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The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is pleased to announce Shannon Jeffers of West Virginia American Water has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards.
“Shannon’s determination and outside of the box thinking exemplifies the true spirit of service and dedication shared by professionals in the water industry,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “His work, which has direct benefits for the environment and the community he serves, embodies the qualities we look for in Living Water Awards recipients. Through these awards, NAWC recognizes the efforts of exceptional water industry professionals who work tirelessly to serve their communities, and Shannon certainly fits the description.”
Jeffers, an Instrument Maintenance Technician at West Virginia American Water’s Huntington Water Treatment Plant, recently observed that source water drawn from the Ohio River contained a large amount of sand, which caused maintenance issues with some of the system’s water treatment equipment. Familiar with the use of grit removers from prior wastewater experience, Shannon experimented with grit removal technology as a part of the plant’s pretreatment.
Results from the pilot test were so promising that a permanent grit remover was added to the pretreatment process, marking the first use of this technology in potable water treatment in the nation.
Removing sand prior to the introduction of chemicals in pretreatment reduces wear and tear on the equipment, lowers operational costs and reduces the overall amount of sludge requiring disposal. It’s also environmentally friendly, making it possible to repurpose the sand for use as fill material for construction projects and reducing the amount of waste that might ultimately be diverted into landfills.
The private water industry is moving water forward every day with the help of dedicated professionals, innovative thinkers, inspiring leaders and engaged environmentalists. NAWC’s Living Water Awards program was established in 2012 to celebrate the exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
The NAWC Living Water Awards program is an ongoing initiative and NAWC member company employees are encouraged to participate by nominating a colleague online.
The Value of Water Coalition has announced a new national education campaign to raise awareness of and build public support for investment in water. The Imagine A Day Without Water campaign includes a new website, and will feature a series of events between October 6-8, 2015 across the country with participation from partner organizations, water providers, local elected officials, and more.
Partners who are interested in participating are encouraged to create their own event or content to spread the message about the importance of investing in water infrastructure. Examples of what organizations can do to participate include: invite local leaders and the press to tour a water treatment facility, work with the local mayor or city council on a proclamation or resolution, create a social media campaign, write an op-ed, and more.
ImagineADayWithoutWater.org offers participating organizations a central location for accessing materials to assist in the planning and production of events. Site materials include:
- 11 ideas for how to participate
- Messaging Guide
- Tips for planning a press event
- Op-Ed Template
- A toolkit for ads, with horizontal and vertical print ads, billboards and more.
Organizations interested in hosting an Imagine A Day Without Water event can sign up through www.ImagineADayWithoutWater.org and should contact Abigail Gardner to coordinate event planning and strategy.
To the editor:
I read with great interest Sara Jerome’s August 17 article “Public, Private Showdown: Which Water Utility Model Is Best?” which reported on the soon-to-be-released findings of a recent study examining public and private utility models. “Which are more effective?” the article asks. The answer isn’t black or white. While the private water industry would certainly agree with some of the study’s observations, such as the private sector’s strong record of compliance, the truth is that this narrative starts with the wrong premise. The water challenges this nation faces are significant and it requires a holistic approach where the public and private sectors work together — not as opposing forces.
The article also included information from the study that needs correction. First, the piece implied that private utilities have little incentive to conserve. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Private water companies promote water conservation every day and have robust conservation programs that include customer education, free retrofit fixtures, rebate and incentive programs, and leak detection kits to name a few. These are things all well-managed utilities should be doing. Being a steward of water is critical for all of us, whether public utility, private utility, or the customer.
Secondly, the article quotes Atlantic CityLab reporting that confuses the term “tiered rate structure” by implying it pertains to reduced rates for low-income households. This is not correct. Tiered rate pricing is primarily about conservation, not household income. The idea is simple — price is determined on the amount of water a customer uses, rewarding those who use less. That said, many private utilities do in fact have programs designed specifically for low-income households.
The reality is that there is no “showdown” between public and private water utilities. It’s up to individual communities to explore all options including private water companies that have been providing quality service to American communities for well over 200 years.
Click here to read Michael Deane’s guest Column in Water Online.
Aqua America has announced that Kimberly Joyce has been promoted to the newly created position of regulatory counsel and director of public and legislative affairs. The promotion is part of a reorganization that expands her former role.
In her new position, Joyce adds communications, community relations and the company’s charitable trust to her responsibilities for legislative affairs and regulatory counsel in which she leads the team that oversees all legislative policy at the federal and state levels, regulatory filings, and base rate cases.
Joyce, an attorney, spent five years with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) before joining Aqua in 2007. During her tenure at the PUC, she advised the commission on electric, gas and telecommunication matters and defended commission orders before state and federal courts. She previously clerked for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge James Gardner Colins and worked for Baker & Botts, LLP in their Washington, DC energy and natural resources office.
