Towards a Sustainable Utility

A Guidance Document for water, wastewater

and stormwater utilities



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About this Guide

The range of this content has been created by and for water, wastewater and stormwater utility managers — to offer guidance for navigating towards being sustainable and resilient water services.


What do we mean by the term sustainable?

In simple terms, it is the capability of being sustained – or to be able to continue for a long time. 

Recognizing the necessity of sustainability, and that it encompasses all facets of a utility service, CWWA’s Utility Leadership Committee first adopted a position statement on Sustainable Water Services. The Committee then directed the development of this document to provide greater guidance.  We soon learned that this document addressed the work of all of CWWA’s technical committees and the contribution team grew accordingly. 

In developing this Guidance Document, substantial thought has gone into structuring the topics, including laying out challenges, best practices and resources. It also sets out a helpful framework, particularly for those of you just wading into this work toward having a sustainable utility.  Even the selected challenges are structured, beginning with the operational aspects within a utility’s domain, moving into global ones related to operations, followed by ones that pertain to taking on a role to influence others. 

While this framework can act as a set of bones, a useful guide must reflect our ever-changing conditions.  We have chosen to make this an online, accessible and living document.  As our intent is to briefly introduce topics and refer you to further resources, we hope to regularly edit and update these references.


Submit a Resource

As new, relevant reports emerge, we will add them to this Guidance Document. And of course, these links change and newer reports become available all the time, so we will endeavor to keep this document current. If you have suggestions, do not hesitate to send them our way to our

  • Please provide the name of the organization that produced the resource
  • Please provide the url of the report

Watch our webinar recordings

Unravelling water system resilience - December 2

Importance of Governance Toward Sustainability - January 13, 2021

Changing Water Use: Data to Action - January 27

Energy Efficiency as a strategic driver - February 3

Source Water Protection - February 17

Closing Panel - Making Connections - March 22