Total Water Management: Practices for a Sustainable Future
Total Water Management
A quiet revolution is being led by men and women who care about sustainable use of water resources, public health, and the environment. This revolution is directed toward new ways to manage and balance water resources and the needs of the environment. It is Total Water Management, or TWM.
TWM is the exercise of stewardship and shared governance of water resources among utilities, business, and government for the greatest good of society and the environment.
Resource Management Objectives
As explained in the Water Encyclopedia, a basic principle of Total Water Management is that the supply is renewable, but limited, and should be managed on a sustainable-use basis. Taking into consideration local and regional variations, Total Water Management:
- Encourages planning and management on a natural water systems basis through a dynamic process that adapts to changing conditions;
- Balances competing uses of water through efficient allocation that addresses social values, cost effectiveness, and environmental benefits and costs;
- Requires the participation of all units of government and stakeholders in decision-making through a process of coordination and conflict resolution;
- Promotes water conservation, reuse, source protection, and supply development to enhance water quality and quantity; and
- Fosters public health, safety, and community goodwill.
This definition focuses on the broad aspects of water supply. Examples can be given for other situations, including water-quality management planning, water allocation, and flood control.
To Learn More:
Total Water Management: Practices for a Sustainable Future, by Neil S. Grigg, explains what TWM means in unambiguous language. It expands, explains, and illustrates TWM concepts and how to apply them. It is about the balance between our responsibilities to provide safe and reliable water services and to protect the environment.
Posted December 2010