Introducing The SSV Water(Round)Tables
As we recover from a pandemic and resume facing the impacts of an advancing climate crisis, a sustainable and resilient water supply becomes a critical factor in ensuring the Bay Area’s quality of life and economic vitality. Sierra snow droughts, ARkStorms and wastewater facilities combating rising tides threaten both the supply and treatment ends of our infrastructure. Amidst this uncertainty but grounded in our belief that real change happens at the implementation level, Sustainable Silicon Valley is launching The Water(Round)Tables.
A truly regional One Water future recognizes that the potential power of integrating onsite reuse, stormwater and deeper efficiency is greater than the sum of the existing siloed parts. The Water(Round)Tables are a three-year initiative recognizing the need for thinking outside the utility pipe network and moving towards a shared public/private resource “WaterGrid” mindset. California is rapidly decarbonizing its electrical grid; we need to show the same spirit of innovation in the water space, with the first step recognizing the interconnectedness, and potential interoperability, of the WaterGrid.
The Water(Round)Tables will tackle a portfolio of persistent “last mile” water sustainability issues by intensively engaging decision makers, building consensus for beneficial change and actively managing the transformation. We will convene working groups, conduct interviews and energetically referee the discussion, incorporating the diverse perspectives of discrete stakeholder groups with an aim of forging a broader consensus. As part of our process, we will reach out to regional and state agency leadership and hold periodic “brown bag” briefings with elected officials and their staffs.
Our initial work will focus on the multifaceted challenge of normalizing and de-risking water reuse from a number of perspectives. We also will launch efforts in the related areas of stormwater/green infrastructure, water reach codes, decarbonizing water heating, and water treatment resiliency and quality. At every stage we want to foster new thinking and approaches, apply appropriate technologies and champion process innovation. SSV has a strong track record of water policy work and is uniquely positioned to make change happen, drawing on our long-time relationships to bring key people to the ‘Table.
Sustainable Silicon Valley’s advocacy, expertise, and passion make them a great ally in advancing California’s onsite water reuse policies.
Senator Scott Wiener
Senate District 11