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🗣️ "One Water As A Framework For Collaboration"

Words on Water

Photo by Linus Nylund / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Travis Loop
Guest: Shalene Thomas | Vice President, Global Emerging Contaminants Program Manager | Wood
Category: 🗣️ Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:11] “The […] common definition of One Water really spawns from the principle that any and all water has value. One Water is truly an integrated approach to the management of our precious resources, […] including groundwater, wastewater, stormwater, effectively managing every single drop from its origin into its final destination for use. So generally, this is considered an often limited by political boundary. So most commonly the local government unit, or source of funding mechanism. Still, much benefit really can be seen from the innovative approaches to integrated management, whether it's from stormwater capturing rainwater harvesting, aquifer storage and recovery, water use efficiency projects and the like.”

[3:05] “What this One Water concept means to Wood is we really try to take it to a different level. For [us] the One Water concept really should not only break the boundaries of multi purpose and multi benefit solutions at the local or more micro level, but really should also consider how threats whether they be climate change and […] contaminants or some other stressor be evaluated in solutions be derived at a more macro scale, considering the entire watershed. As we know, water knows no boundaries, and our approaches to sustainable and resilient solutions really should reflect that. So this type of approach would ensure that efficient use of funds as well as a more sustainable solution happens at a broader geography.”

[6:45] “I think if every community took the approach of a One Water macro scale, they in fact would look beyond themselves to see where there's that synergy across communities to address water from an entire watershed or macro perspective. I think with some of the things that have gone on with regards to funding, the […] $1 trillion infrastructure bill that recently passed, as well as the natural resource damage claim cases and litigation that has followed, these are giving states opportunity as funding mechanisms to sort of push those communities into more collaboration. And, of course, then pushing our industry across the water sector into more collaboration in support of those communities.”

[7:56] “Something to take note with regards to emerging contaminants and we've seen it in EPA’s recently released PFAS strategic roadmap that really for emerging contaminants and PFAS as an example, the entire life cycle must be considered a PFAS. And they really have to go upstream of the problem to evaluate the problem, hold polluters accountable, and ensure that science based decision making occurs. So within the constructs of this and emerging contaminants, it really does bring in the One Water concept in that if you do see PFAS in a water source, whether it be groundwater, surface water, stormwater, it is known as the forever chemical for a reason. And it's very likely that it's going to move into your other water streams. And you will have to deal with it in several aspects. So it's all the more reason to look at it from a One Water perspective.”

[12:26] “I feel that with the integrated solutions that are on the table, whether it's aquifer recharge, recycling of water or any other option, when we start to look at these not just as communities, but as a collective, we're that much further ahead in our response. […] Whatever the stressor is, whether it's climate change, whether it's emerging contaminants, each of these don't just happen to an individual community. Because water does have no boundaries.

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 15 min | 🗓️ 12/01/2021
✅ Time saved: 13 min