CUWA is working on multiple fronts to address today’s urban water challenges. Activities include the following.
In 2016, CUWA’s Water Reuse Committee collaborated with the Planning and Conservation Committee and the Stormwater Workgroup to develop One Water Policy Principles to provide leadership and perspective on how One Water or an integrated and collaborative approach to water management can benefit the reliability, resilience, and sustainability of California water while ensuring the protection of public health at all times.
In November 2016, CUWA released a new white paper—The Potential for Stormwater as a Water Supply. The white paper aims to inform ongoing statewide dialogue by characterizing current urban stormwater uses, as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with its increased capture to supplement California’s water supply.
Water Accessibility and Affordability
CUWA formed a Water Accessibility and Affordability Committee to provide leadership on the growing statewide challenges of access to clean, safe drinking water in rural areas and water affordability in both urban and rural areas. CUWA recently updated our Water Accessibility and Affordability Policy Principles and fact sheet series (Providing for California’s Water Supply Reliability and Affordability; and Tackling California’s Water Accessibility and Affordability Issues) that makes the connection between ongoing water investment needs, cost of water, and affordability issues. These documents also offer ideas and approaches to accelerate progress and target solutions for restoring access to safe, high-quality drinking water for residents in rural disadvantaged communities and highlights the need for strategies that won’t exacerbate the affordability concerns of low-income customers across the state.
CUWA’s Water Reuse Committee informs regulatory and legislative developments, advancing potable reuse and exchanging information. As a first priority, CUWA developed a set of Water Reuse Policy Principles in July 2013. The committee developed a Water Reuse Update, which highlights local activities and perspectives of CUWA agencies in advancing water reuse. The committee recently worked with several collaborative partners to develop the Potable Reuse Operator Training and Certification (PROTC) Framework white paper that can serve as a foundation for further development of actual training and certification requirements by the state, along with pending regulations for permitting and operating reuse facilities. The Enhancing Confidence in Potable Reuse with a New Operator Training and Certification Framework fact sheet summarizes the PROTC framework and next steps.
Urban Water Supply Reliability
CUWA recently formalized our positions on the state’s development of a long-term water use efficiency (WUE) framework, and our agencies have engaged in the related stakeholder process. Our agencies remain committed to building on the recent gains in public understanding to establish a cultural shift toward WUE as a California way of life and continues collaborating with state agencies and other stakeholders to encourage development of an innovative yet fair, reasonable long-term WUE framework.
CUWA’s Conservation and Water Use Fact Sheet further describes CUWA’s continued commitment to water conservation and drought response and clarifies per capita water use metrics. In 2012, we released new Water Supply Reliability Policy Principles which present CUWA perspectives on what is needed to achieve reliable water supply in California. As shown in the more detailed report on Water Supply Reliability, CUWA agencies are leading the way, having invested over $21B since 1990 to support programs and projects that promote water conservation, diversify water supplies and improve system reliability. Newly developed Climate Change Policy Principles highlight the steps CUWA agencies take to address climate change.
Responsible Public Investments for a Sustainable California
We are continuing to inform the ongoing dialogue on water finance in California through CUWA’s Public Investment White Paper (Phase 1 and Phase 2), Presentation, and Reliable Water Finance Policy Principles. CUWA is working with others, including the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), Association of California Water Agencies, and others to help inform workable approaches for future water financing in California.
Protecting Source Water Quality
In July 2013, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board unanimously adopted an amendment to include the Central Valley Drinking Water Policy (CV-DWP) in their Basin Plan, signifying a monumental milestone after a decade’s worth of work. The CV-DWP gives a comprehensive summary of drinking water protections and addresses constituents of potential concern to drinking water.
In conjunction with the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), CUWA has engaged in a statewide dialogue on water-related energy use. The agencies worked together to develop Water-Energy Policy Principles that help to explain how best to achieve and track reductions in the water sector. CUWA and CMUA also released a Water-Energy Fact Sheet to clarify water-related energy use information and the differences between the water and energy sectors, particularly related to securing reliable supplies.
CUWA’s Policy Principles represent member agency consensus on a broad range of important California water issues. In the last few years, CUWA has developed new Policy Principles and updated others to reflect current thinking.
- One Water Policy Principles
- Water Accessibility and Affordability
- Reliable Water Financing
- Climate Change
- Water Quality
- Water Supply Reliability
- Water Conservation
- Water Reuse
- Cap and Trade Investments
FY 2016 Annual Report
CUWA released the FY 2016 Annual Report to highlight its activities and accomplishments and provide a look ahead to the next year. In FY 2016, CUWA initiated new efforts addressing emerging issues.