Project #4969

One Water Cities: Development of Guidance Documents and Assessment Metrics

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Harry Zhang, PhD, PE
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Integrated Planning & Water Management
Utility Management


Cities throughout the world are transitioning toward the One Water approach to improve efficiency and reduce costs while addressing climate change impacts, extreme weather event resiliency, social equity, and environmental justice. This research aimed to help utilities and municipalities identify effective strategies and viable technological, policy, institutional, and financial pathways toward One Water. Specifically, the project created a rating framework and guidebook with key metrics and benchmarks to assess the progression toward One Water cities by considering benefits, co-benefits, and competing trade-offs. The rating framework explicitly includes information on policy, institutional, legal, financial, and technical factors that provide bridges or inhibit progress toward One Water Cities. Published in 2024.

An article titled, "One Water Cities: A Self-Assessment Framework," was published in Advances in Water Research (April–June 2023, Volume 33, Number 2). In addition, a literature review was conducted as part of this project and is available below under Resources.