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The north Texas town of Wichita Falls has been facing a water crisis since the beginning of a historic drought that has affected communities across the state. With water sources nearing critical levels, town officials have chosen to invest in a backup plan: water reuse, or colorfully referred to as “toilet-to-tap.” They will embark on a $13 million reuse plan late next month which will temporarily connect the city’s sewage and water treatment plants. Partially treated water from the wastewater plant will be pumped into a reservoir and further diluted with water from three other sources before being pumped to the water treatment plant. The city is planning on pursuing a more permanent $30 million solution to reuse and retreat wastewater, hopefully becoming more resistant to prolonged drought.
From a public perception standpoint, the city officials have their work cut out for them. Some residents are predictably concerned and will need to overcome the “yuck factor” (although headlines like this do not help). One resident went so far as to say, “When my son gets water out of the kitchen sink, I am going to chase him down and stop him from drinking it.”
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality currently lists 31 community water systems as being within 90 days or less of running out of water. I expect that Wichita Falls will not be the last Texas town to turn to water reuse as a solution.
American Water has named Loyd “Aldie” Warnock as senior vice president of External Affairs, Communications and Public Policy. In his new position Warnock will be responsible for corporate external affairs including legislative and regulatory policy, strategic water policy as well as corporate communications functions. He will also work closely with other key stakeholders to advance the mission and growth of American Water and will be a member of the company’s executive leadership team.
“American Water has always put great emphasis on building and maintaining constructive relationships with our many stakeholders,” said Susan Story, senior vice president and CFO of American Water, who will become president and CEO May 9, 2014. “With the many challenges that the water industry faces—from aging infrastructure, to sustainable water supply, to water-energy nexus issues and more—American Water is fully committed to working with both the public and private sectors to ensure safe, clean, affordable and reliable water for our communities for decades to come, and Aldie will enhance our efforts in this critical area.”
Read the full release on American Water’s website.
The Strategic Plan charts the course for advancing EPA’s priorities and mission to protect human health and the environment.
The Plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect over the next four years and describes how we intend to achieve those results. The Plan represents a commitment to our core values of science, transparency, and the rule of law in managing our programs.
The Plan identifies five strategic goals to guide the Agency’s work:
•Goal 1: Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality
•Goal 2: Protecting America’s Waters
•Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development
•Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution
•Goal 5: Protecting Human Health and the Environment by Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance
The Plan also sets forth the following four cross-agency strategies which set clear expectations for changing the way EPA does business in achieving its results.
•Working Toward a Sustainable Future
•Working to Make a Visible Difference in Communities
•Launching a New Era of State, Tribal, Local, and International Partnerships
•Embracing EPA as a High-Performing Organization
The EPA FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan is available online.
On April 3, EPA released a guide for water utilities on sustainable and effective practices. Developed with extensive input from utility leaders and states, this document will help water sector utilities of all sizes adopt proven and sustainable practices over time to better serve communities across the nation. The practices in the document are organized around a series of attributes of effectively managed utilities endorsed by EPA and leading water professional associations.
A PDF of the document Moving Toward Sustainability:Sustainable and Effective Practices for Creating Your Own Water Utility Roadmap is available online.
Congratulations to CH2M HILL’s Duyen Tran on being selected to receive an NAWC Living Water Award.
Duyen is the sixth private water professional to be recognized through this program, which was established in 2012 to celebrate the exemplary employees of NAWC member companies.
“I congratulate Duyen and CH2M HILL on this achievement. It is such a privilege for the NAWC leadership to represent an industry with so many dedicated individuals. From the launch of the Living Water Awards, we have been delighted by the caliber of nominees who have been selected by their colleagues to be considered for this recognition and honor. Duyen truly represents the best of the private water industry and we look forward to continuing to recognize these outstanding individuals and the impact they have in their communities,” said Michael Deane, executive director, the NAWC.
Read the full press release on NAWC’s website.
