Foundation identifies future imperatives for water utilities

Seven key imperatives have been identified by the Water Research Foundation (WRF) in the USA in a report published on 11 July 2012 to help water utilities understand better what the future may hold.

The imperatives are:

1. Communication: multi-faceted engagement

2. Collaboration/partnerships

3. Total systems view

4. Rate making/financing

5. Applied technology

6. 21st century leadership skills

7. Adaptive planning.

The WRF project, Forecasting the Future: Progress, Change, and Predictions for the Water Sector (project #4232) identified and analyzed social, political, economic, environmental, and business trends that are expected to influence the water industry over the next 20 years.

After identifying and prioritising current trends, the report develops potential strategies to manage and even take advantage of these trends by analyzing each and determining the possible range of impact from a low to a high impact scenario. The strategies address the trends in a broad, multi-faceted manner rather than in a narrow approach.

The report analyzes research data and the top trends to develop a desired vision of the future for the industry. Known as the Water Sector Blueprint, it provides key strategic imperatives, or priorities, for the water utilities industry to pursue in order to attain the desired future.

The full research report and supplemental materials can be found at