Integrated Resource Planning
As communities continue to grapple with perennial budget shortfalls, mounting water infrastructure needs, and overwhelming stormwater pollution problems, we need to ensure that we are making the best water infrastructure investment decisions economically, socially, and environmentally while using scarce funds as efficiently as possible.
Integrated resource planning (IRP) can assist in improving the efficiency of water service utilities, thus conserving water resources, reducing costs, and bolstering community prosperity and vitality. Now more than ever, water planning must work to incorporate sustainable practices which recognize the interconnected nature of water supply, wastewater, and stormwater management. IRP is a planning methodology which works to recognize these relationships from a least-cost, publicly transparent, and scenario-based planning perspective.
Taking a cue from the energy utility sector, IRP is a more holistic and coordinated process for long-term decision making about water services. It breaks down the silos among water agencies, brings in key stakeholders whose impact on water may not be readily apparent (such as the fire department or department of transportation), and engages the public. The ultimate goal of IRP is a stable vision and implementation plan for water resource services that remains relevant for decades.
Danielle Gallet, Water Supply Program Manager
Implementing Integrated Water Resource Planning in Your Community
The Role of Integrated Resource Planning in Improving Water Resource Management within the Great Lakes Region
Recommendations for Integrated Water Resources Planning in Lake Zurich
What’s Getting in the Way of a “One Water” Approach to Water Services Planning and Management? (Courtesy of Australian Water Association. First published Water Journal, May 2014.)