World Bank Issues “A Primer on Energy Efficiency for Municipal Water and Wastewater Utilities”

Earlier this year, the World Bank, through its Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) published “A Primer on Energy Efficiency for Municipal Water and Wastewater Utilities.”  While principal ESMAP efforts are focused on infrastructure in developing nations, this report applies equally well to energy efficiency for many US medium and small urban and rural water and wastewater systems.  The ESMAP Primer makes its energy efficiency for water case very clearly through the following statements:

  • Electricity is a critical input for delivering municipal water and wastewater services.
  • Electricity costs are usually between 5 to 30 percent of total operating costs among water and wastewater utilities (WWUs) worldwide.
  • Improving energy efficiency (EE) is at the core of measures to reduce operational cost at WWUs.
  • Since energy represents the largest controllable operational expenditure of most WWUs, and many EE measures have a payback period of less than five years, investing in EE supports quicker and greater expansion of clean water access for the poor by making the system cheaper to operate.

The ESMAP Primer goes on to share some interesting data about surface water v. groundwater energy use.  “With the exception of gravity-fed systems, pumping for distribution of treated water dominates the energy use of surface water-based supply systems, usually accounting for 70 to 80 percent or more of the overall electricity consumption. The remaining electricity usage is split between raw water pumping and the treatment process. Groundwater-based supply systems are generally more energy intensive than surface water-based systems because of higher pumping needs for water extraction (on average, about 30 percent difference in the United States).  On the other hand, groundwater usually requires much less treatment than surface water, often only for the chlorination of raw water, which requires very little electricity.”

To view or download the complete World Bank ESMAP Primer, click here.

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EPA and Veterans Affairs to Connect Veterans with Jobs in the Water Sector

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program have formalized a memorandum of understanding to connect veterans with disabilities to career opportunities in the water and wastewater facilities as part of EPA’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative.

The agreement allows EPA and VA to connect qualified veteran employees with staffing needs at water and wastewater utilities. EPA and the VA will work with water utilities, states, and local VA counselors to promote water sector careers and resources for finding water jobs for veterans as well as educational programs to help veterans transition into careers in water industries.

More than one-third of all current water operators are eligible to retire within seven years and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for water and wastewater operators is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018, faster than the national average for all other occupations. EPA sees the need to invest now in creating a pipeline of future water sector professionals to fill these essential water sector careers.

VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program assists more than 100,000 disabled veterans annually prepare for, find, and maintain meaningful careers. Veterans are an important target group for water and wastewater utility jobs because many veterans already possess training and technical skills that are directly transferable to careers in the water sector. There is a wide spectrum of water sector careers that veterans could be qualified for, including engineering, laboratory and water science, operations and maintenance, management and administration, communications, and public education. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program further supports veterans for the water workforce by providing necessary accommodations and additional training as needed.

To learn more about EPA’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative, please click on the following weblink:  http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/ws_workforce.cfm.

You can also read more about VA connecting qualified veterans with employer needs by going to:   http://www.vetsuccess.gov/

ABC Call for Presentations

The Association of Boards of Certification’s (ABC) Annual Conference Committee has announced its Call for Presentations for the 2013 Conference technical program which serves as a medium for collaboration and information exchange among certifiers.  This year’s Conference is scheduled for January 22-25 in San Diego, CA. The deadline to submit a presentation application for consideration is June 29, 2012.

Suggested presentation focus areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Certification Issues
  • Certification Program Best Practices
  • Certification Program Success Stories and Lessons Learned
  • Certification Program Administration
  • International Certification
  • Distance/Continuing Education
  • Compliance and Enforcement
  • Technical Assistance and Training
  • Professional Development (How can we get better at our jobs?)
  • Ethics
  • Emerging areas, e.g. budget shortfalls; greater demand less resources
  • Other topics of interest

Download a Call for Presentations application

While presenting at an ABC conference, you’ll connect with professionals in the water and wastewater certification industry from across the globe, including our membership which represents 40 states, 10 Canadian Provinces and several international programs.

Please submit an application and a summary of your presentation proposal by June 29, 2012 to:

ABC

Attn:  Call for Presentations

2805 SW Snyder Blvd., Suite 535

Ankeny, IA  50023

…or via email to:  conference@abccert.org

All submissions will be reviewed by the ABC Conference Committee and presenters will be notified of their selection and participation in the program in August 2012.

Questions?  Use the email address above or call 515-963-5915.

MORE Workforce Options – Sign Up Today

The State-EPA Workforce Workgroup invites you to participate in a second Workforce Webinar on Internship & Training Programs for Operators.  This webinar will feature three different approaches – Alaska Job Corps, Groton, CT Water Pollution Control Authority, and Operator Training Committee of Ohio – on how partnerships are being formed and strengthened to train the next generation of water and wastewater operators.

DATE:     Tuesday, June 19, 2012

TIME:      1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  https://www3.gotomeetings.com/register/687263526

Please click this link   internships training operators webinar 6.19    to view the flyer for this webinar event.

