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NAWC-NJ Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini
Pictured (l to r) : Gary Prettyman, NAWC-NJ Secretary, Carmen Tierno NAWC-NJ Treasurer, Scholarship Recipients Ashley Vitiello and Gabrielle Moskalow, Gail Brady, NAWC-NJ Scholarship Chair and Suzana Duby, NAWC-NJ President

Pictured (l to r) : Gary Prettyman, NAWC-NJ Secretary, Carmen Tierno NAWC-NJ Treasurer, Scholarship Recipients Ashley Vitiello and Gabrielle Moskalow, Gail Brady, NAWC-NJ Scholarship Chair and Suzana Duby, NAWC-NJ President

The New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC-NJ) recently awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Ashley Vitiello of Saddle Brook, New Jersey, and Gabrielle Moskalow of Sewell, New Jersey.

Ashley Vitiello, who will be attending Montclair State University, will be majoring in the sciences, and will strive for a graduate degree in hydrology.  In her scholarship essay, Vitiello wrote “There is nothing more precious to mankind as clean, fresh water.  It is a tragic fact that for so many people around the world, having access to water is so tenuous and difficult.”  Ashley is a graduate of Saddle Brook High School, where she was in the National Honor Society and Captain of the Cheerleading Squad.

Gabrielle Moskalow, who will be attending Rowan University, will be majoring in Chemical Engineering, with additional courses on Environmental Studies.  In her scholarship essay, Moskalow wrote that her ultimate goal “is to complete research on how to move towards a more sustainable future for humans and ecological systems.”  Moskalow is a graduate of Clearwater Regional High School where she was in the National Honor Society and Captain of the Swim Team.

Vitiello, Moskalow and their families were honored at a dinner sponsored by the NAWC – NJ on July 27.  The Scholarship Committee and several Board Members of the NJ Chapter of NAWC were on hand to make the scholarship presentations.

“The Chapter’s scholarship provides financial assistance to college students pursuing careers in any discipline related to the water industry,” said Gail Brady, NAWC-NJ Scholarship Committee Chairperson.  The recipients must live and attend a college or university in New Jersey.  To obtain a 2017 NAWC-NJ scholarship application, please email Gail Brady, Scholarship Chair at gbradygbconsult@verizon.net

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Aqua America Appoints New Aqua North Carolina President

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Aqua America has announced Shannon Becker will succeed Tom Roberts, who is retiring, as president of Aqua North Carolina effective August 1.

As president of Aqua’s third-largest operating subsidiary, Becker will be responsible for the operations of Aqua North Carolina which has 160 employees, more than 95,000 customer connections, 750 water systems and 62 wastewater treatment facilities spread across 51 counties. Aqua North Carolina is also the largest private water and wastewater utility in the state.

Becker joined Aqua in 2009 as controller of Aqua North Carolina. In early 2012, he was named interim president for Aqua Virginia before assuming his role as president in August that year.

“Shannon’s experience running our Virginia operation for the last four years, coupled with his financial background and the experience he gained on that side of the business as the controller for Aqua North Carolina, gives him a unique and comprehensive understanding that will serve him well as he takes on this new and challenging responsibility,” said Aqua America Chief Operating Officer Rick Fox.

Becker graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant.

Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information.

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Members of the National Association of Water Companies Release Water Quality Reports

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Our member companies annual water quality reports are now available. These reports compare drinking water quality to state and federal standards and are required annually of water providers.

“These reports show private water companies have a stellar record of providing high-quality drinking water, underscoring their commitment to consistently make the necessary investments to improve water infrastructure,” said Michael Deane, executive director of the NAWC.

As a requirement of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Act, nearly all Americans receive notices about the quality of their water from their respective water utilities. These annual notices, called Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs), provide important printed and online information about the levels of contaminants in source water, and the quality of the drinking water delivered to the tap after it has been treated.

