The authors provide an overview of the top ten water utility future trends identified through an assessment of the literature, interviews with public water supply community leaders, and a futures workshop featuring futurists and scenario planning exercises.
This Water Environment Research Foundation report by LK Lampe, entitled “Post-project monitoring of BMPs/SUDS to determine performance and whole-life costs”, states that, over the past 20 years, the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the United States has been instrumental in reducing both the detrimental impacts to receiving water quality and the exacerbated flooding caused by urbanization and storm water drainage. More recently, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) have started to be used in the United Kingdom.
During the next quarter century, water utilities in North America will face a number of developments that will put pressure on their resources, spur them to develop alternative supplies, and necessitate new approaches to how they conduct business. This article in the August edition of the AWWA “Journal”, the second in a series, highlights two of these trends—population growth and climate change.
The increasing pressure on water utilities to meet growing regulatory expectations is well known. Customers are also clamoring for utilities' attention, demanding service, safety, and taste, and creating pressure from a different direction. Utilities' primary competition is the bottled water industry because of a public perception of greater safety and better taste.
Scenario planning is a powerful tool that can be used by strategic planners to frame the future, and is useful in guiding representatives of the public water supply community when planning for future uncertainty.
The Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia (IIABC) has created an online Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator to help irrigators develop water-efficient irrigation schedules. By entering basic information about climate, landscape types, soil conditions, crop root depth, and irrigation system type and spacing, irrigators can determine the optimum number of days to water, the irrigation run time for each day, and the maximum run time per cycle.
As reported in the October 2005 edition of the AWWA “Journal”, results are in from the second annual State of the Industry survey—a comprehensive evaluation of the water industry's overall health. “The State of the Industry Report 2005: A guide for good health” presents key findings from the survey, which included the responses from more than 1,700 utility personnel, service providers, and other individuals.
Another 23 B.C. communities will see improvements to their drinking water and wastewater management systems as a result of almost $18 million in funding from the B.C. Ministry of Community Services.
In 2004, the City of Williams Lake undertook a major review of its water utility and associated management practices. The resulting documents—the “Williams Lake Water Conservation Plan” and the “Waterworks Bylaw”—identify water management and water conservation strategies that will protect and preserve our valuable water resource well into the future.
This article presents the findings of a Malcolm Pirnie Inc. 2004 national survey of 71 water utility industry experts, regarding their views on the future issues facing U.S. utilities. (While the survey was conducted in the U.S., many of the findings reflect the current and potential future states of the water industry in Canada.)