AWWA Policy Statement on Research

American Water Works Association (AWWA) supports research for all aspects of water, including, but not limited to, public health protection, quality and quantity of diverse source waters, treatment technologies, conveyance, distribution networks, collection systems, water storage facilities, system security, analytical methods, customer service, public relations, education, conservation, water resource planning and management, finance, and utility management. AWWA supports the inclusion of research costs in rates charged for water services.

Support of and participation in research is a necessary investment in the future of high quality water service, as well as the development of new professionals for the water industry. AWWA encourages support for research efforts sponsored by the Water Research Foundation and other organizations, such as utilities, service providers, universities, community groups, professional organizations and foundations, and governmental institutions. AWWA encourages researchers to make the results of research studies publicly available to benefit the global water community.

Promoting and supporting water industry research advances the tools available to water industry professionals. This knowledge sharing enables the implementation of innovative technologies and improved management practices. These advancements help protect and maintain water resources for beneficial uses including drinking water and ecosystems. Research provides an opportunity to evaluate and develop cost effective treatment technologies for the development of safe, alternative drinking water sources while assuring the continued production of high‐quality water that meets public expectations and regulatory requirements. The continued protection of public health is dependent upon the development of accurate monitoring and detection technologies for both new and well known constituents at levels of concern .Investigations into the optimal operational practices for reliable and resilient treatment, storage, and distribution of water in all forms are critical to meet current and future water use needs.

It is also critical to optimize resources through energy conservation, recovery strategies, and management best practices. Research provides utilities with options to develop new approaches in all aspects of their business. While the production of suitable quality water for all uses is critical, it is likewise important to develop effective customer service procedures that promote customer satisfaction and increase consumer education. Utilities need efficient management strategies for capital investment, resource conservation, human resources, workforce performance, and community relations, all of which research helps to facilitate.

Practices specified in this policy statement are consistent with all other pertinent AWWA policy statements.

Adopted by the Board of Directors June 24, 2007, and revised Jan 17, 2010. Reaffirmed by the Board of Directors January 20, 2013. Revised June 18, 2016 and October 25, 2022.