The recent water quality reports affirm that private water companies are committed to delivering high-quality water to their customers. A recently published study (Konisky, D. and Teodoro, M., 2015, When Governments Regulate Governments) concluded that private water utilities have significantly fewer violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act than the national average.

Private water professionals consistently monitor and test the untreated source water. These same professionals also monitor and test the water that has been treated to ensure the water you drink meets or exceeds federal and state regulatory requirements. Due to recent technological advances contaminants can now be detected down to parts per billion.

Private water companies have been committed to providing safe, clean water and reliable service to homes and businesses for more than 100 years. These water and wastewater service providers reliably support the needs of nearly 73 million people every day. That’s almost one quarter of our nation’s population.

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New Jersey Utilities Association Honors Bob Iacullo

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

The New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) has named Robert J. Iacullo as the 28th recipient of the NJUA Distinguished Service Award. The utility industry’s highest honor, Iacullo was selected for his leadership and accomplishments on behalf of New Jersey’s investor-owned utilities. The award was presented during the Association’s 101st Annual Conference at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.

“Bob was a dedicated NJUA board member for many years. His commitment and leadership has not gone unnoticed, and we are proud to be able to present him with such an honor,” said Andrew Hendry, president and chief executive officer of NJUA.

A veteran of the utility industry, Iacullo retired in 2016 after 36 years with SUEZ North America where he most recently served as executive vice president, overseeing the support services of environmental compliance, health and safety, operations support, corporate communications, regulatory relations and external affairs for SUEZ North America’s water and wastewater businesses across the nation. In this capacity, he had overall responsibility for supporting the company’s utility and environmental services business lines.

Read the full announcement on the NJUA website.

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American Water names Deborah A. Degillio president of American Water Enterprises

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

American Water has named Deborah A. Degillio the new president of its market-based business, American Water Enterprises. Degillio replaces Sharon Cameron, who is retiring effective May 30, 2016.

Degillio currently serves as the vice president and treasurer for American Water and has 20 years of broad experience in the utility and energy sectors. In her new role, she will lead American Water’s Contract Services Group, Military Services Group and Homeowner Services.

“Deb’s leadership and expertise will add great value to our executive team, as well as to our American Water Enterprises team,” added Story. “She has a proven track record in financial planning, budgeting and achieving business goals, and has been a key leader in our company’s overall performance and financial success.”

Degillio, who joined American Water in 2007, previously led teams focused on financial forecasting and analysis, business planning and process improvement, and served on American Water Enterprises’ senior management team as the vice president of Finance. She has also supported the regulated states of American Water in her past roles as director of Financial Planning and Analysis and vice president of Finance for the former Eastern Division. Prior to joining American Water, she held multiple roles that included serving the utilities industry through mergers and acquisitions, marketing plans and projects focused on process change.

Degillio has a Master of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in math/statistics and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.

The full press release is available on American Water’s website.

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NAWC Raises a Glass of Tap Water to Celebrate Drinking Water Week

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

This week the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) toasts clean, safe and reliable drinking water in celebration of Drinking Water Week. Observed May 1-7, 2016, Drinking Water Week provides both water professionals and the communities they serve an opportunity to come together to recognize the essential role water has in our daily lives.

“Drinking Water Week is a time to reflect on the value of water and the complex infrastructure that delivers drinking water to our homes and communities,” said Michael Deane, NAWC’s executive director. “Each of us is responsible for using this precious resource wisely, and it is imperative communities continue to invest in the vast network of water infrastructure upon which we all rely.”

Private water companies continuously provide more than 73 million people with clean, reliable water service, and have been recognized by American Water Intelligence for their consistent adherence to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), private water systems produce 4.6 billion gallons of water every day, or about 1.7 trillion gallons per year.

The private water industry is also playing an important role in improving the country’s water infrastructure. The five largest private water companies in the United States alone invest nearly $2 billion every year to improve community tap water systems across the nation.

