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Save the date for UIM’s Second Annual Water Finance Conference Aug. 30-31 in Denver

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

NAWC is proud to sponsor UIM’s second annual Water Finance Conference August 30-31 in Denver.

The two-day conference is aimed at reaching executive-level utility representatives, consultants and finance professionals involved in the fields of water, wastewater and stormwater.

The conference agenda will feature presentations and panel discussions covering a range of topic areas, including: trends in public utility financing; traditional sources of funding for water infrastructure; private financing; private capital investment for public utilities; rate setting; affordability issues; leveraging Clean/Drinking Water State Revolving Funds; new water financing tools; emergency funding; and funding for drought-related projects.

The 2016 Water Finance Conference will be held at the Denver Athletic Club in downtown Denver, Colorado, conveniently located near hotels, restaurants and popular attractions, including the 16th Street Mall and Colorado Convention Center.
Additional information will be available on the conference website, in the coming weeks.

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Nominations Now Open for the US Water Prize

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

To shine a light on great one water leadership, the US Water Alliance annually awards the US Water Prize. The Water Prize is a first of its kind program and recognizes outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation’s water challenges.

Nominations are open and the deadline for nominations is March 1, 2016.

Any United States-based organization is eligible to win. Government agencies, utilities, private companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, coalitions, and others that have a demonstrated track record of moving one water solutions forward may be nominated.

Past winners of the US Water Prize have included a wide range of public, private, and non-profit water leaders, each making unique and transformative contributions to one water management. 2015 winners included Coca-Cola, the City of San Diego, and the Electric Power Research Institute. Additional details about the selection process can be found here.

For questions or additional information, please contact Hope Hurley.

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Pennsylvania American Water Kicks Off Stream Of Learning Scholarship Program

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Pennsylvania American Water has announced applications are being accepted for its 2016 Stream of Learning Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to high school seniors who are planning to pursue careers in the water and wastewater industry.

The program was established to support outstanding students living in Pennsylvania American Water’s service territories who are charting a course of study in specific fields, ranging from engineering to environmental science, which are crucial to the water and wastewater business.

The company will award 10 scholarships of $2,000 each to students selected through the program’s application process. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

•    Students must currently live in one of Pennsylvania American Water’s service areas. (Students can attend college outside of the company’s service territory.)
•    Students must plan to attend a two- or four-year college or technical school.
•    Students must plan to study environmental science, engineering, biology or chemistry.

“Now in its seventh year, our Stream of Learning Scholarship Program is helping attract extremely bright, dedicated students who have much to offer for our industry’s future,” said Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “We believe it’s important to inspire and support talented young people who share our commitment to maintaining public health, protecting the environment and promoting economic development.”

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and will receive their awards in May. Family members of Pennsylvania American Water employees are not eligible.

Applications can also be downloaded from the company’s website at and must be postmarked by March 21, 2016.

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EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Wastewater Infrastructure

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.

“The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task,” said Joel Beauvais, EPA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. “Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains.”

Adequate wastewater infrastructure plays a vital role in the health of streams, rivers, and lakes, where discharged wastewater and stormwater runoff often end up. Wastewater infrastructure must also become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, stronger and more frequent storms, flooding, and drought.

Wastewater infrastructure improvements also support healthy economies. Construction projects create good-paying jobs, and where new facilities are built, workers are needed to operate and maintain them. Upgraded infrastructure results in cleaner water, which is essential for many businesses and sectors of the economy.

The average American receives a much higher level of wastewater treatment today compared to when the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972. Between 1972 and 2012, the U.S. population receiving secondary treatment increased from about 75 million to 90 million, and the population receiving advanced treatment increased from 7.8 million to 127 million. Over the same period, the population receiving less-than-secondary treatment decreased from almost 60 million to 4.1 million. This has resulted in dramatic improvements in the waterways receiving discharges from these treatment plants.

The $271 billion is primarily for projects needed within five years.

The full press release is available on the EPA website.

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Aqua America Hires Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Aqua America has announced Karen M. Heisler as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Heisler comes to Aqua America from UGI Utilities, Inc. where she was vice president of human resources and administration since 2012.

As chief human resources officer for Aqua America, Heisler will lead a department of more than 20. She is charged with attracting and retaining the talented people who will work to keep Aqua America in a leadership role in the utility industry. Heisler will lead the effort to ensure that Aqua America’s more than 1,600 employees receive the professional development and training opportunities to ensure they are part of a world-class workforce. Heisler will also have responsibility for employee benefits, compensation, and labor relations for Aqua America’s 14 local bargaining units.

“Our employees strongly believe in our mission and Karen will bring a unique set of experiences to Aqua that are important in our efforts to continuously evolve and improve our corporate culture. I have elevated the position of CHRO to report directly to me so that I can work with Karen to foster a culture in which all employees are valued and developed,” said Aqua America President and CEO Christopher Franklin. “Karen will be a welcomed addition who further rounds out an already strong senior leadership team. We’ll work together to leverage the comprehensive experience and perspective Karen has gained from working in a variety of other industries.”

Read the full press release online.

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NAWC Announces New Director Of Regulatory Relations

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is pleased to announce that Grace Soderberg has been named as its new director of regulatory affairs.

