Brown and Caldwell, a leading environmental engineering and construction firm, has been selected by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to lead the city’s ‘Shape Our Water’ planning process.
Shape Our Water is a four-year initiative to plan near- and long-term investment in partnerships, programs, and projects that will improve the performance and resilience of Seattle’s drainage and wastewater systems while optimizing social and environmental benefits for the city.
In concert with a community-centered stakeholder engagement process that sets goals and establishes a conceptual framework for future integrated drainage and wastewater (DWW) planning, Shape Our Water implements this vision by directing investments in DWW infrastructure, improving utility services, and maximizing customer value while balancing long-term sustainability with affordability. Drivers shaping the planning effort include water quality, flooding, climate change, aging infrastructure, aquatic health, and urban growth.
SPU Drainage and Wastewater Planning Manager Leslie Webster said: “Being a community-centered utility means more than providing excellent service and positive experiences with customers. SPU is committed to building strong community relationships through investing and partnering with communities on projects to protect public health and the environment while improving the lives of people in historically underserved neighborhoods.”
As prime consultant, Brown and Caldwell will lead a multidisciplinary team to bring resiliency, community values, and equity to the center of the planning process in ways that amplify community benefits. A strong focus on racial equity will help SPU choose projects and programs that create green jobs, address inequities in vulnerable communities, and capture the changing values of a diverse stakeholder base.
“At the heart of Shape our Water is a strong commitment and focus on equity and social justice, affordability, and value, while enhancing the city’s natural and built environments,” said Brown and Caldwell Project Manager Rosey Jencks. “We are thrilled to be part of this visionary effort to reflect community values and to partner with SPU and the community in making Seattle the best place to live for everyone.”
Project kickoff will commence immediately and continue through June 2023.