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The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) has launched a new program to help water managers build better rate structures. The overall goal of the initiative, titled Financing Sustainable Water, is to combat the common misperception that conservation makes rates rise by providing innovative new resources, including tools and data to water managers, elected officials, and consumers to support rate setting efforts.
Water managers are encouraged to visit www.FinancingSustainableWater.org to access these new resources.
Earlier this year Denver-based attorney Dave McGimpsey launched a podcast series focusing on water. Each week Dave interviews someone in the water industry to get their perspective on current issues. The series of interviews, titled “The Water Values Podcast”, is available on Dave’s website, The Water Values, iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast directories. NAWC Executive Director Michael Deane was interviewed by Dave last month and provided his perspective on:
- The private side of the water utility business, or Investor-owned utilities – and who they serve.
- What role does the NAWC play in addressing water challenges in communities across the U.S.
- What our nation’s water utilities need most, and what is the cost impact for both water service providers and American households.
- What to expect from new economic, public health and environmental regulations – and what role the federal government plays in keeping our water clean and safe.
- What innovation is now asking of the water utility industry.
The interview is now available on The Water Values website.
United Water, one of our member companies, is doing a lot of great things in their communities. From serving meals to people in need to planting trees along urban streets to cleaning up public beaches, the company and their employees are great ambassadors of public service.
United Water has developed a new initiative that addresses an issue many utilities face. We at the NAWC think the partnership is spreading a powerful message and you should be aware of it, too. United Water is teaming up with the National Community Pharmacists Association and joining their DisposeMyMeds.org campaign. The goal is to alert people of the dangers imposed by the improper disposal of pharmaceutical drugs.
According to published reports, a vast array of medicines, like antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, hormones and tranquilizers, have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.
So how is it that trace amounts of those drugs end up in drinking water? People typically flush their unused medication down the toilet or wash them down the sink when they are done taking them. While their intent is to get rid of the medication rather than have a drug in the house that could be used improperly, they have disposed of it in the worst possible way imaginable.
By partnering with the National Community Pharmacists Association and their DisposeMyMeds.org effort, United Water is taking the environmental impact message to the streets. They are educating communities about proper pharmaceutical disposal and locations where you can drop of your unused meds.
When you have a chance, please take the time to visit DisposeMyMeds.org and learn more about what they do and how you can help. Our friends at United Water did and we want to thank them and the National Community Pharmacist Association for spreading the word.
During the month of July, Pennsylvania American Water used its Facebook page as the platform for a social-media based competition to engage local fire departments. Winning fire departments would receive grant money to help purchase needed firefighting equipment and training.
The overall winner, Eagle Hose Company Number 1 collected 1,251 votes with Citizens Fire Company Number 1 taking second place after receiving 787 votes. Eagle Hose Company Number 1 plans to use its $700 grant to offset the cost of a new hydrant assist valve, while Citizens Fire Company Number 1 will use its $300 grant to defray costs for state-certified firefighting training.
“The ‘Keystone Firefighting Challenge’ was a fun and friendly competition, using social media, to engage local fire departments in the communities we serve,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Kathy L. Pape. “We’re proud to help support the purchase of equipment and training for the winning fire companies and grateful for our customers’ Facebook votes of confidence in their important work.”
The full press release is available on the Pennsylvania American Water website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched its 3rd Campus RainWorks Challenge.This annual challenge was established to engage college students in developing innovative green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build resilience to climate change.
Since it was first launched in 2012, Campus RainWorks has engaged more than 300 student teams in developing green infrastructure solutions to urban stormwater management. Campus RainWorks encourages the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses, trains the next generation of stormwater professionals, and develops new knowledge on the performance of green infrastructure.
Each winning team will earn a student prize of $1,000-$2,000 divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize of $2,000-$3,000 to support green infrastructure research or training.
- Registration opens Sept. 2 and ends Oct. 3
- Registrants must submit their entries by Dec. 19
- EPA will announce winning entries in April 2015
Additional information can be found on the EPA website.
From social media to infographics, YouTube to text messages, the way that we communicate has changed dramatically. The water industry is not immune to these changes, and across the country, companies are finding new and better ways to stay in touch with their customers.
In June, EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water launched a webinar series called “Tap Talks on Tuesdays” to share strategies that have been effective in communicating the importance of water delivery services and sustainable management.
NAWC will lead the July 29 “Tap Talks” webinar, which will feature four member companies sharing innovative ways that they are delivering important information to their customers, employees and other stakeholders.
