WRF Releases Guide and Toolbox for Utility Partnerships to Address Resource Management Challenges

Oct 28, 2019

Utility partnerships are a key strategy to address challenges around water supply reliability, water quality and water costs. The Water Research Foundation (WRF), in collaboration with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), funded the development of a resource guide and toolbox that provides direction on developing utility partnerships to address such challenges.

Water Utility Partnerships: Resource Guide and Toolbox encourages utilities to form partnerships to achieve greater technical, managerial and financial capacity while working to maintain regulatory compliance and provide communities with water services.

The framework outlined in the resource guide helps utilities to:

  • Develop partnership teams with shared visions;
  • Identify and evaluate partnership structures and legal agreements that maximize opportunities; and
  • Create partnerships that bring value to all parties and the community.

The resource guide provides workbooks to help utilities considering partnerships. Topics to be addressed by interested organizations include:

  • Who should be involved in the analysis of partnerships;
  • How to make a business case for partnerships; and
  • What differences may exist in partnerships between clean water and drinking water agencies.

Peter Grevatt, CEO of WRF, said “WRF has been proud to lead this research effort to outline the steps for forming water system partnerships. We recognize that partnerships are a key strategy in helping improve the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of water and wastewater systems, particularly in communities that are facing significant financial challenges. Every partnership is different, and this guide will help water utilities develop a business case and determine which particular legal structures are most appropriate.”

“Forming and maintaining collaborative partnerships is and will continue to be an integral part of success in the water industry,” said AWWA CEO David LaFrance. “This toolkit and guide will provide utilities with valuable information in forming and maintaining these important partnerships.”

“NACWA is grateful to partner with WRF and AWWA on this important project and provide a much-needed resource to the drinking water and clean water utility community,” said Adam Krantz, NACWA’s CEO. “The ability of utilities to engage in partnerships that allow the sector to share knowledge, information, and best practices is critical, and will only become more important in the future. The valuable tools and resources developed by this collaborative effort will help utilities navigate this complicated issue in a way that best serves their citizens and local communities, while also ensuring the highest level of public health and environmental protection.”



About AWWA
Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life. www.awwa.org

For nearly 50 years, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) has been the nation’s recognized leader in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy on the full spectrum of clean water issues. NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. Our unique and growing network strengthens the advocacy voice for all member utilities, and ensures they have the tools necessary to provide affordable and sustainable clean water for all.  Our vision is to represent every utility as a NACWA member, helping to build a strong and sustainable clean water future. For more information, visit us at www.nacwa.org

About WRF

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) is the leading not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF delivers scientifically sound research solutions and knowledge to serve our subscribers and stakeholders in all areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse.