The City Upstream and Down

October 28-30, 2015

See full agenda here.

Read the final convening report:

The City Upstream and Down: How Integrated Water Management Can Help Cities Thrive

Statement of Purpose & Objectives

This meeting focused on implementing Integrated Urban Water Management in Cities, specifically looking at how cities manage water within their jurisdictions and how they interact with stakeholders within the larger river or lake basin in which they reside. At this meeting, we:

  • Facilitating the sharing of expertise, experience, and ideas regarding Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
  • Established a common understanding of IWRM, from basin to neighborhood scales, and explore the potential for IWRM thinking, planning, and implementation to help cities manage water resources
  • Identified specific tools, practices, and policy ideas that local leaders can use to improve water resources management in their communities
  • Catalyzed a cadre of leaders who are inspired to implement IWRM where they live and to guide other leaders in doing the same.


IWRM Summary and Conceptual Diagram. Read more.
Basic introduction to the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management.

One Water Summary. Read more.
Short summary of a large technical report which discusses the challenges faced by urban water managers, and how the IWRM framework can be adapted to overcome barriers to integration on the path to “One Water”, or Integrated Urban Water Management.

Yakima River Basin IWRM Plan. Read more.
Factsheet which shows aspects of how a basin-wide IWRM plan has been implemented in the Yakima River watershed.

Practical Approaches to IWRM (OPTIONAL). Read more.
Peer-reviewed literature discussing the practical application of IWRM principles in the real world. This paper acknowledges that IWRM has been difficult to implement in many cases and suggests ways to overcome challenges faced in the past.

23 Points for Understanding Climate Variability in a Post-Climate Change World. Read more.
Short and simple description of climate variability which clearly demonstrates why it is important to build resilience into systems.

Applying Elements of Resilience for Prioritizations and Decision-Making. Read more.
Identifies and describes eight common elements of resilient systems.

Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and How (and for what). Read more.
A primer, intended for citizens and advocates, that identifies eight questions regarding local financing of drinking water infrastructure, with emphasis on conservation and efficiency.

Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard. Read more.
Describes a path toward upgrading urban infrastructure through a long-term, incremental increase of Green Infrastructure, modeled after the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.

Hidden Reservoir: Why Water Efficiency Is the Best Solution for The Southeast. Read more.
Clearly explains why water efficiency is the most cost-effective source of water supply to meeting the growing demand for water in the Southeast, and describes nine policies that will generate a cheap and reliable new source of water supply.

Local Water Policy Innovation: A Roadmap for Community Based Stormwater Solutions. Read more.
A guide for local leaders and citizens, which encourages planners and managers to consider 10 vital issues when selecting a locally appropriate plan to manage stormwater.

Pathways to One Water: A Guide for Institutional Innovation. Read more.
A guidebook which describes the concept of One Water, and describes six key elements which contribute to a One Water paradigm. Provides case studies and describes a path moving forward.

Pathways to One Water: Executive Summary. Read more.
A guidebook which describes the concept of One Water, and describes six key elements which contribute to a One Water paradigm. Provides case studies and describes a path moving forward.

Restoring Flows: Financing the Next Generation of Water Systems. Read more.
White paper what was produced from a Wingspread Convening in 2012. It provides a strategy for coalition building that can be followed by local governments, water agencies, and their partners.

The Value of Green Infrastructure. Read more.
Provides a framework for the economic valuation of Green Infrastructure. Describes the specific benefits of different Green Infrastructure practices, and goes on to provide a framework to calculate the dollar value of these benefits.


Steve Arnold, Mayor, City of Fitchburg, WI
Tom Barrett, Mayor, City of Milwaukee, WI
Julie Barrett O’Neill, General Counsel/Green Programs Director, Buffalo Sewer Authority/City of Buffalo, NY
Gary Belan, Senior Director, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers
Andrew Berke, Mayor, City of Chattanooga, TN
David Brown, Manager, Water/Irrigation Division, City of Yakima, WA
Theresa Connor, Research Program Director, Water Environment Research Foundation
John Dickert, Mayor, City of Racine, WI
Roger Dower, President, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread
Daniel Duchniak, General Manager, Waukesha Water Utility
George Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, DC Water
Jenny Hoffner, VP, Conservation Strategies, American Rivers
Howard Jacobson, Manager, Utility Operations, Department of Public Works and Utilities, City of Duluth, MN
Michael Lunn, Environmental Services Manager, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Molly Mayo, Partner, Meridian Institute
Mel Meder, Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
Steve Moddemeyer, Principal, CollinsWoerman
Howard Neukrug, Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner, Philadelphia Water
Jeff Odefey, Director, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers
Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project
James Ridgway, Vice President, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc.
Brenda Scott Henry, Director, Environmental Affairs/Green Urbanism, City of Gary, IN
Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Brad Spangler, Mediator and Program Manager, Meridian Institute
Nancy Stoner, Senior Fellow and Water Program Director, Pisces Foundation
Diane Taniguchi-Dennis, Deputy General Manager, Clean Water Services
P. Michael Thomas, General Manager, Clayton County Water Authority
Karin Uhlich, Vice Mayor, City of Tucson, AZ
Jumana Vasi, Program Officer, Environment Program, C. S. Mott Foundation
Zachary Vruwink, Mayor, City of Wisconsin Rapids, WI