Water Efficiency, Environmental Law Institute and River Network launch new toolkit

The Alliance for Water Efficiency, in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute and River Network, has launched the new Net Blue Ordinance Toolkit to enable communities support sustainable development without increasing overall water demands.

According to a 2013 Government Accountability Office survey, water managers in 40 out of 50 states expect water shortages over the coming years, while communities in certain water-stressed areas already face development challenges owing to insufficient water supplies.

River Network president Nicole Silk said: “Net Blue is an important piece of the puzzle for local communities to help keep more water in their rivers for fishing, swimming, and other needs.

“Although Net Blue may not automatically translate into more water for our rivers, it is one important tool to reduce demand for highly treated water, taking some pressure off of our waterways and groundwater resources.”

The toolkit has be developed to help communities face a wide range of challenges to find the best solution that matches their water supply situation, governance structures and conservation opportunities.

Environmental Law Institute senior attorney Adam Schempp said: “Municipalities, counties, and utilities across the country have been addressing water supply challenges in innovative ways.

“Through this collaborative project, we have tried to make one of those approaches easier to develop, and thoughtfully, in many different circumstances.”

The new Net Blue Ordinance Toolkit has been designed using the input of a Project Advisory Committee comprising experts in water resources, water law, and planning and zoning.