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Eliminating the Silo Effect Integrated Water, Wastewater, Watershed Model Helps the Atlanta Region Plan a More Holistic Future

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Historically, water supply, wastewater and watershed planning have been performed independently and as separate endeavors. That paradigm is changing. Competing pressures – access to water, environmental mandates, service expectations, aging infrastructure, and strained budgets, among others – are driving new thinking and One Water approaches among utilities. Particularly in urban centers, utilities are beginning to see opportunities outside of their traditional silos for solutions that allow them to be more efficient and resilient in their operations, and accomplish more despite finite resources. A case in point can be found in metropolitan Atlanta.

In 2015, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (District) initiated the 2017 Water Resource Management Plan (Plan). The Plan presents an integrated approach to water resource management for the 15-county District. The Plan brings together a comprehensive and consolidated approach for Water Supply and Conservation, Wastewater Management and Watershed Management for the region. It describes existing conditions and projects future conditions of the region’s water resources and its water, wastewater and watershed management infrastructure. The Plan is driven by science, data and good stewardship, and it promotes the protection of water resources for the purposes of supply, quality and recreation in the immediate and downstream region. The Plan prescribes water resource management strategies that support the region’s economic, environmental and social well-being.

To help develop the plan, an integrated GoldSim model was developed and utilized to show tradeoffs and benefits of various water plan strategies and implementation actions. This paper serves to summarize the modeling approach and how it was leveraged to support the water planning effort.
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Keywords: GoldSim; Integrated Modeling; Integrated Planning; One Water; Wastewater Planning; Water Planning; Watershed Planning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Black & Veatch 2: Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District

Publication date: 01 January 2017

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