Natural and Engineered Solutions for Drinking Water Supplies

Natural and Engineered Solutions for Drinking Water Supplies: Lessons from the Northeastern United States and Directions for Global Watershed Management

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Features

    • Presents a comprehensive synthesis of watershed management, engineering, economics, and policy-making in four case studies of select U.S. cities
    • Examines how managers of drinking water systems optimize the use of concrete/steel treatment plants and forested/grassland/wetland areas to protect surface water quality
    • Concludes with a chapter that uses the synthesis and main conclusions of the case studies to highlight their relevance to drinking water supply issues in other regions of the world
    • Recommends solutions to current and future threats to drinking water quality comparing green versus gray approaches

    Summary

    Illuminating opportunities to develop a more integrated approach to municipal water system design, Natural and Engineered Solutions for Drinking Water Supplies: Lessons from the Northeastern United States and Directions for Global Watershed Management explores critical factors in the decision-making processes for municipal water system delivery. The book offers vital insights to help inform management decisions on drinking water supply issues in other global regions in our increasingly energy- and carbon-constrained world.

    The study evaluates how six cities in the northeastern United States have made environmental, economic, and social decisions and adopted programs to protect and manage upland forests to produce clean drinking water throughout their long histories. New York, New York; Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts; New Haven and Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Portland, Maine have each managed city watersheds under different state regulations, planning and development incentives, biophysical constraints, social histories, and ownerships.

    Some of the overarching questions the book addresses relate to how managers should optimize the investments in their drinking water systems. What is the balance between the use of concrete/steel treatment plants (gray infrastructure) and forested/grassland/wetland areas (green infrastructure) to protect surface water quality? The case studies compare how engineered and/or natural systems are employed to protect water quality.

    The conclusions drawn establish that it makes environmental, economic, and social sense to protect and manage upland forests to produce water as a downstream service. Such stewardship is far more preferable than developing land and using engineering, technology, and artificial filtration as a solution to maintaining clean drinking water. Lessons learned from this insightful study provide effective recommendations for managers and policymakers that reflect the scientific realities of how forests and engineering can be best integrated into effective watershed management programs and under what circumstances.

    Table of Contents

    Gray to Green: An Introduction to Four Case Studies on Drinking Water Supply in the Northeastern United States; Caitlin Alcott, Emily Alcott, Mark S. Ashton, and Bradford S. Gentry
    Executive Summary
    Introduction: Defining the Issue
    National Trends
    The Northeastern United States
    Description of the Case Studies
    An Assessment of Drinking Water Systems in Connecticut: Optimizing Natural and Engineered Systems for Protecting the Quality of Surface Drinking Waters; Michael Blazewicz, Lisa Hummon, Claire Jahns, and Tien Shiao
    Executive Summary
    Introduction
    History and Current Status of Drinking Water Supply Systems in Connecticut
    The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
    The History of Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut
    Current Legal Efforts to Address Water Supply Challenges in Connecticut
    Current Land Management Efforts to Address Water Supply Challenges in Connecticut
    Future Challenges
    Recommendations
    Source Water Protection in Massachusetts: Lessons from and Opportunities for Worcester and Boston; Emily Alcott, Peter Caligiuri, Jennifer Hoyle, and Nathan Karres
    History and Current Status of Drinking Water Supply in Massachusetts
    Statewide Challenges: Trends Facing Water Utilities
    Land Use Policy, Monitoring, and Asset Management
    Comprehensive Approach to Drinking Water Supply Management
    Summary Trends, Recommendations, and Conclusions
    New York City Watershed Management: Past, Present, and Future; Justin Freiberg, Xiaoting Hou, Jason Nerenberg, Fauna Samuel, and Erin Derrington
    History of New York City Watershed
    Current Profile of the New York City Watershed
    Future Threats and Suggested Actions
    Future Decision-Making Outlook
    Summary Trends and Recommendations
    The Crooked River Watershed, Sebago Lake, and the Drinking Water Supply for the City of Portland, Maine; Jenn Hoyle
    Water Supply Protection and the Portland Water District
    Watershed Control Program of the Portland Water District
    Water Supply Trends and the Value of Watershed Protection
    Development Pressures on Watershed Lands
    Potential Payments for Watershed Services Programs for the Portland Water District
    Summary Recommendations and Conclusions
    Comparing Drinking Water Systems in the New England/New York Region: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future; Caitlin Alcott, Emily Alcott, Mark S. Ashton, and Bradford S. Gentry
    Executive Summary
    Introduction
    Surface Watersheds of New England and New York: Green and Gray Infrastructure
    Cross-Cutting Themes for the Drinking Water Utilities
    Recommendations
    Future Research and Conclusions
    Global Relevance of Lessons Learned in Watershed Management and Drinking Water Treatment from the Northeastern United States; Alex Barrett and Mark S. Ashton
    Methods
    Biophysical Considerations and Constraints
    Forest History, Land Use, and Infrastructure Development
    Human Institutions: Legal, Social, Governmental and Regulatory
    Global Applications of the Lessons Learned
    Quabbin and Dahuofang Reservoirs: Example of a Comparative Analysis
    Index

    Author Bio(s)

     
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