The American Water Works Association (AWWA) supports protection of existing water supply storage capacity in reservoirs to ensure reliable water supplies for current and future generations, and takes the position that the volume of storage provided for water supply purposes and its resulting yield must not be subject to involuntary reallocation or degradation in quality as a result of other uses.
Affected water purveyors should be consulted before modifying the designated use of any reservoir in a manner that would impact water quality or availability. Fair and equitable solutions should be discussed by stakeholders before implementation. Requests to water purveyors to voluntarily allow for reallocation of reservoir storage must consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of alternative sources or programs that may be implemented to compensate for the loss of water supply yield. Where water supply must compete with flood control, hydroelectric power, recreation, water quality maintenance or enhancement, and/or aquatic habitat protection at multi‐purpose reservoirs, licenses, permits or other contract language should be used to clarify priorities of use and specify conditions under which those priorities may change.
AWWA encourages federal, state, regional, provincial, and local agencies, as well as private entities, to protect the use of water supply reservoirs for water supply purposes, and to use the latest technology available and sound science in that effort.
Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with all other pertinent AWWA policy statements.
Adopted by the Board of Directors June 17, 1990, and revised June 15, 1997, and Jan. 20, 2002, and Jan. 21, 2007, reaffirmed June 20, 2011, and revised Jan. 24, 2015.