The American Water Works Association (AWWA) advocates the sustainable design, management, and operation of utilities and programs that manage or impact water resources. For this policy statement, sustainability shall be taken to mean: 

“using resources in an economically, environmentally, and socially responsible manner (i.e., a triple‐bottom‐line approach) to meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet the needs of tomorrow.” 

AWWA supports an approach to sustainability that includes consideration of economic, environmental, and social elements. Utility decision‐makers should recognize locally specific characteristics that may place a higher priority on one or more of these elements. During the decision‐ making process, considerations should be given to stewardship responsibilities that are associated with a wide range of tangible and intangible assets, and the most appropriate decisions should be made for a wide range of current and future scenarios. 

Recognizing that sustainability is a continuous improvement process, AWWA supports efforts by utilities and programs to strive to be more sustainable through the evaluation and implementation of new technologies and business practices. 

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

 Adopted by the Board of Directors Jan. 23, 2011. Revised June 8, 2014, June 11, 2017.