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HDR and Utility Partners Awarded Research Funding From The Water Research Foundation

Water utilities can often feel swamped: communities expect them to provide reliable service, protect people and the environment, meet regulations, and keep rates affordable.

More help is on the way.

The Water Research Foundation has awarded $200,000 to HDR, an employee-owned design company in the architecture, engineering and construction industry, to enhance the firm’s research so water utilities can better meet these challenges.

The research will help the water sector with a One Water Planning guidance document for utilities to improve strategies across all phases of the urban hydrologic cycle. In addition, this project will develop a holistic decision framework to help utilities choose and prioritise interconnected projects and initiatives. The research team includes Colorado State University’s One Water Solutions Institute, Dr. Jennifer Biddle and 21 participating utilities in the U.S. and Canada.

“HDR is grateful for WRF’s funding,” said Trent Stober, utility management services director. “I am excited to work with our research team, WRF and our utility partners to advance One Water Planning to deliver higher value investments for our environment and communities. The One Water system provides an all-inclusive approach, leading to wiser and more collaborative infrastructure decisions that achieve multiple benefits.” 

The emergence of new drivers and disruptors requires water utilities to move from traditional lowest cost and siloed investments to what is termed innovative One Water strategies. These strategies yield higher returns through an integrated approach. In addition, the intersection between requirements in the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act is an important factor in various municipal water programs. This intersection demonstrates an opportunity to holistically manage water through systems-based approaches.

Stay current on project progress by visiting WRF’s 5175 project page.

WRF is the leading research organisation advancing the science of all water to meet the evolving needs of the water sector. For more information, visit

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Trent.Stober [at] (Trent[dot]Stober[at]HDRInc[dot]com).

About HDR 
For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 12,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.