Soderberg comes to NAWC with more than ten years of utility experience on critical energy and environmental issues. Prior to joining NAWC, Soderberg served as manager for regulatory affairs at PEPCO Holdings Inc., one of the largest energy delivery companies in the Mid-Atlantic region. She has also served as director of energy supply for the Edison Electric Institute and assistant general counsel for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

“We are very excited to have Grace join our team,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “Her expertise on regulatory issues is well known and highly regarded throughout the industry, and we are fortunate to have such a strong advocate representing us before policymakers.”

In cooperation with NAWC members, Soderberg will lead the organization’s efforts to advance critical issues for the water and wastewater industry both at the state and national levels through direct engagement with individual state commissions and with NARUC.  Her long-standing relationships with key stakeholders across utility sectors, such as electric, gas, and telecommunications, will facilitate meaningful collaboration and strategic alliances.

Soderberg is a graduate of Baruch College and Vanderbilt University School of Law as well as an LL.M. candidate at the George Washington University Law School.

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Valoria Armstrong Named President of Tennessee American Water

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

NAWC congratulates Valoria Armstrong on being named president of Tennessee American Water Co., effective next Wednesday.

In her new role, Armstrong will be the principal executive for Chattanooga’s biggest water utility with 103 employees and serving 374,000 customers in Tennessee and northern Georgia. Armstrong joined Tennessee American in 2011 and most recently worked for the utility’s parent company, American Water, in St. Louis.

“American Water is very pleased to have Valoria return to her home state to lead our operations there,” Walter Lynch, president and chief operating officer of American Water’s regulated operations, said in a statement. “She will build on the great work that Deron has done and I know her commitment to delivering excellent customer service along with her passion to build community relationships will make her a great fit for the Volunteer State.”

She replaces Deron Allen, who was named president of Indiana American Water, an affiliate of Tennessee American Water.

The full press release is available online.

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New NAWC Video “Water. An Essential Element to Life.”

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

During the last 100Water. An Essential Element to Life years, the water industry has done such an effective job of invisibly and reliably delivering drinking water to the tap at a reasonable cost that we inadvertently diminished the value of the water systems that deliver it.

Today’s homeowners, businesses and industries should expect, but not take for granted, that their tap water is clean, safe and readily available for drinking, cooking, bathing, firefighting, etc., 24 hours a day, all year long. Water saturates every aspect of our life and it stands to reason that the systems that deliver water are as valuable as the water itself.

NAWC’s new video titled, “Water. An Essential Element to Life.” was created to communicate the value of water and the need for immediate, sustained investment in our nation’s water infrastructure. We encourage you to use the video in your outreach efforts to increase the public’s understanding of the value of water and the critical role of private water companies in solving today’s water challenges. The video can be accessed on NAWC’s website and YouTube page. Please email any questions or comments to Marybeth Leongini .

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2016 Global Water Awards Now Accepting Nominations

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Global Water Intelligence has announced it is now accepting nominations for the annual Global Water Awards. This is your chance to earn recognition for your company, projects and even individual plants that have been making waves in the last year. To nominate, simply follow the online instructions.

Any water company, big or small, is encouraged to compete.

The categories for the 2016 Global Water Awards are:

•    Water Company of the Year
•    Desalination Company of the Year
•    Public Water Agency of the Year
•    Desalination Plant of the Year
•    Water Reuse Project of the Year
•    Industrial Water Project of the Year
•    Desalination Deal of the Year
•    Water Deal of the Year
•    Water Technology Company of the Year
•    Water Performance Initiative of the Year
•    Water/Wastewater Project of the Year
•    Water Leaders’ Award
•    Water Stewardship Award
•    Water Technology Award

When nominations close on January 31, 2016, GWI’s panel of experts will begin the difficult task of filtering out a shortlist. With the shortlist published online and in print in February 2016, voting will be open to readers of Global Water Intelligence and Water Desalination Report and members of the International Desalination Association (IDA).

The Global Water Awards ceremony will take place during the Global Water Summit on April 19th in Abu Dhabi. Please direct any questions to

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Pennsylvania American Water Announces Winners of “Imagine A Day Without Water” Photo Contest

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

ImagineADay WinnerPennsylvania American Water has announced the winners of its “Imagine a Day Without Water” social media-based photograph contest, which challenged their customers to share how a day without water might impact their daily routines.

The contest on Instagram and Twitter during October highlighted the company’s involvement in the national “Imagine a Day Without Water” promotion, an industry-wide education campaign by the Value of Water Coalition to raise awareness and build support for investment in drinking water systems.

The contest’s Grand Prize winner was Emma Marek of Luzerne County, whose photo depicting what washing clothing would look like without water earned her an iPad Air 32GB. First runner-up was Melanie Stevans from Washington County, who claimed an iPad mini, and the second runner-up was Cindy Cox of Lackawanna County, who was awarded a $100 Amazon gift card.

“We appreciate how the contestants used their imaginations to show our Instagram and Twitter followers how important water is to everyday life,” said Kathy L. Pape, president, Pennsylvania American Water. “Their photos illustrated how the absence of a sound water infrastructure would impact sanitation, fire protection, recreation and health – all important reasons why we need to proactively invest in our water systems.”

Entries were judged by a panel of Pennsylvania American Water employees on originality, composition, overall impact, artistic merit and subject matter relevance to the “Imagine a Day Without Water” theme. The winning entries will be featured on the company’s social media sites. Information about the national campaign is available at

Read the full press release on Pennsylvania American Water’s website.

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