THG produced measurable and replicable results by deconstructing and addressing the interrelated challenges of sustaining the quality and continued availability of our water resources. THG emphasized transparency, partnerships, and systemic problem-solving in order to inform the national mainstream on sustainable and innovative practices. The firm encouraged transparency and civic engagement to foster broader participation, inclusion, and commitment to tested solutions to complex problems.
A primary focus of THG was bringing policy and practice to bear on local and regional outputs toward building sustainable urban and rural community outcomes. THG’s team was comprised of experienced problem solvers, practitioners, and sought-after thought leaders with direct experience in sustainable planning and design, stormwater management and source water protection, water resource destination enrichment, and innovative partnerships and financing strategies to support water infrastructure renewal.
THG understood the currency of strategic relationships and the importance of effective collaboration in making tangible progress in tackling tough challenges and seizing unique opportunities. The firm recognized the critical importance of well-thought-out case development and effective engagement of key stakeholder and investor groups, and was particularly invested in community and institutional capacity-building.
Water is ubiquitous, serving as a common thread connecting all aspects of life. As the planet’s most precious natural resource, its quality and availability are core determinants of individual and community quality of life. Community, ecology, and economy must be addressed and advanced in an integrated fashion fully accounting for short- and long-term social costs. Water resource issues are typically regional, interjurisdictional, and dispersed. Local actions can confound systemic conditions or they can add regional value if properly integrated into larger, scalable platforms and effectively communicated. The challenges and actions needed to sustain our nation’s water resources are geographically such that there must be an integration of planning across programs, sectors, and jurisdictions in order for local and regional governance to be effective and efficient.
While we lack a national water policy, we have a number of national programs that can be better integrated and complemented by a strong grassroots stewardship ethic borne out of an effort to raise public water awareness and civic engagement to transform water users into water stewards. We have to move beyond a culture of compliance. As an interjurisdictional public good that must be appreciated and managed first as a public resource, protecting our water future will require stewardship from local, regional, state, and federal levels. Perhaps most of all, efficiency will be the new conservation as we enter an era of constrained resources, climate uncertainty, and inevitable population growth.
Our group believes in sustainability and rebuilding system and community resiliency; a belief that our quality of life and the prosperity of our communities depend on our wise stewardship of available natural capital. We believe that an inclusive, leveraged or collaborative approach is critical for successful stewardship. Citizens, communities, and corporations each have a role to play.
Like many others, we seek more effective collaborative models for success. Our niche is assisting with the creation and promotion of value-based, collaborative relationship-building that can be brought to scalable and replicable levels by the participating institutions. By identifying and connecting water achievers and demonstrating real results, we are uniquely equipped to facilitate effective collaboration and strategic alignment between public and private organizations committed to sustaining the quality and continued availability of our water resources.
- Ongoing interaction with EPA, USDA, and the Corps of Engineers to examine industrial, agricultural, and recreational use of our nation’s water resources, securing their resiliency, and the resiliency of basin communities whose economies and quality of life depend on healthy functioning rivers.
- Assisted community leaders and local institutions in having a voice and place at the table in regional and national conversations.
- Built brand awareness for institutions and communities, adding value and capacity to tackle key water, food, and energy-related issues and challenges.
- Advised all levels of government, NGOs, and industry on land use plan development and community master planning funding and outsourcing.
- THG envisioned a new way of approaching regional planning, not by state, county, or local jurisdictional, but rather landscape or spatially-based. Given our experience in watersheds and catchments and the belief economic planning in an era of building resource scarcity needs to be more closely aligned with local and regional natural capitals, we advanced a corridor approach to economic redevelopment that focused on the opportunities and needs of river basin corridors. To this end, and in collaboration with key regional institutions, we commenced efforts to survey and assess individual and community needs to establish an organizational presence in the Lower 80-mile corridor of the Illinois River Valley to empower local communities to pursue enhanced system resiliency, enriched community livability, and a spatial platform for regional economic redevelopment.
- Given the central role the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers occupies in the overall development of our nation’s water resources, THG maintained ongoing collaboration between the Corps, particularly at the District and system level, and within the operational community. THG worked closely with Corps resource managers and scientists to call greater attention to the source water protection opportunities of better informed riparian forest management on Corps operational lands along the Upper Mississippi and lower Illinois Rivers via the Corps’ Upper Mississippi River System Systemic Forest Stewardship Plan.
- Since its inception, The National Cooperative Ecosystem Study Units Program (CESU) has proven itself as a cost effective and nimble sourcing device for Federal Managers. THG worked closely with the CESU national director, key unit leaders, and CESU member institutions to establish a landscape-scale, inter-unit research consortium focused on the Mississippi River Basin to bring greater attention and capacity to federal resource management activities that can drive timely research and monitoring commitments utilizing the CESU model and process.
- THG supported ongoing development of the Great Rivers Ecological Observatory Network (GREON), a network of remote, near-real-time river monitoring platforms to measure water quality parameters, allowing scientists to detect trends and evaluate management and policy decisions while better understand big river ecology on a watershed scale.
