The Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Executive Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has numerous standing committees, one of which is the Sustainability Committee. This Committee was formerly known as the Sustainability Task Committee and EWRI Sustainable (Design) Water Pollution Engineering Committee.
ASCE has fully committed to the principles of sustainable development (Policy Statement 418), urging civil engineers to serve as agents of change “through the information we provide, the decisions we make and those we influence.” Informing, promoting, integrating and implementing sustainable practices must be part of the EWRI culture across the spectrum of its disciplines and councils. The Sustainable Engineering Practices Committee, by affiliation with the governing board, promotes sustainability as a central discipline of EWRI. The Committee helps coordinate and optimize sustainability initiatives throughout EWRI and with external organizations as we all seek to create a more sustainable built environment.
The mission of this Sustainable Engineering Practices Committee is to focus the attention of those involved in environmental and water resources engineering on the ways in which sustainable development principles can and must lead to broader collaboration with other engineering and professional disciplines. For example, as municipal wastewater and rainwater become sources of reclaimed water supplies, the lines between water supply, water pollution, and wastewater treatment become blurred. Wastewater treatment plant operators can suddenly find themselves with “customers,” and those customers, in turn, find that there are new rules for water use.
This committee will provide and promote forums for considering how increased dialogue and new systems approaches can lead to regulatory reevaluations and new innovations that minimize resource consumption and maintain the economic and environmental systems needed for a sustainable future. Further, the committee will collaborate with other engineering organizations including ASCE, AAEE, WEF, IWA and others to identify gaps and redundancies as we all seek to help our constituents reach new sustainability goals.