manage stormwater runoff.
Minimize or Eliminate the Introduction of Non-Point Source Pollutants
Non-point source pollution occurs when storm water picks up debris and contaminants as it moves across the land surface. Common urban pollutants include animal waste, lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and household chemicals that have been improperly discarded.
Water Management Sustainability Principles – Drinking Water
Minimize or Eliminate the Use of Drinking Quality Water for Non-Potable Functions
Every effort should be made to limit the use of potable water to drinking. Non-potable water systems should be used to meet all other residential, industrial, and agricultural needs to the greatest extent practical.
Reduce Unintended Losses in the Municipal Water Distribution System
Cities lose millions of gallons annually to leakages in distribution pipes. An effective replacement and monitoring program can effectively limit such losses.
Employ Water Treatment Technologies that Promote Sustainability and Limit Environmental Impacts
Chemical additives have a significant impact on the environment and human health. Implement alternatives such as ozonation, ultraviolet radiation, bio-treatments, etc.
Water Management Sustainability Principles – Wastewater
Limit Wastewater Production
Promote practices that minimize wastewater production and lessen the amount of pollutants entering the wastewater stream.
Maximize (Re)use of Treated Byproducts
Apply stringent health and technological standards to ensure the removal of pollutants and pathogens from all byproducts of wastewater treatment. Encourage use of treated byproducts for approved uses (fertilizers, methane fuel, etc).
Refers to pollution of water from uncontrolled and undocumented location. For example fertilizer that runs off an improperly treated lawn contaminating a stream. Water that meets or exceeds the EPA's drinking water quality standards and is approved for human consumption by the state or local jurisdictions.The used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter. Not fit for human consumption.An area of land which contributes overland flow of rainfall to a particular body of water. For example the Mississippi watershed stretches from the Rocky to the Appalachian Mountains.Unwanted elements that may reduce the quality of natural systems (air, water, land). The ability or potential of a physical body to do work. The most common forms of energy are heat, light, mechanical (moving parts), and electrical.