Drinking Water Week is an important reminder to every community that more needs to be done to improve and replace water infrastructure as the country continues to face new water challenges. One proven solution is public-private partnerships. Private water companies work together with municipalities throughout the nation through public-private partnerships, providing ready access to capital, expertise, technology and operational acumen. According to Public Works Financing (March 2016), private water companies renewed contracts with municipalities at a rate of 90 percent in 2015.

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As Water Infrastructure Crumbles, Many Cities Seek Private Help

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

As Water Infrastructure Crumbles, Many Cities Seek Private Help
March 30, 2016
By Mindy Fetterman for Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

WOODBURY, N.J. — As city councilors here discussed the local water system recently, Summer Smith, a homeowner, rose to ask a question: “Can you explain in plain English what ‘emergent water conditions’ means? It sounds kind of alarming.”

David Trovato, the council president, acknowledged that any hint of a water quality emergency “would scare the hell out of me, too.” But there is no emergency in Woodbury.

New Jersey has designated Woodbury’s water system as “emergent” because it can’t meet the need for water at peak demand times. So this town of 10,000 across the Delaware River from Philadelphia is considering selling its water system to a private company.

Woodbury isn’t alone.

More than 2,000 municipalities have entered public-private partnerships for all or part of their water supply systems, according to the National Association of Water Companies, which represents private water companies like Veolia North America and American Water. Partner municipalities include San Antonio; Akron, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. Miami-Dade County is considering partnerships for three water facilities, including one built in 1924. And Wichita, Kansas, is starting to study the issue.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where old pipes leached out lead into water supplies, has raised new worries that cities aren’t keeping up with maintenance and improvements.

Maintaining, operating, replacing and upgrading the nation’s water infrastructure could cost $2.8 trillion to $4.8 trillion through 2028, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The American Water Works Association estimates that replacing and expanding water pipes alone would cost $1 trillion through 2035. And the American Society of Civil Engineers gives U.S. water infrastructure a D grade. Greg DiLoreto, past president of the ASCE, estimates that systems nationwide would need $84 billion in improvements by 2020 to get to a B grade.

Some cities are turning to private industry for help.

“There’s a desire to bring more private capital into the water world,” said Diane VanDe Hei, executive director or the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, which represents the largest municipal water utilities in the country. “Money is needed for aging infrastructure, for treatment plants, for pipes. The more money you can make available, the more you can do.”

Public-private partnerships (known as P3s) take many forms. Companies can take over maintenance and operation of an entire system, or parts of it, for a large one-time fee plus future profits. Or the companies can design, build and operate a new water and wastewater treatment plant, for instance. P3s have been used for years in transportation, but are relatively new in water.

Lead, Storm Water and People

A recent USA Today analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that nearly 2,000 water systems across all 50 states have lead levels in excess of federal limits. Lead can cause developmental damage, particularly in children.

Municipalities with little money, like Flint, can’t afford to improve their systems, or issue bonds to finance improvements because their bond rating is so low. They’d have to pay higher interest rates on that debt. In the case of Flint, the city chose to switch water sources from the Detroit River to the Flint River to save money, and then didn’t properly treat the water to avoid lead leaching from old lead-lined pipes.

But even cities that are not in financial difficulty are choosing to sell some or all of their water systems. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he “doesn’t want to operate anything,” and has opened the door to public-private partnerships for water and other services.

Cities also are facing other water-related problems, such as how to keep storm water from overwhelming wastewater treatment plants and slopping untreated sewage into rivers, streams and the ocean. Rising sea levels and rapid population growth will compound the challenges.

But governments are spending less on water infrastructure when they should be spending more, says Bill Reinhardt, editor of Public Works Financing, a newsletter that follows the industry.

The Congressional Budget Office reports that capital spending on new construction and major rehabilitation projects for water utilities is falling, as are federal grants. Capital spending by state and local governments hit $33 billion in 2014, down 23 percent from $42.7 billion in 2009, in inflation-adjusted numbers. And federal spending on grants and loans fell to $3.4 billion in 2014, down 35 percent from $5.3 billion in 2011.