During the July 29 webinar, presentations will be made by:
• Denise Venuti Free, Manager of External Communications, American Water
• Justin Pizzi, Director of Marketing & Communications, Aqua America
• Yvonne Kingman, APR, Corporate Communications Manager, California Water Service Company
• Richard Henning, Senior Vice President, Communications, Community Relations & Creative Services, United Water
One of the topics covered will be customer education. Free will present details of American Water’s Value of Water customer education initiatives. This is an ongoing research and education effort to help customers understand what it takes to bring water from source to tap, the importance of investing in the systems for continued reliability and quality, and the value of the service American Water provides to its customers for about a penny per gallon.
Kingman will share Cal Water’s program to educate customers by focusing on water professionals and the work they do. Because most people don’t think much about their tap water, Cal Water launched a series called “Behind the Scenes: A Day in the Life of…” during Water Awareness Month to educate viewers about the mostly unseen infrastructure and many water professionals it takes to get a reliable supply of clean water to their taps. Cal Water customers and other viewers were able to go behind the scenes and see the some of the many people who play an important part in getting water from the source to the tap. The company aired the story of a different employee and job every Monday and Thursday in May on its website and Facebook page, and the stories were also available through Twitter and YouTube.
If you would like to join the July 29 webinar please email Sonia Brubaker at email@example.com with the Subject Line “Tap Talks on Tuesdays” to be added to the stakeholder list.
On July 9, CH2M HILL announced Gary L. McArthur will join the firm as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective August 4, 2014.
“Gary brings solid finance and accounting experience and a great cultural fit for the next chapter in CH2M HILL’s journey,” said Jacqueline Hinman, CH2M HILL President and CEO. “As a well-known and highly respected leader, Gary will be a great addition to our leadership team and strengthen our ability to grow and deliver excellent client service around the world.”
Mr. McArthur joins CH2M HILL from Harris Corporation (a Fortune 500 international communications and information technology company) where he served as Chief Financial Officer since 2006, and in various other financial positions since 1997.
Read the full release on CH2M HILL’s website.
American Water recently announced that Michael Rose, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, has been chosen as the recipient of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) 2014 American Water Scholarship. The scholarship is an annual award of $5,000 presented to a graduate level student to assist with the development of professionals interested in service to the water industry.
Rose was selected for this scholarship due to his exceptional academic abilities, industry experience and leadership to contribute to the advancement of science in the field of drinking water. His current research focuses on iodine-containing disinfection byproducts that may be formed during treatment of hydraulic fracturing wastewater, which are generated during natural gas drilling. During this research, Rose hopes to shed light on iodine chemistry in conventional water treatment and the relationship between shale gas extraction and drinking water quality.
“American Water is pleased to present this prestigious award to Michael, who was selected among 33 outstanding applicants,” said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship and member of the award selection committee. “Not only is Michael an exceptional scholar, he is a dedicated engineer with leadership potential in the water industry and has a passion for learning and research. We are proud to help him advance his drinking water research studies.”
Rose received a bachelor’s degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Rose also studied at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and holds his Professional Geologist license in California.
Administered by AWWA, American Water’s Scholarship is currently the only one offered by a water utility among the 15 active scholarships. The 2014 American Water Scholarship was initially announced at the organization’s ACE14 event in Boston. For more information about AWWA scholarships, visit http://www.awwa.org/membership/get-involved/student-center/awwa-scholarships.aspx.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has just launched a new resource to help individuals, businesses, and communities find solutions to the problem of too much or too little water.
This new resource, branded “Rain Ready”, is centered around an action-oriented website and offers a suite of policies and practices to help residents, communities and states plan for weather events associated with global climate change.
Learn more on the Rain Ready website.
American States Water Company has received special recognition from two organizations.
American States Water Company ranked fifth in the UC Davis “California’s Top 25″ listing of companies with the highest percentage of women leaders. Approximately 43% of positions among the American States Water Company board of directors and five highest-compensated executive officers are held by women.
In recognition of their support of the growth and development of the Black Business Association (BBA) and providing equal opportunities for diverse suppliers, Golden State Water Company, the largest subsidiary of American States Water Company, received the BBA Utility Company of the Year Award.
“We are proud to be recognized by these two organizations,” stated Robert J. Sprowls, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our commitment to diversity in the workplace and the broader community remains steadfast.”
More information is available online.
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