AWWA Offers Online Training for Management & Supervision

Are you looking to improve your skills as a manager?  Perhaps an up and coming employee needs to take management training to achieve the next level in their career. AWWA’s new Management & Supervision Certificate Program contains five courses. These courses can be taken as an entire educational program or individually. Additionally, these courses are self-paced, meaning they can be completed and taken at the leisure of the student.  Click on the links below for course descriptions and pricing:

The Management & Supervision Certificate Program may provide a student with 2.5 CEUs and will take approximately 25 hours to complete.

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Two Asset Management Training Opportunities

From East to West, EPA and states, water utilities, and water organization colleagues are examining best practices and real world applications for Asset Management.  Read on for more information about two upcoming workshops:

Portsmouth, NH:  August 21-22:  The Fundamentals of Asset Management – A “Hands-On” Approach

Register for this two-day workshop and learn:

• How these advanced asset management concepts, tools and techniques can be most effectively transferred into the water and wastewater industry, more specifically, into your agency?

• Where to start?

• How to proceed?

• How to select appropriate tools?

See “EPA12 Asset Workshop New Hampshire” attachment for more information and to register.  Cost is $65 and registration deadline is Friday August 10.

EPA12_AssetWorkshop.NewHampsire

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 Tacoma, WA:  September 11-12:  The Fundamentals of Asset Management – A “Hands-On” Approach

Register for this two-day workshop and learn:

• How these advanced asset management concepts, tools and techniques can be most effectively transferred into the water and wastewater industry, more specifically, into your agency?

• Where to start?

• How to proceed?

• How to select appropriate tools?

 See “AM Workshop Flyer Tacoma WA 9-12” attachment for more information and to register.  Cost is $250 and registration deadline is Friday August 31.

 AM workshop flyer Tocoma.WA. 09 12

 

Resource Guide to Assist Rural Communities

Our colleagues at the National Environmental Services Center (West Virginia University at Morgantown) have prepared and shared the following information that you may find useful and helpful in your work with small and rural communities.  There are a number of drinking water specific references throughout the resource document.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies have developed a guide outlining programs the federal government has available to support rural communities as they promote economic development and enhance the quality of life for rural residents.

The publication, Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities, is a collaborative effort among USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. It ensures rural communities have access to all of the federal resources that can support their efforts to promote economic competitiveness, protect healthy environments modernize infrastructure and provide services to residents. The guide has key information on funding and technical assistance opportunities available from the four agencies, as well as examples of how rural communities across the country have benefitted from federal resources.

A copy of the resource guide is available in the Spotlight section of the USDA Rural Development home page at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/RD_FedResourcesSustainableCommunities.pdf.

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Thanks again to our NESC colleagues for sharing this helpful information!

Water System Partnerships Webinar

EPA and USDA are collaborating to host the third in a 4-part webinar series about water system partnerships (formerly known as restructuring).  You are invited – and encouraged to include your water systems as well as your state funding colleagues and TA providers – to hear from states and funders as they describe how they facilitate these partnerships.

Water system to water system partnerships that include operator mentoring, sharing equipment, third-party billing, contract management, and even ownership transfer are real solutions to address everything from shrinking utility resources, to regulatory compliance issues to operator know-how.  But what can state regulators and funders do to facilitate these partnerships?

Join us for “Facilitating Partnerships: State and Funder Perspectives” and learn about:
– Benefits to encouraging system partnerships.
– How state regulators are facilitating partnerships.
– Strategies for working with very small systems.
– How funders encourage partnerships.

DATE:  Wednesday, August 8, 2012
TIME:  1:00 – 3:00 pm (eastern)

REGISTER:  https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/381163598

Want to learn more about Water System Partnerships?  Here are some helpful websites…

http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/sustain/partnerships.cfm

Need more Water System Partnership case studies?
http://water.epa.gov/type/drink/pws/smallsystems/upload/2009_10_21_smallsystems_pdfs_casestudies_smallsystems_gainingoperational.pdf
http://water.epa.gov/type/drink/pws/smallsystems/upload/publichealthstudyv1.pdf
http://water.epa.gov/type/drink/pws/smallsystems/upload/publichealthstudyv2.pdf

OHIO RCAP HOSTING “SMALL TOWNS, BIG FUTURES” Conference

If you can plan to be in Columbus, Ohio in mid-August, be sure to sign up for Ohio RCAP’s second biennial Small Towns, Big Futures conference.