Planning for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1. Last year’s hurricane season was busy and costly, with damages from Hurricane Irene alone totaling $18.7 billion, according to the National Hurricane Center.   Did you know that the Small Business Administration provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes?   Did you know that there are business continuity plans designed specifically for smaller communities?  What’s this year’s hurricane forecast and how can smaller communities prepare?

Sign up for this free webinar and find out!

WEBINAR:  “Protect Your Business This Hurricane Season” A presentation and a Q&A session

DATE:  Tuesday, May 29

TIME:   2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

REGISTER:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/456830896  (Space is limited.)

A global climate expert from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will share the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast during this no cost event hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Agility Recovery.  After the weather discussion, disaster preparedness tips will be presented by Agility.

To learn more about SBA assistance, visit  www.sba.gov/disaster<http://www.sba.gov/disaster>.

SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org<http://www.preparemybusiness.org> to access past webinars and get additional preparedness tips.

 

EFC to Release Updated Dashboards This Summer

ASDWA is pleased to reprint the following article from Boise State’s Environmental News:
The EFC at Boise State University will release updates to its popular “dashboard” applications this summer. The initial dashboards released several years ago have attracted over 3,000 users in every state in the U.S.
The new dashboards, with design improvements suggested by circuit riders from the National Rural Water Association, will run faster, and offer a more streamlined look.
We’ve eliminated the “wizard based” data entry system, in favor of creating a standardized Excel spreadsheet that users can simply upload to the site, which will then generate the visualizations.
The data visualizations – or dashboard dials – were simplified so the application will run faster, and show just the most critical information about the water system so operators and their boards will have a quick and ready tool for decision making.
We’re also building in the ability to generate “what-if” scenarios with simple sliders. What if we increased rates? How would that impact our operating ratio? What about affordability? How much more do we need to be saving to fund future improvements? All these questions can be answered in seconds just by moving a slider on the dashboard.
Stay tuned as we release the updates later this summer. For more on the project see the latest issue of Rural Water magazine at:

Sustainability Webinar Set for June 12

In February 2012, EPA published “Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities.”  Designed for both drinking water and wastewater utilities, the Handbook examines how effective planning, regardless of system size, is critical to successful operations and describes a series of core elements and steps that water and wastewater utilities can take to incorporate sustainability considerations into existing planning processes.

The Agency, through the Office of Wastewater Management, is now hosting the first in a series of webcasts built around the elements described in the Handbook that support community sustainability goals.  This web event will provide an overview of the Handbook and include perspectives and examples from two utility managers who were involved in its development. The webcast is free to participants.

DATE:  Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TIME:   1:00-3:30PM eastern

REGISTER:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/519632424.

 

For more information or if you have questions, please contact Jim Horne horne.james@epa.gov in EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management.

Energy Tool for Small and Medium Water Systems Webinar

Mark Your Calendars NOW…EPA is hosting a webinar focused on energy assessments for small and medium systems.  Titled Using EPA’s Energy Use Assessment Tool for Water and Wastewater Systems, the web training will take you step by step through how to perform an energy use assessment.

DATE:  Thursday, May 31, 2012

TIME:   1:30-3:30pm Eastern

COST:  Free but you have to register in advance…so…

REGISTER:  https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/334111822

EPA’s newly released Energy Use Assessment Tool helps small- to medium-sized systems conduct a utility bill and equipment analysis to determine their individual baseline energy use and costs. This information can help systems make informed energy efficiency and energy conservation decisions.

Providing safe drinking water and clean water is an energy-intensive activity. Many drinking water and wastewater utilities are recognizing the importance of reducing energy consumption as a means to reduce their operational costs.  Performing energy use assessments prior to a full-scale energy audit helps systems in understanding their total energy consumption.

*This webinar is a part of the EPA Office of Water Energy Management Webinar Series*

Nominate an Award Winner!

The Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) Awards Committee is seeking nominations to recognize the efforts of its members, volunteer board and committee members, and others who advance environmental certification. Nominations must be received by the ABC office by June 29, 2012 to be considered for the awards. These Awards are:

The Harris F. Seidel Lifetime Achievement Award – the premier award issued by the Association; presented to an individual in recognition of outstanding lifetime contribution toward advancing the cause of certifying environmental professionals.

The Certification Program Award – presented to a member certifying authority in recognition of outstanding contribution toward establishing or advancing the certification of environmental professionals.

The Robert C. McAnespie Outstanding Certification Officer Award – presented to a member certification officer in recognition of outstanding contribution toward establishing or advancing certification.

The Jess Jones Excellence in Service Award – presented to volunteer(s), or groups of volunteers, in recognition of outstanding service to ABC.

Nominations may be made by Association members, by members of the Association’s Board of Directors, by training and/or certification committees of AWWA and WEF and their local sections or associations, or by similar organizations actively involved in training and/or certification.

Written nominations must describe the nominee’s contributions that warrant consideration for the award. Please use the nomination form and include a nominee resume of the professional and community activities or program accomplishments.  For additional information, view ABC’s award brochure and past ABC award recipients, visit: http://www.abccert.org/about_ABC/ABCAwardNominations.asp or contact ABC at abc@abccert.org.