- THG supported ongoing development of the Great Lakes to Gulf (GLTG), a web-based virtual observatory that includes historical and current information from the Mississippi River and its tributaries related to water quality, characteristics of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the rivers and floodplains, and interactions between humans and various components of the watershed.
- In October 2017, THG held its Summit entitled, The Future of Transboundary Water Management – Cooperation, Informed Decision-Making, and Empowering Local Actors. The Summit convened international and domestic thought leaders to consider the role of big data in transboundary water management and decision-making tied to the environmental, legal, and human dimensions.
- The Future of Transboundary Water Management — Cooperation, Informed Decision-Making, and Empowering Local Actors / October 12, 2017 / Summit
- Public-Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Water Resource Recovery Utility Energy Projects / September 2017 / Research Report
- Sensible Financing for Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Finding the Best Money for Communities / December 12, 2016 / Column by Seth Brown, Founder of Storm & Stream Solutions, and THG Senior Advisor
- Eco-Economic Development / December 12, 2016 / Column by Greg Brumitt, Founder of Active Strategies, and THG Senior Advisor
- Observations on U.S. Waterway Modernization: Making the Case and Demonstrating the Way Forward / September 25, 2016 / Column by Patrick McGinnis, THG Senior Advisor
- Ask the Experts – Flint Water Crisis / March 16, 2016 / Column by THG
- The Role of Green Infrastructure – Nature, Economics, and Resilience / November 2015 / Policy Report
- Bringing the ‘Community’ Into P3s Just Makes Sense for Green Infrastructure / June 2, 2015 / Column by Seth Brown, Founder of Storm & Stream Solutions, and THG Senior Advisor
- The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Meeting a Community’s Water and Wastewater Needs – A Primer for Public Officials / January 2015 / White Paper
- Whither Water / September 22, 2014 / Column by Gordon Davidson, THG Senior Advisor
- The Long Slog: What Lies Ahead for the Financing of Our Nation’s Inland Waterways Infrastructure / March 4, 2014 / Column by Brendan McGinnis, Principal, THG
- U.S. Unconventional Oil and Gas Development: Life Cycle Examination from a Local Community Perspective / February 2014 / Report
- Proposed Public-Private Partnership Projects for U.S. Inland Waterways Infrastructure Financing, Operations, and Governance / December 2013 / Report
- Water Sustainability and Market Processes / October 15, 2013 / Column by Steve Hoffmann, Founder of WaterTech Capital LLC, and THG Senior Advisor
- Investing in Water: The Rationale Beyond the Talking Points / May 2013 / Webinar
- Addressing the Middle East Water Crisis – One Rain Drop at a Time / April 2013 / Column by Brendan McGinnis, Executive Director, Water Resources Action Project
- Hydraulic Fracturing 102: Addressing Public Concerns Over Hydraulic Fracturing / February 2013 / Webinar
- Biofuel Production — Dissecting the Water-Energy-Land Nexus / May 2012 / Webinar
- Agricultural Water Usage: Trends, Indicators, and What It All Means / February 2012 / Webinar
- Sustaining Our Nation’s Water Resources: Answering the Call for Stewardship / October 2011 / Summit
- The State of Flood Risk Reduction in the United States: Are We Reducing Risk or Incentivizing It? / May 2011 / Webinar
- The Next Farm Bill: New Opportunities for Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability / March 2011 / Executive Roundtable
- Deconstructing The Horinko Group’s Collaborative Model for Our Nation’s Water Resources / January 2011 / Column by Patrick McGinnis, THG Senior Advisor
- Positioning Waterside Communities as Tourism Gateways to America’s Great Outdoors / January 2011 / Webinar Hosted by THG
- Promoting the Sustainability of Our Nation’s Water Resources: A Launching Device to Demonstrate Early Outcomes / January 2011 / White Paper
- Engaging the Public for River Sustainability and Livable Communities / October 2010 / Executive Roundtable
- Bottomland Ecosystem Restoration / September 2010 / Webinar
- Addressing Water Issues and Finding Common Direction through a Social Capital Framework / August 2010 / Executive Roundtable
- Water Managers and Decision Makers: Searching for Synergy / June 2010 / Executive Roundtable
- The Horinko Group Hosts Reflective Discussion with National Water Leaders on Shaping a Brighter Water Outlook / May 2010 / Column by Dr. Donna Ayres, THG Senior Advisor
- 2010 Water Resources Collaboration Summit – Sustaining Our Water Resources Through Collaboration / April 13, 2010 / Summit
- Arriving at a National Water Strategy / March 2010 / Patrick McGinnis, THG Senior Advisor
- THG proudly supported the 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Water Resources Action Project Inc. (WRAP). WRAP addresses conflict mitigation through cross-border environmental peacebuilding programs and activities for youth, with a focus on water resources. Since 2009, WRAP has built rainwater harvesting systems in a network of middle and high schools in Israel, East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Jordan. WRAP uses digital technology to connect these schools to American schools. WRAP believes if diverse students in the Middle East participate in joint environmental education activities, which are carried out in a safe, neutral environment, they will gain a greater understanding of one another and develop more trusting and positive relationships. THG’s Brendan McGinnis served as WRAP’s Executive Director and continues to advise its Board.