23 May 2016
Saville CR, Miller GR, Brumbelow K. Using Envision to Assess the Sustainability of Groundwater Infrastructure: A Case Study of the Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project. Sustainability. 2016; 8(5):501.
The ISI (Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure) Envision rating system is designed to be a comprehensive sustainability assessment that can be applied to a wide range of infrastructure projects, including water supply. With water supply resiliency, a prominent concern in many arid and semi-arid regions, the implementation of a water sustainability metric would be beneficial to both regulators and planners. This review seeks to assess the merit of applying Envision to water infrastructure projects specifically designed to enhance supply resiliency by retroactively rating the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project. In this review, we find that the novelty and innovation inherent in ASR is largely overlooked by Envision, which often does not evaluate sector-specific concepts. Furthermore, the project-oriented focus of Envision does not analyze water supply systems, or any infrastructure system, as a whole. This paper proposes that a water specific sustainability index be used in conjunction with Envision, to more specifically address concerns for water supply.