Resources for Distributed Water Infrastructure

It’s an exhilarating time in the world of water infrastructure and technology innovations, making it hard to keep up.  Broadview Collaborative, Inc., has a particularly keen interest in the role of what is interchangeably referred to as distributed, decentralized, or scalable water infrastructure.  Though there are a number of relevant resources and reports that have emerged in recent years, so we thought it would be useful (for ourselves, as well as for others) to create a one-stop set of links to these resources. We will try to keep this a “living” page, adding new resources as they become available. If you know of something that should be added (or edited), please send an email to Lynn Broaddus at LBroaddus @ (actual email address doesn’t have spaces in it). 

Aside: This is NOT a listing of all of the specific technologies or installation examples. That would probably be useful, but would be a much bigger undertaking! 

Distributed Water Infrastructure Resources: 

  • Opportunities in Distributed Water Infrastructure“: 2019, Broadview Collaborative, Inc.
    • This report serves as an introduction to distributed water infrastructure, how it can best be applied, as well as how it is playing out in a variety of scenarios, both urban and rural. It also reflects on interventions that could be useful in accelerating the adoption of distributed water infrastructure where it makes the most sense, as well as cautionary notes regarding how to avoid unintended consequences.
  • Resources for Onsite Non-potable Water Reuse: 2014 – present, WateReuse
    • Multiple reports from the National Blue Ribbon Commission for Onsite Non-potable Water Reuse and its predecessors that include everything from high-level guidance to very specific model regulations and ordinances for communities exploring onsite / in-building water reclamation for non-potable purposes.
  • Optimizing the Structure and Scale of Urban Water Infrastructure: Integrating Distributed Systems: 2014, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread.
    • Convening report exploring the opportunities in distributed water infrastructure. Meeting was co-hosted by The Johnson Foundation, the Water Environment Federation, and the Patel College for Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida.
  • Innovation in Action: 21st Century Water Infrastructure Solutions: 2019, WaterNow Alliance.
    • Comprehensive report covering definition, funding, and implementation strategies. Case studies focus on efficiency and conservation as distributed “supply”, lead service line replacement, and green stormwater infrastructure.
  • Impact Investment Strategies in Water: Distributed Wastewater Treatment and Water Reuse. 2019, CREO.
    • As the title implies, this report is geared toward investors and examines the growth opportunities for distributed water infrastructure, focusing on food and beverage manufacturers, water reuse in Asia, and early stage companies focused on distributed water technology.
  • The Baltimore Charter for Sustainable Water Systems: 2007.
    • The roots of distributed water infrastructure run deep. One of the critical touch-points was a 2007 long-range planning meeting hosted in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) by the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, Water Environment Research Foundation (now part of WRF), and the International Water Association. Immediately following the convening approximately 40 of the participants created and signed onto the charter which serves as a “as a commitment to design new water systems that mimic and work with nature”.

Reinvented Toilets:  At the far end of the distributed water infrastructure continuum are reinvented / re-imagined toilets that use little to no water and have the potential to revolutionize the way we build, finance, and manage water and excrement.  They’re a unique enough aspect of distributed infrastructure (note that we didn’t write “water infrastructure” since they tend to not use water!) that we’re giving them their own page. Check it out.

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