Natural and Engineered Solutions for Drinking Water Supplies
Lessons from the Northeastern United States and Directions for Global Watershed Management
Edited by Emily Alcott, Mark S Ashton, Bradford S Gentry
CRC Press – 2013 – 303 pages
Illuminating opportunities to develop a more integrated approach to municipal water system design, Natural and Engineered Solutions for Drinking Water Supplies: Lessons from the Northeastern United States and Directions for Global Watershed Management explores critical factors in the decision-making processes for municipal water system delivery. The book offers vital insights to help inform management decisions on drinking water supply issues in other global regions in our increasingly energy- and carbon-constrained world.
The study evaluates how six cities in the northeastern United States have made environmental, economic, and social decisions and adopted programs to protect and manage upland forests to produce clean drinking water throughout their long histories. New York, New York; Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts; New Haven and Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Portland, Maine have each managed city watersheds under different state regulations, planning and development incentives, biophysical constraints, social histories, and ownerships.
Some of the overarching questions the book addresses relate to how managers should optimize the investments in their drinking water systems. What is the balance between the use of concrete/steel treatment plants (gray infrastructure) and forested/grassland/wetland areas (green infrastructure) to protect surface water quality? The case studies compare how engineered and/or natural systems are employed to protect water quality.
The conclusions drawn establish that it makes environmental, economic, and social sense to protect and manage upland forests to produce water as a downstream service. Such stewardship is far more preferable than developing land and using engineering, technology, and artificial filtration as a solution to maintaining clean drinking water. Lessons learned from this insightful study provide effective recommendations for managers and policymakers that reflect the scientific realities of how forests and engineering can be best integrated into effective watershed management programs and under what circumstances.
Gray to Green: An Introduction to Four Case Studies on Drinking Water Supply in the Northeastern United States; Caitlin Alcott, Emily Alcott, Mark S. Ashton, and Bradford S. Gentry
Introduction: Defining the Issue
The Northeastern United States
Description of the Case Studies
An Assessment of Drinking Water Systems in Connecticut: Optimizing Natural and Engineered Systems for Protecting the Quality of Surface Drinking Waters; Michael Blazewicz, Lisa Hummon, Claire Jahns, and Tien Shiao
History and Current Status of Drinking Water Supply Systems in Connecticut
The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
The History of Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut
Current Legal Efforts to Address Water Supply Challenges in Connecticut
Current Land Management Efforts to Address Water Supply Challenges in Connecticut
Source Water Protection in Massachusetts: Lessons from and Opportunities for Worcester and Boston; Emily Alcott, Peter Caligiuri, Jennifer Hoyle, and Nathan Karres
History and Current Status of Drinking Water Supply in Massachusetts
Statewide Challenges: Trends Facing Water Utilities
Land Use Policy, Monitoring, and Asset Management
Comprehensive Approach to Drinking Water Supply Management
Summary Trends, Recommendations, and Conclusions
New York City Watershed Management: Past, Present, and Future; Justin Freiberg, Xiaoting Hou, Jason Nerenberg, Fauna Samuel, and Erin Derrington
History of New York City Watershed
Current Profile of the New York City Watershed
Future Threats and Suggested Actions
Future Decision-Making Outlook
Summary Trends and Recommendations
The Crooked River Watershed, Sebago Lake, and the Drinking Water Supply for the City of Portland, Maine; Jenn Hoyle
Water Supply Protection and the Portland Water District
Watershed Control Program of the Portland Water District
Water Supply Trends and the Value of Watershed Protection
Development Pressures on Watershed Lands
Potential Payments for Watershed Services Programs for the Portland Water District
Summary Recommendations and Conclusions
Comparing Drinking Water Systems in the New England/New York Region: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for the Future; Caitlin Alcott, Emily Alcott, Mark S. Ashton, and Bradford S. Gentry
Surface Watersheds of New England and New York: Green and Gray Infrastructure
Cross-Cutting Themes for the Drinking Water Utilities
Future Research and Conclusions
Global Relevance of Lessons Learned in Watershed Management and Drinking Water Treatment from the Northeastern United States; Alex Barrett and Mark S. Ashton
Biophysical Considerations and Constraints
Forest History, Land Use, and Infrastructure Development
Human Institutions: Legal, Social, Governmental and Regulatory
Global Applications of the Lessons Learned
Quabbin and Dahuofang Reservoirs: Example of a Comparative Analysis
Emily Alcott, MES, is a fluvial geomorphologist and an ecologist at Inter-Fluve Inc. of Hood River, Oregon. She earned a master of environmental science degree from Yale University and a bachelor of science in biology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Her area of expertise is in the management of water resources and the restoration and rehabilitation of cold water stream systems. Her work has primarily been in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest of the United States.
Mark S. Ashton, Ph.D.,is the Morris K. Jessup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He earned his bachelor of science from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources, and his master of forestry and Ph.D. from Yale University. Professor Ashton conducts research on the biological and physical processes governing the regeneration of natural forests. The results of his research have been applied to the development and testing of silvicultural techniques for restoration of degraded lands and for the management of natural forests for a variety of values. His work is focused on land rehabilitation for watershed management and water quality.
Bradford S. Gentry, J.D.,is the director of the Center for Business and the Environment, as well as a Professor in the Practice at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He earned his bachelor of arts from Swarthmore College and his J.D. from Harvard University. Trained as a biologist and a lawyer, his work focuses on strengthening the links between private investment and improved environmental performance, including in the area of water resource management for urban environments. He is a member of Working Lands Investment Partners, on the board for the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, as well as on the advisory board for Suez Environnement. He has also been an advisor to GE, Baker & McKenzie, the UN Climate Secretariat and other public and private organizations.