Covering four tracks – infrastructure, intensive economic development, leadership & management, and economic development – this conference is designed to look at all aspects of a truly sustainable small community, what it is, and what it takes to get there!  Regulations, funding, workforce, collaboration, and other hot topics such as fracking, CSOs, water loss, and stormwater management are all covered during this jam packed two day event on August 14 and 15.

Want to know more?  Just click on this link http://www.glrcap.org/ohio/ and register today.

Washington State and Sound Rate Structures

The June 2012 edition of the Boise State EFC Environmental News contained the following article on rate setting…thanks to our EFC colleagues for showcasing Washington’s common sense approach!

 “Below is an excerpt from a great piece written by Karen Klocke, the infrastructure finance lead at the Washington State Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water. Though some of the information is specific to Washington State, I’ve left it in in the interest of continuity, and because rules/regulations/statutes may be similar in your state. Key take aways here are: keep rates simple (see #5) and you can balance conservation with predictable revenues.

Setting Water Rates

No community water system wants to raise rates. However, the goal of every public water system is to provide customers an uninterrupted supply of safe, reliable, fairly priced water now and in the future.  To do that, your system needs to be financially viable. A key to financial viability is the amount of revenue coming through your door. And, of course, your system’s rates determine your income.

Tips for developing a sound rate structure

1. Rates must cover the full cost of producing, treating, storing, and distributing water to customers. This includes debt service, financial reserves, operation, maintenance, all regulatory compliance costs, and inflation.

2. Rates must be adequate and fair. Adequate means the rate is high enough to cover all system costs. Fair means each customer type or class pays its fair share of the costs.

3. Do not use water system revenues to pay for other municipal services. Using water revenues for other purposes, and not maintaining adequate financial reserves for future expenditures, will increase your long-term operating costs.

4. Customers should know what the rates are. This information should be in your annual Consumer Confidence Report and water bill.

5. Your rate structure should be easy to understand. In general, the rate structure for a system with fewer than 5,000 connections should have no more than three user classifications and no more than five consumption blocks.

6. Examine your rate structure once a year as part of your budget development process. Water rates have a short life span.

7. Use good budgeting practices and customer records to support your rates. It’s tough to develop a fair and adequate rate structure if you don’t know expenses and revenues from previous years or how much water you’re selling to each customer.

8. Your rate structure should be easy to administer. Customers need to understand their rates to support them. Make careful, thoughtful decisions that balance the needs of both small and large users in your service area.

9. Consider the need to conserve. Washington’s Water Use Efficiency (WUE) Rule requires municipal systems to set water saving goals, implement water saving measures, and report progress to us each year. Conservation can help maintain storage levels and help you avoid paying peak power rates that some electrical companies charge during “heavy use” times.

10. Calibrate and replace meters as needed. Meters are the cash registers of your utility. If the meters are inaccurate, you may be losing revenue! The WUE Rule requires you to calibrate and replace your meters periodically. Make sure you have a plan and budget to calibrate or replace them.

Rates and water use efficiency

We often hear water systems say they can’t conserve water because it negatively affects their revenue. When your rates encourage conservation, people generally use less, which results in less revenue. However, it is possible to encourage conservation and generate the revenue your system needs-take another look at the tips above.

ASDWA encourages you to consider sharing these tips with your water systems…and invite your EFCs to help with rate setting issues.

ABC Hosts Continuing Education Review Service Webinar

Want to know more about this new ABC service?  Sign up today for the demonstration webinar.

DATE:              July 18

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/925071190

Join ABC’s Continuing Education Review (CER) Program Chair Chris Wisniewski (OK) and ABC’s Finance & Administration Chair William Morrison to gain insights into the program and view a live demonstration of the CER online database.