Joyce earned her J.D. at the University of Pittsburgh and both her B.A. in economics and M.B.A. from Villanova University. She serves on the board of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.
Read the full press release online.
In the first of what will be a series of articles for Water Online, NAWC executive director Michael Deane shares his perspectives on how valuable it can be for the public sector and private companies to work together to tackle challenges in the face of adversity.
Water professionals, no matter if they work directly for a municipal government or private company, are facing ever growing concerns regarding infrastructure, environment and conservation. In facing these challenges water professionals must contend with limited financial resources.
In his new series, Deane highlights projects from around the nation and dives into how communities benefit from working with experts from private water companies to better serve their constituencies.
Click here to read the article at Water Online.
NAWC congratulates California American Water’s Victor Munguia for receiving a NAWC Living Water Award. The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates the exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.
“Workplace safety is something that all NAWC member companies strongly emphasize, and that commitment to safety extends to the communities and customers they serve,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “Because of Victor’s keen situational awareness, he was able to prevent a tragedy from occurring and ensure the safety of an infant. His actions demonstrate the true spirit of service and dedication shared by professionals in the private water industry, exemplifying ‘living water’ through his life-saving actions.”
Click here to learn more about Victor’s extraordinary efforts.
The NAWC Living Water Awards program is an ongoing initiative and NAWC member company employees are encouraged to participate by nominating a colleague online .
Today the Value of Water Coalition unveiled its new education campaign and toolkit: “What’s the Value of Water?” Using striking images, the campaign aims to shine a light on water—our most precious, but often invisible, resource. These education materials are available for free to any organization who is working to raise awareness about the importance of investment in water infrastructure and water resources.
The “What’s the Value of Water?” toolkit provides the following materials to any organization that wishes to educate and engage people about the value of water:
• Outdoor advertisements
• Print advertisements (horizontal and vertical layouts)
• Bill Stuffers
• Conference Banners
• Water Fact Sheet
• Message Guide
• Shareable Social Media Graphics
All materials are available for download on the Value of Water Coalition website: www.thevalueofwater.org. Please review usage guidelines before publishing any materials.
Aqua America CEO Christopher Franklin today announced the appointment of two new members to his senior team. Franklin appointed former Regional President Richard “Rick” S. Fox to executive vice president and chief operating officer and Daniel J. Schuller, Ph.D. to the new position of executive vice president, strategy and corporate development.
Fox will replace Franklin whose appointment to CEO was effective July 1. As COO, Fox will be responsible for Aqua America’s regulated operations ($756 million in revenues), including engineering and environmental compliance.
Schuller will be responsible for assisting the chief executive officer with developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining Aqua’s strategic initiatives, with an emphasis on growth. Additionally, he will be responsible for the company’s overall corporate development including acquisitions of regulated and market-based businesses.
The full press release is available online.
NAWC will host the inaugural NAWC Financial Forum on July 15, 2015, from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the TPK New York Conference Center in New York City.
“This is an exclusive opportunity for the financial community to meet strategic players in the private water industry and learn about the current opportunities and challenges facing the sector,” said Michael Deane, Executive Director of NAWC.
Participating NAWC member companies will include all publicly-traded water utilities, plus select privately-held water service companies. Financial Forum attendees will include equity research analysts, portfolio managers, commercial and investment bankers, debt analysts, institutional investors, private equity and infrastructure fund managers and credit agency analysts.
One highlight of the event will be a panel discussion “Opportunities & Obstacles of the Water Utility Sector.” Speakers include Walter Lynch, NAWC President and President and COO of Regulated Operations, American Water; Marty Kropelnicki, President and CEO, California Water Service Group; Dennis Doll, Chairman, President and CEO, Middlesex Water Company; Commissioner Mary-Anna Holden, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
The NAWC Financial Forum provides two designated times for members of the financial community to connect directly with key leaders of NAWC member companies for one-on-one discussions – from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., and again from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Registration is required. Registration and the full agenda are available online.
Twenty-nine IOU districts were at or above the statewide water conservation rate of 28.9 percent in May compared to the same month in 2013, the data shows. And several IOUs were recognized by the State Water Board in a press release as “stand out” water utilities that achieved conservation levels above 30 percent. Those recognized included California Water Service-Bakersfield District (37 percent) and San Jose Water Company (36 percent).
“The data shows how much water IOUs are committed to helping their customers conserve and doing their part in complying with the Governor’s and the State Water Board’s statewide water-use reduction policies,” said Jack Hawks, executive director of the California Water Association, which represents regulated water utilities throughout California.
Read the full press release online.
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