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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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Save the date for the International Water & Climate Forum – December 7-9, 2015

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

NAWC is a proud supporter of the 2015 International Water & Climate Forum. The Forum will take the discussion about adaptation and mitigation in the water sector to the next level by focusing on what utilities are doing on the ground in their communities to implement climate adaptation and mitigating strategies.

This unique event will mobilize attendees to be visionary thinkers and to expand their knowledge base with the ultimate goal of promoting long-term sustainability and fostering water supply and ecosystem resilience. Specifically focusing on climate adaptation and mitigation strategies for water utilities, this invitation-only gathering will detail lessons learned from the front line, advance proven best practices and stimulate thinking about future solutions.

Forum speakers will be utility managers, climate change planners and scientists, policy makers and practitioners from around the globe.Through presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions, attendees will leave the Forum better prepared to tackle the challenges of improving water sustainability and resilience in the urban environment. All NAWC members are invited to attend. Details and registration are available online.

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2016 Water & Wastewater Leadership Center

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

NAWC is a proud supporter of the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center. Celebrating more than a decade of extraordinary executive utility management education – the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center is accepting applications for its 2016 session ( March 13 – 24, 2016) until Friday, November 13, 2015 and we encourage NAWC members to participate.

The Leadership Center’s curriculum is designed for current and up-and-coming water and wastewater utility CEOs, General Managers, Senior Managers and Upper-Level Management – both public and private. The Center is comprised of an intensive 11-day residential training program including a 360 degree assessment of your leadership style, unlimited peer networking and enhanced leadership curriculum tailored specifically to the water and wastewater industry.

The Leadership Center’s curriculum focuses on:
o Utility business assessment, personal performance evaluation, improvement planning
o Self-awareness and assessment
o Preparation of individual action plans
o Examination of challenges facing public utilities in the future
o Discussions on water and wastewater industry topics
o Leading organizational change

The Leadership Center provided a forum to raise awareness of the issues facing investor owned utilities and the opportunity to network and interact with leaders from some of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the country was invaluable. I know that I am a more effective leader because of my experience at the Water and Wastewater Leadership Center.” – Craig Blanchette, 2012 Alumnus, Vice President/Operations Manager, Aqua Illinois, Inc., IL

The deadline for applications is Friday, November 13, 2015.  Click here for the Leadership Center brochure and application.

The Water & Wastewater Leadership Center is a joint initiative between the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), the American Public Works Association (APWA), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

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NAWC Congratulates EPCOR Water USA’s Jeff Harrison on Receiving the NAWC Living Water Award

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini


NAWC is pleased to announce Jeff Harrison of EPCOR Water USA has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards. The Living Water Awards program, established in 2012, celebrates exemplary private water industry professionals who are “living water” through their commitment to quality, service and community.

Harrison, a 6-year EPCOR Water USA field service representative in the company’s Anthem, Arizona, service district, handles more than 730 service calls a month. Recently, Harrison noticed that a 6-inch reclaimed meter feeding a local park was registering zero usage. He tested the meter, checked the entire area and determined that the meter had never been entered into the billing system. That meant millions of gallons of unaccounted for reclaimed water had been passing through it each month since the park was first built in 2000.

In what could have been a troublesome situation, Harrison worked with the community homeowner’s association to apprise them of the situation and to assist them with planning and budgeting for future use of the reclaimed water that passed through the meter. His attentiveness saved the company significant lost revenue by identifying the problem, and he effectively facilitated an otherwise difficult transition with the customer for the previously unbilled account.

“Providing exceptional customer service sometimes means working with the community through potentially contentious situations,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “But because Jeff had already established a positive reputation and productive working relationship with his customers he was able to navigate the matter with integrity while benefitting his company. This type of work ethic and attitude embodies the qualities of a Living Water Award recipient, and Jeff is certainly deserving of this recognition.”


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NAWC’s New Jersey Chapter Announces Scholarship Winners

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

NAWC’s New Jersey Chapter recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Jessica Aragona of Burlington, New Jersey, and Brendan Milvihill of Clark, New Jersey. Jessica Aragona, who will be attending Seton Hall University, will be majoring in Chemical Engineering, with an interest in turning raw materials into useful resources.  In her scholarship essay, Jessica wrote “There are parts of this world where water is not readily available to much of the population, and by investing time and effort into sterilizing water to aid the less fortunate we can rid this problem from the world and uplift the health of said people.”

Brendan Milvihill, who will be attending Rowan University, will be majoring in Civil Engineering, with an emphasis on urban planning.  In his scholarship essay, Brendan wrote “I am passionate about the idea of green building to intelligently minimize the consumption of clean water and other resources, diminish energy consumption, and utilize passive and clean energy sources, both in the construction, and operation of the structure.”

Jessica and Brendan and their parents were honored at a dinner sponsored by the NAWC – NJ on August 6.  The Scholarship Committee and many Board Members of the NJ Chapter of NAWC were on hand to make the scholarship presentations.

The full press release is available online.

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Congratulations to SUEZ North America’s Elizabeth Watson – Our latest LWA Winner!

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Watson-ProfileThe National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is pleased to announce Elizabeth Watson of SUEZ North America has been selected as a recipient of the NAWC Living Water Awards.

Watson, energy manager for SUEZ, has spent the past five years studying energy issues at SUEZ sites and looking for new opportunities to reduce energy consumption and lower costs. She has identified several innovative methods – advanced metering and process control, comprehensive energy audits and staff mentoring – to help meet these objectives.

Watson’s efforts have led to the delivery of energy efficient processes, renewable energy systems, green infrastructure solutions and demand response to municipal, institutional and industrial clients across the United States. Her global vision of the company’s energy consumption is a 5% reduction by 2016. Watson’s focus on energy efficiency not only helps every local SUEZ site, it benefits the environment and everyone.

“While all water professionals carry a great responsibility of being stewards of the environment, most people assume that means protecting the water itself,” said Michael Deane, NAWC executive director. “Elizabeth is a perfect example of someone in our industry that is finding other ways to protect the environment and improve her company’s bottom line at the same time. I applaud her for her ingenuity and perseverance. She is certainly deserving of a Living Water Award.”

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