In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Integrated Planning Framework to assist communities in addressing Clean Water Act requirements while allowing greater flexibility to facilitate consider "sustainable and comprehensive" solutions.
While many communities are considering using the Framework, there is uncertainty surrounding what it takes to develop a cost-effective, implementable integrated plan. The Water Environment and Reuse Foundation funded a research project to collect as much information as possible regarding important tools, problems and data gaps associated with integrated planning. This research included a survey of communities who were somewhere in the process of conducting or considering integrated planning. The survey responses provided valuable insight into the status of integrated planning and provided for the selection of representative communities for in-depth case studies. Case studies communities were selected to represent the range of experience, from not pursuing integrated planning to having a completed plan that has been accepted by the regulators, with integrated planning. The survey and case study findings were used to develop an interactive integrated planning User's Guide.