Reconciling Water Quality and Quantity Management

October 10, 2019 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm

An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar

The management of water in the United States is siloed, and thus incapable of meeting the challenges of water security, sustainability, and watershed health. Nowhere is this more glaring, and detrimental, than in the pervasive disaggregation of water quality and quantity management. The agencies and private sector actors responsible, procedures for decision-making, and even the tools that inform decisions fail to integrate these factors.

Yet, water quality and quantity are intimately linked. The quality of water affects its usefulness and, hence, effective availability; extreme high and low flows affect the quality of water; and both affect human and ecological health. The impacts of climate change appear certain to exacerbate these problems, making it all the more critical that governance structures, water management procedures, and technical tools bridge this long-standing gap—for managers, water users, regulators, and conservation advocates.

Our panelists explored the challenges at the forefront of managing both water quality and quantity, how this management can be streamlined and improved, and how the needs of various stakeholders can be reconciled.

James M. McElfish, Jr.
, Senior Attorney, Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Alaina Armel, Water Resources Engineer, AECOM
Geoff Gisler, Senior Attorney and Leader, Clean Water Program, Southern Environmental Law Center
Roger Gorke, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ELI members will have access to materials/a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.