Project #5175

Navigating One Water Planning through Municipal Water Programs: Meeting Multiple Objectives and Regulatory Challenges

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Harry Zhang, PhD, PE
HDR Engineering, Inc.
Integrated Planning & Water Management
Climate Change
Water Quality
Source & Receiving Waters


Today’s water utilities are facing unprecedented challenges to their primary mission—providing reliable and accessible water service, protecting human health and the environment, and making wise infrastructure investments—all while maintaining regulatory compliance and affordable rates. A new paradigm of drivers and disruptors requires water utilities to move from traditional lowest cost and siloed investments to innovative One Water strategies that yield higher returns through an integrated approach.

The intersection between Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements is an important factor in various municipal water programs, which demonstrates an opportunity to manage water holistically through systems-based approaches. This project will provide the water sector with a utility-facing One Water Planning guidance document to identify, prioritize, and implement interconnected strategies across all phases of the urban hydrologic cycle, while meeting regulatory requirements, environmental objectives, and community priorities. In addition, this project will develop a holistic decision framework that can help utilities choose from and prioritize interconnected projects and initiatives at utilities.