Mayors are worried.

According to a 2015 survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, mayors of cities larger than 30,000 said their No. 1 concern was underinvestment in infrastructure. Their top need was mass transit (22 percent), followed by roads (20 percent) and water, including wastewater and storm water (18 percent).

“It takes a big thing like Flint to get people to worry about water,” said Todd Herberghs, executive director of the National Council of Public Private Partnerships in Washington. “Roads they see; roads they use. But water? People really take it for granted. People see it as cheap and just, well, just there.”

Water is ‘Touchy’
Water partnerships can be controversial.

Residents often are concerned about losing control over water supplies, and fear that a private company will impose rate increases without voter input. Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit in Washington, opposes P3s because, it said, they don’t result in cost efficiencies and can be more expensive for consumers than public systems. For their part, unions are concerned about protecting city workers’ jobs.

But DiLoreto, the former ASCE president, said rate increases are inevitable, with or without partnerships. DiLoreto said many years of insufficient spending on infrastructure has put cities in the position they are in today.

The average monthly water bill jumped 6 percent in 2015 and 41 percent since 2010, according to a survey of the nation’s 30 largest cities by Circle of Blue, a nonprofit research firm focused on natural resources. Atlanta, which has a publicly run system after experimenting with a private partnership, has the nation’s highest combined monthly water-sewer bill at $325.52 for a family of four.

Despite those increases, more rate hikes for consumers will be necessary to pay for improvements, DiLoreto said. Americans will pay hundreds of dollars a month for cellphone and cable TV service, but expect water and sewer rates to be much lower, he said. That’s because water bills have been kept artificially low by local governments under pressure from the public, he said.

“You and I have to decide that having clean, safe drinking water is important,” he said. “And we have to be willing to pay the money to get that done.”

Richard Anderson, senior adviser to the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ water council, said cities need to consider partnerships because the costs for infrastructure improvements are so high that some cities would go bankrupt trying to pay them.

“We allow water to be operated as a monopoly by local governments,” Anderson said. “People go to rate meetings and the nun gets up and says: ‘Rain is free. Why are we paying so much?’ Well, go out and catch it. You’re not in Ethiopia! You’re not going to take a bucket down to the river and get dirty water. It’s very hard for the public to understand why you have to pay so much for clean water.”

In Woodbury, City Councilor William Fleming tried to reassure the 25 or so citizens at the meeting that selling Woodbury’s water system isn’t a done deal. There will be public hearings for citizen input, he said, and months of discussion and study.

“Up until the very last minute we can always say no,” Fleming said.

This article originally appeared on the Stateline website. Stateline is an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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Bill DiCroce named President and CEO of Veolia North America

Posted on by Marybeth Leongini

Veolia has named William J. “Bill” DiCroce as the new president and CEO of Veolia North America succeeding succeeds Terry Mah, who served as the company’s CEO since 2013 and now leads business development activities in the Americas as senior vice president for Veolia’s Global Enterprises group.

DiCroce is a 32-year veteran of the energy and environmental industries, including 20 years in the nuclear industry. He previously served as president and chief operating officer of Veolia North America’s Municipal and Commercial business. Prior to the consolidation of Veolia’s water, energy and waste businesses in 2013, DiCroce served as president and CEO of Veolia Energy North America, following his successful four-year role as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He joined Veolia in June 2008.

“More than ever, our services can make a very real difference for cities, campuses, companies and other organizations looking for environmental services and resource solutions – whether it’s managing, conserving and recovering energy or water resources for cities or helping a refinery with their operations or with a critical turnaround,” said DiCroce. “I’m very excited to be leading so many talented environmental professionals throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, and I look forward to building a dynamic future for our team and for the customers we serve.”

Read the full press release online.

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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, www.waterfinanceconference.com 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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