A diverse group of influential thinkers from within and outside the water community today released nine recommended actions for the future of water governance as part of the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) ongoing Water 2050 initiative.

The Water 2050 Governance Think Tank Report is the fourth in a series of five think tank reports associated with the initiative. Water 2050 seeks to envision the future of water and chart a course for long-term sustainability.

The 27 participants in the Water 2050 Governance Think Tank, which took place Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2023, at the Reservoir Center for Water Solutions in Washington, D.C., included highly respected voices from the water and wastewater utility community, regulatory agencies, international development agencies, manufacturing and consulting firms, advocates, academics, and CEOs. The group engaged in a series of facilitated discussions and developed recommended actions that can be grouped into four broad categories:

  • Implement a “One Water” governance approach 
  • Optimize utility governance and business models 
  • Develop governance that promotes innovation and sustainability 
  • Advance collaboration to drive (governance) innovation 

The fifth and final think tank, focusing on social/demographics, is scheduled for late April in Birmingham, Alabama. High-level recommendations are reported after each think tank and are a key component in the broader Water 2050 effort. Outcomes will be presented at AWWA’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE23) in Toronto June 11-14 to support the water community in realizing the Water 2050 vision.

To engage in AWWA’s Water 2050 initiative or to learn more, visit the Water 2050 webpage. To access the Water 2050 Governance Think Tank report, visit this webpage.