One Water Summit: Harnessing The Power Of Sharing To Create A Sustainable Water Future For All

One Water Summit: Harnessing The Power Of Sharing To Create A Sustainable Water Future For All

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – June 19, 2017 – Comment

Sharing. It’s one of the earliest lessons we’re taught in life and as we grow up, we learn the powers and the benefits it brings. Sharing makes us feel good about ourselves and helps others. It can result in us having experiences we otherwise might not have had. It brings variety to and enhances our lives. This is why sharing is also the foundation of the One Water movement and the upcoming 2017 One Water Summit (June 27-29).  

Perusing the 2017 Summit list of 115+ speakers—which includes American Water’s President and CEO, Susan Story and Executive Vice President and CFO, Linda Sullivan—One Water seeks to mobilize the country in embracing the concept of one shared water resource for all. That is, One Water is driving a view in which everyone realizes the water they use ultimately comes from a single shared source.  

One Water is also working to mobilize the nation — from the highest government officials to water companies and corporations to individuals — to share one responsibility of water sustainability now and for the future.  

For example, If you live in Ohio and John Doe in Texas over-waters his 1,000 acres of crops, you won’t notice an immediate impact, but the planet will. And if the negative path of water waste continues, you and your grandchildren will feel the impact in food prices. Just look at the impact water withdrawals have already had on the Ogallala aquifer – an area that produces 20% of our nation’s food!  

However, achieving the vision of the One Water movement presents a much different scenario in which you in Ohio, and John in Texas, and everyone in between acts responsibly and practices water conservation techniques, creating an equitable water future for everyone! There’s no denying, the goal of One Water is epic. So, how is the movement setting out to achieve it? Aggressively.  

You could say, One Water’s M.O. is not to make progress drop-by-drop, but instead by bucketfuls! Scanning through the session themes for the upcoming One Water Summit illustrates this:

  • Collaborating across water and beyond: Success requires working partnerships among everyone, from financers to water utilities, mayors to farmers, business tycoons to small-town shops.
  • Financing and delivering One Water projects: Innovations are required to maximize economic, environmental and community benefits
  • Building will for One Water: in the spirit of “go big or go home,” everyone must buy in and take action as water stewards.
  • Changing the landscape: One Water calls for institutional change and renovation of the policy environment.  

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to find that the first and foremost the summit is about… you guessed it… sharing of ideas, best practices and action plans for driving continued progress! At a time when much of the water conversation seems to focus on what is wrong, One Water is painting a hopeful picture by focusing the nation on returning to an innate concept—the power of sharing.