2017 New York City Stakeholder Engagement Workshop

Understanding water challenges, success stories, and potential solutions


Date: June 16, 2017 9:30 am – 3:00 pm

Location: CUNY Graduate Center 365 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016 

Room: TBD

Meeting Attendees

Stakeholder participation from the following organizations: NYC DEP, NYCHA, Mayor’s Office, DOH, Urban Planning, EDC, Albanese Org., Natural Systems Utilities, The Nature Conservancy, the S.W.I.M. Coalition.  UWIN and University Participants including personnel from Brooklyn College-­‐CUNY, Colorado State University, Princeton University, New York University, the University of Arizona, and Florida State University.


NYC Strengths for moving toward a model for sustainable, integrated water management:

  • Forward and thinking NYC stakeholders looking for holistic solutions!
  • NYC Drinking water, wastewater & storm water managed by one agency (NYC DEP)
  • Recognition among NYC stakeholder groups (public and private sectors, NGO and community) regarding the synergy of integrated water management approaches and their stakeholder specific interests (i.e. progressive thinking and recognition of the win-­‐win opportunities: DEP, EDC, DOH, Urban Planning, private sector, NGO & Community Groups)
  • Willingness to work together to find solutions, overcome barriers and build bridges that will result in a ‘One Water’ integrated water management approach for NYC
  • Recognition of the win-­‐win co-­‐benefits that this approach brings to the city as a whole

1. Using green/gray (i.e. hybrid) infrastructure to address:

  • water quality
  • flood concerns in the community
  • greening of city, enhanced livability

2. Recognizing and finding resources in city waste streams (district water & energy=> water/energy nexus), i.e.

  • fit for purpose water reuse
  • sewer heat recovery

3. Building upon existing models and incentive programs:

  • existing models of integrated water management within a building and across multiple buildings, e. Solaire and Battery Park City, that demonstrate cost effectiveness of approach
  • existing incentive programs like Energy Star can be tacked onto to integrate both energy and water (certify for water too)-­‐ bridge them and will be working with one office

4. Building on public outreach/education efforts and social readiness:

  • public outreach and education-­‐ messaging of environmental downstream benefits for recreation and businesses as well as cost efficiency (i.e. tax and consumer savings) to offset public perception that sustainable, integrated water management approaches equate to restrictions and self denial
  • social readiness-­‐ strong, active and progressive thinking communities

5. Using market signals for communicating to the consumer when certain consumption is reached, consumer pricing, notify approaching block price, rate structuring, stormwater charge & fee to encourage conservation.


1. Affordability & compliance, financing and funding (including infrastructure upgrades, maintenance and management)

2. Layers of infrastructure are at risk and vulnerable (cascading loss)- ­ climate change & sea level rise inherent

3.  Stakeholder fragmentation/siloing

Other Challenges:

  • Climate change: extreme events (i.e. cloud bursts & hurricanes)
  • Sea level rise, coastal vulnerability
  • Safety and public health (i.e. fit for purpose reuse, legionella)
  • Lack of metrics to evaluate efficiency
  • Political opposition
  • Leverage existing infrastructure opportunities
  • Combine investment opportunities to maximize co-­‐benefits and reduce inconvenience to communities, build on existing social capital
  • Build live models public building/prominent site for high visibility (i.e city hall, Empire State Building)
  • Need community engagement and all players
  • Focusing on opportunities based on geographic area with different or multiple geographic areas to meet wide range of goals

Locations Identified

  • Hunters Point (Queens)
    • area of major redevelopment
    • combined sewer area
    • vulnerable to compound flooding
    • high density development
  • Howard Beach (Brooklyn, Jamaica Bay area)
    • compound flooding, area hit by Sandy
    • low density
    • can partner with and leverage SRI@JB activities
  • Southeast Queens
    • political priorities for flood control
    • site for Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study
    • can partner with and leverage Cloudburst Resiliency Planning Study activities
Affordability & Compliance


  • Circular Economy: revenue source (biosolids/nutrients, energy, water)
  • Adaptive Management Plan/Sustainable  Act “One Water Act”
    • build innovation into long-term plans
    • One Water Credit Market


  • Regulations too focused, not allowing holitsic solution and optimization of infrastrcuture
  • Old Clean Water Act & Designated Uses
  • Litigation and third party lawsuits
  • Lack on informaiton on co-benefits of GI


  • Adaptive plans for regulatory compliance
  • Consensus building
  • Develop life Cycle Assessment
  • Reward/incentive programs for One Water
Layers of Infrastructure at Risk


  • Integrated GI systems at various scales (building, block & neighborhood including street scape, playgrounds and parks)
  • Hybrid green infrastructure (for controlled stormwater storage & reuse)
  • Graywater and blackwater reuse
  • Integrated GI systems at various scales (building, block & neighborhood including street scape, playgrounds and parks)
  • Modification and strengthening of building codes to accommodate GI retrofits and tie-­‐ins
  • stormwater pricing system and incentives


  • Access to private property and engaging private property owners
  • Getting buy in from community participants (i.e. benefits and addressing EJ concerns)
  • Optimization of systems and measuring function to ensure targeted metrics are met high groundwater tables in low-­‐lying areas
  • Expanding definition of GI
  • Scaling up and inter jurisdictional coordination density, lack of space


  • Multipurpose GI (combination of surfaces-­‐ i.e. hard and softscape surfaces)
  • Utilize NYCHA sites – large areas that include parks and playgrounds
  • Education: private sector (i.e. developers), property owners and public at large
  • High resolution flooding data to identify types of flooding
  • Integrated data sharing develop life cycle assessment
  • Reward/incentive mechanism for ‘doing good’
  • Trading programs for ‘One Water’
Stakeholder Fragmentation


  • Find common interests
  • Build awareness
  • Organize common recommended advocacy messaging
  • Building coalitions


  • Lacking awareness of common interest
  • Scale and numbers of stakeholders
  • Mistrust
  • Segmentation of networks


  • Transparency
  • Mediate around how solutions benefit specific objectives
    • metrics for priorities by interest
    • stakeholder mapping and hierarchies of opinion
    • formation create network of networks around cause
  • Shuttle diplomacy


9:30 am – 10:00 am Continental Breakfast
10:00 am – 9:15 am Pre-workshop Survey
10:15 am – 10:30 am Welcome & Introductions

  • Mazdak Arabi (UWIN Director): Welcome and agenda overview
  • Jennifer Cherrier (CUNY)
  • All: Self-introductions
10:30 am – 11:10 am Network Activity #1:

  • Key strengths of the region’s water, wastewater and stormwater systems
  • Most serious threats to those systems
  • Any major economic, social or ecological problems caused by those systems
  • Key efforts or successes underway to address threats and impacts
  • Possible solutions not being widely tried that deserve a closer look
  • Key impediments to implementing solutions
11:10 am – 11:20 am Break & Purposeful Conversation

  • Find someone you don’t know and share your water goals, successes, or concerns
11:20 am – Noon Network Activity #2:

  • Discussing, refining, categorizing and assessing ideas from Activity #1
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Introduction to the UWIN Project, regional boundaries and time frames

  • Mazdak Arabi
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm Network Activity #3: Facilitated Discussion

What are your greatest needs for assistance and how might UWIN address them? For example, linking with UWIN experts, to help you learn from peers via various communication avenues, inform our research activities, data needed to help you implement actions toward desired water targets

2:15 pm – 2:25 pm Break
2:25– 2:45 pm Closing Discussion

  • Next steps, how to stay in touch and share information
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Post-workshop survey