06.05.2019  |  News

Integrated “One Water” Management


Water is the world’s most precious resource. It connects all of us and is essential in everything we do across the globe.

Today, water planners and policymakers around the world are wrestling with the challenge of moving to an integrated water management approach. This approach stems from the notion that all water has incredible value. A common thread amongst the wide array of approaches is the concept of integration across the water cycle with urban management. There are many benefits to be realized from a portfolio approach to managing all water types, including surface water, drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, groundwater and stormwater.



This movement toward an integrated water management approach has been deemed the “One Water” movement. The One Water approach takes a holistic view of a community’s multiple water resources, integrating each piece of the urban water cycle into one system. The need for a new approach is driven by drastic changes in the water landscape due to drought, climate change, regulations, growth, economics and sustainability initiatives.

What do “One Water” projects look like?

Projects that align with the One Water movement can look different from entity to entity depending on varying needs and opportunities. The One Water approach can be applied at different scales (regional, city, or utility level) and may build on or integrate projects such as:

  • Water, wastewater, RW, stormwater master plans
  • Urban water management plans (UWMP)
  • Integrated regional water management plans (IRWMP)
  • Conjunctive use and supply reliability plans
  • Water use efficiency (water conservation) plans and programs
  • Groundwater management plans / GSPs
  • Stormwater management plans / projects
  • Water rate studies and rate structure development and support
  • Funding advisor, pursuits and administration

The following table summarizes how the one water approach differs from the traditional approach to managing water resources.

Adapted from Pinkham (1999) and ICLEI (2011) ICLEI, “SWITCH (Sustainable Water Improves Tomorrw’s Cities Health), Module 1: Strategic Planning – Preparing for the Future.” SWITCH Training Package, ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, 2011. http://www.switchtraining.eu


Kennedy Jenks has developed multiple Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, over 100 Urban Water Management Plans, dozens of Recycled Water Master Plans, Stormwater Resources Plans, emergency supply studies and other feasibility studies. Through this experience we have developed a robust process for assisting clients with developing relevant objectives and criteria to evaluate, screen and prioritize projects. Our planning and design efforts focus on delivering facilities that are functional, economical and sustainable, which dovetails perfectly with our growing One Water practice.

We are excited about the future of the One Water movement and providing solutions to integrated water management in our communities.

If you have questions about the One Water movement, please reach to our One Water Practice Leader, Dawn Taffler, PE, LEED at DawnTaffler@KennedyJenks.com.


Written by Dawn Taffler
One Water Practice Leader l Pasadena, CA


© KJ Consultants, Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. This information may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without written permission.

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