Waters Without (State) Borders

There’s an important anniversary coming up for anyone with an interest in water quality, conservation and infrastructure. This anniversary commemorates the creation of the National Governors Association Centers for Best Practices (NGA Center) Water Policy Learning Network.

This is a powerful, three-year initiative established last May that brings together state governments to learn from and support each other through policy. The initiative recognizes that, while each state may have its own unique water challenges and concerns, fostering collaboration can result in powerful benefits for states individually and the country as a whole. It provides governors and state natural resource advisors with two fundamental resources advancing their water stewardship:

  1. A forum for sharing strategies and best practices, spurring innovative thinking and generating ideas for troubleshooting
  2. NGA support for developing water policies

Co-Chair for the NGA Centers for Best Practices Water Policy Learning Network, California Governor Edward G. Brown illustrates this point perfectly in saying, “As extreme weather becomes the norm and we swing from historic drought to record rainfall, we have to better manage and wisely conserve water. To do that, it’s critical we collaborate across state lines.”

Last spring, American Water proudly announced support for the NGA Center Water Policy Learning Network through the American Water Charitable Foundation. Certainly collaboration is a huge theme for “Water Street” and in so many of the steps we take to keep life flowing, which is why we are so energized by Water Policy Learning Network’s focus on states working together.

Moreover, this year’s “State of the State” addresses from various governors makes it clear that water issues and improving water stewardship is becoming increasingly ingrained in state government activities and inseparable from what defines a “healthy” state.

I’m confident that with these dynamics at work, the initiative will continue to gain support, increase in participation and accomplish great things for our nation’s most valuable water resources.