The Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum , convened annually by the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, serves as a platform for addressing domestic water challenges in the 21st century. The plethora of challenges in the US water sector—from the drought in California to the need for policy solutions that address water trading opportunities— will continue to be addressed at this convening as the Aspen Institute and Nicholas Institute collaborate to develop forward-thinking pathways to address the state of the US water system.
Toward a National Water Affordability Strategy
The Aspen Institute – Nicholas Institute Roundtable Series on Water Affordability convened U.S. water leaders through the fall and winter of 2021 and into January of 2022, to address one of the nation’s most pressing water challenges: ensuring that water services are affordable for all households and communities. With almost 50,000 community water systems across the U.S., developing systemic solutions is no easy task, but it can and must be done. While the current approach to providing water services in the U.S. is working for many households and communities, it is failing others. These failures are tied up in issues of public health, aging infrastructure, poverty, and environmental justice that must be addressed. Experts from the roundtable developed a series of actions and recommendations aimed at creating a national water affordability strategy. Prioritizing this issue is critical as the costs of providing water services are only rising and will continue to exacerbate affordability challenges in the future.