The Western Urban Water Coalition (WUWC) is an organization that was created nearly 25 years ago in response to changing times and needs, whose purpose is to present a new and distinct perspective on the management of water resources in the modern West. The Coalition aims to provide a new, separate and progressive voice to articulate the needs and values of Western cities.
The WUWC is a national association of municipal water utilities serving the largest cities in the Western United States. Although the number of member organizations is relatively small, they represent the majority of the population and the economic backbone of the West. Together, these utilities supply water to 35 million people in the Western United States.
Members of the WUWC own and operate water management, water supply and hydroelectric projects. The organization was established in 1992 to promote an understanding of the water supply needs of Western cities, and their goal is to provide a reliable, high quality urban water supply for present and future water users. The WUWC is organized to help achieve that goal through sound water policies, programs and regulations.
Western states have undergone rapid population growth over the last several decades. The expanding water needs of these population centers have taxed the ability of water utilities to provide a reliable quantity of consistently high quality water. Due to the arid climate in some parts of the West, the degree of annual fluctuation in precipitation in other parts, and the increasingly evident effects of climate change is manifested through a range of significant natural events including drought, floods, fires, and extreme weather events, the water supply situation is substantially different than in the East, where water is generally plentiful and predictable on a year-to-year basis.
Urban water supplies must be adequate to accommodate rapid regional growth, sustain people, and maintain and build the economy while protecting and enhancing western public trust resources and environmental values. WUWC perspectives reflect a pragmatic integration of water supply activities with such other water-dependent uses as commerce, recreation and fish and wildlife habitat.
The Coalition brings its collective voice, separate and distinct from existing national and regional water organizations, to the ongoing debates over appropriate water policy in Congress, executive branch agencies, state governments, the courts, and the media. The WUWC is an active public and legislative advocate for progressive water and resource management in the West, encouraging water sharing and transfers, responding to climate change, supporting an adequate supply of water for environmental purposes, promoting water conservation, and establishing effective and practicable environmental protection and water quality standards.