G. Christian Andreasen, Director of Engineering at Middlesex Water Company, received the esteemed 2014 George Warren Fuller Award by the American Water Works Association – New Jersey Section (AWWA-NJ) at its Annual Conference in Atlantic City held last week.
Andreasen has been actively involved in the water industry and AWWA-NJ for over 30 years, previously serving as the Section’s Secretary Treasurer, Trustee, and Section Chair, and is a current member of the AWWA-NJ Infrastructure Management Committee. He also serves as Vice Chair of the New Jersey Water Supply Advisory Council which advises the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on various water supply resource issues.
George Warren Fuller Awards are presented annually by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) to the sections’ respective selected members for their distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill George Warren Fuller, one of America’s most eminent engineers.
Read the full press release online.
Each year, GMI Ratings provides Forbes with a list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. To develop the ranking, GMI reviews the accounting and governance behaviors of more than 8,000 publicly-traded companies in North America. In assessing each company, GMI considers factors including high risk events, revenue and expense recognition methods, SEC actions, and bankruptcy risk as indicators of a company’s credibility.
The companies that make this list garnered the 100 highest scores for trustworthy behavior over the four quarters of the previous fiscal year. The final score, called a AGR — “Aggressive Accounting and Governance Risk” — is out of 100.
York Water Company scored an impressive 86.
NAWC congratulates Craig J. Patla, of Connecticut Water Service, Inc. on his promotion to the role of Vice President of Service Delivery. In his new position Criag will oversee the company’s operations, engineering, water quality and service delivery teams.
Mr. Patla is a licensed professional engineer and a certified water distribution operator who began his career at Connecticut Water in 1990. He joined the company as an engineer, overseeing the design and construction of various water infrastructure projects including water treatment plants, pump stations, and water main installations. Mr. Patla has assumed increasing levels of responsibility in the organization, most recently as Director of Service Delivery, providing leadership and direction for the 100 water professionals who deliver water service from source to tap for the 300,000 people served by Connecticut Water in 56 communities across Connecticut.
Eric W. Thornburg, President and CEO of Connecticut Water and a member of the NAWC board of directors, commented, “Craig is extremely knowledgeable of our systems and operations, is passionate about our mission, and honors and reflects our core values. He is a natural and accomplished leader, who has embraced his role as the Director of Service Delivery, leading his teams to meet numerous operational challenges and to deliver world class customer service.”
Read the full release on Connecticut Water’s website.
URISA announced a new publication on the trends, technology and best practices of GIS implementation in Water and Wastewater Utility Organizations. This special publication is designed to provide water and wastewater utility organizations with information to support planning for GIS implementation and operation. This invaluable guide gives an overview of existing GIS implementations within Water and Wastewater Organizations while offering insight for Organizations who are looking to deploy GIS.
Click here to order.
American Water has received two Business Achievement Awards from the Environmental Business Journal® (EBJ) and the Climate Change Business Journal® (CCBJ) for its sustainability innovations. The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Environmental Industry Summit 2014 this week in San Diego, Calif.
EMJ recognized American Water in its Industry Leadership category for the company’s Innovation Development Process (IDP). The program tests new ideas, both from within the company and from business partners, to create greater efficiencies in strategic areas such as water reuse, desalination, wastewater operations, and bio-energy. Through the IDP, American Water is bringing new solutions and technologies to the marketplace. Since the program’s inception in 2009, approximately 400 ideas were reviewed, and several have proceeded to pilot testing and the preparation of a business case.
Additionally, the CCBJ recognized American Water in the Technology Merit: Smart Grid & Energy Management category for expanding its relationship with ENBALA Power Networks to harness the flexibility of the company’s demand-side assets and deliver grid balance to the electric power system. ENBALA’s innovative technology manages the way treatment plants and pumps use power without impacting the efficiency of the plants’ processes or operational costs. American Water’s pilot study exhibited that the SCADA system could respond within seconds and the entire demand-response process was seamless to the water plant operator.
This is the fifth year American Water has received a Business Achievement Award. These awards annually recognize companies and executives for environmental achievements seen as outperforming the marke
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