EFC Network has More Webinars to Offer

The Environmental Finance Center Network has been running several series of webinars focused on issues related to small systems.  They have just announced the availability of two new offerings.

WATER SYSTEM PARTNERSHIPS AND REGIONALIZATION SERIES:  PART 4: WATER SUPPLY
DATE:  April 9, 2014

TIME:   1:30-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Register Now

Often small systems are reluctant to consider regionalization or collaborative approaches to solving problems because they fear the loss of autonomy. This webinar will showcase one regionalization/ collaboration option used by a group of water systems in central Texas. These systems found a way to work together to solve common problems while also maintaining a high degree of autonomy.

 

ASK THE EXPERT: A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK YOUR ASSET MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS OR SEEK ADVICE ON HOW TO BEGIN   

DATE:  April 24, 2014

TIME:   1:30-3:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:   Register Now

If you have been to an asset management training or have considered or even started asset management activities, you probably have generated many questions about the process. For example, “Where is a good place to start?” or “What options do I have for mapping my system?” or “How do I number my assets?” You may have specific questions regarding something you’ve tried and had difficulty with.

This webinar will provide you with a unique opportunity to ask any and all questions regarding asset management or implementing asset management. An asset management practitioner, Ross Waugh, with extensive experience implementing the process in New Zealand will answer questions.

This will be a great chance to hear information regarding what has worked elsewhere in the world and to learn from those experiences. If you don’t have any questions of your own, you can still greatly benefit from listening in to the questions of others.

If you have questions about either of these web events or about the EFC Network, please contact M. Francine Stefan at mstefan@sog.unc.edu.

 

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Vets and Water Systems Webinar Available for Viewing

EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Branch hosted a webinar on March 6 titled “M.O.S. to J-O-B:  A Guide for Applying Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to Civilian Drinking Water and Wastewater Operations.”  Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), EPA and the Veterans’ Administration have worked in collaboration to identify opportunities to bring water systems needing trained operators together with vets from the military services who have transferable skill sets.

EPA has made this webinar available for viewing (or re-viewing if you were able to attend the event) by clicking this link:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1809449050983645954

Please note that parts of the original webinar (polling events) have been edited out to shorten the time and size of the file.

 

New Jersey Creates New Resiliency Guidance Docs

 

 

Editor’s Note:  Although originally proposed as an article for ASDWA’s Security Notes blog, ASDWA believes that these documents should also be of use and interest to those of you who work in the small systems arena.  Note the special emphasis given to the value of Asset Management plans.  Take a look at how infrastructure resiliency has an impact on DWSRF applications.   Don’t let the “security” label fool you…this is sustainability, resiliency, and technical, managerial, and financial  capabilities combined!  

Hurricane Sandy, as well as other significant events, exposed vulnerabilities in New Jersey’s water/wastewater infrastructure. As a result, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recently completed four (4) technical guidance documents designed to promote resiliency and sustainability for NJ’s Water Sector.  The NJDEP intends to work cooperatively with their regulated systems to implement measures that enhance the State’s ability to sustain Water Sector operations throughout a broad range of meteorological or man-made conditions.

The documents can be accessed through the NJDEP’s Division of Water Supply & Geoscience website http://www.nj.gov/dep/watersupply under “What’ New” or the Division of Water Quality webpage at http://www.nj.gov/dep/dwq under “Featured Topics”.

Direct links to individual guidance documents are provided below:

EPA Hosts TA Provider Webinar

On Wednesday, March 26, EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team hosted a webinar to showcase the three most recent recipients of the TA and Training Competitive Award grants for FY 13.  The awardees – National Rural Water Association, the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, and the Environmental Finance Center Network – each spoke about their proposed approaches and work efforts that will begin once the shared $12.7 million is actually awarded (estimated to occur within the next 30-60 days).

EPA has prepared a summary of each awardee’s objectives, their level of funding, and where and how they will be targeting their training and assistance programs.  The summary document also identifies appropriate points of contact for each awardee and designated EPA project officer as well as their phone numbers and email addresses.  Please click the link below to view the Summary.

Training-TA Grants Fact Sheet 3-14

Want to be a CUPSS Trainer – or Learn More about the CUPSS Program?

What is CUPSS?  The Check-Up Program for Small Systems (CUPSS) is a free, easy-to-use, asset management tool developed by U.S. EPA for small drinking water and wastewater utilities.  EPA is now offering a new and updated round of web-based training on how to use and train others to use CUPSS.   The first session begins March 27th.  See below for more details.

What Does CUPSS Do?  CUPSS provides a simple, comprehensive approach based on EPA’s highly successful Simple Tools for Effective Performance (STEP) Guide series.  Use CUPSS to help small systems develop:

  • A record of their assets;
  • A schedule of required tasks;
  • An understanding of their financial situation; and
  • A tailored asset management plan.

What’s Different About This Training?  This year, CUPSS Asset Management Training webinars have been improved to feature additional demos, troubleshooting, and Q&A. The revised format includes the use of online training modules and four live, interactive sessions. Participants who use the CUPSS self-paced training modules, complete assignments, and participate in the interactive training webinars will receive a CUPSS Trainers Certificate and will be included in the CUPSS Trainers Directory.

How Do I Get Started?  Sign up below!

•       CUPSS Training – Introduction Session      

Date: Mar 27, 2014 1:00 – 1:30 PM (eastern)

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/921812210989836801

 

•       CUPSS Training – Live Demos and Questions for Self -Paced Training Lessons 1 – 3

Date: Apr 10, 2014 1:00 – 2:00 PM (eastern)

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7324576282785266689

 

•       CUPSS Training – Live Demos and Questions for Self -Paced Training Lessons 4 and 5

Date: Apr 17, 2014 1:00 – 2:00 PM (eastern)

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4024962778550425089

 

•       CUPSS Training – Live Demos and Questions for Self -Paced Training Lesson 6

Date: Apr 24, 2014 1:00 – 2:00 PM (eastern)

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6164271559298835457

Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP and Office 2003

Please work with your water systems to make sure that they, as appropriate, upgrade their software programs and avoid the risk of compromise through use of outdated, unsupported products.

Microsoft is ending support for the Windows XP operating system and Office 2003 product line on April 8, 2014.  After this date, these products will no longer receive:

*   Security patches which help protect PCs from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software
*   Assisted technical support from Microsoft
*   Software and content updates

Description:  All software products have a lifecycle. End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. As of February 2014, nearly 30 percent of Internet-connected PCs still run Windows XP.

Impact:  Computer systems running unsupported software are exposed to an elevated risk to cybersecurity dangers, such as malicious attacks or electronic data loss.  Users may also encounter problems with software and hardware compatibility since new software applications and hardware devices may not be built for Windows XP or Office 2003.  Organizations that are governed by regulatory obligations may find they are no longer able to satisfy compliance requirements.

Solution:  Computers operating Windows XP with SP3 or running Office 2003 products will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risk of viruses and other security threats.  Users have the option to upgrade to a currently supported operating system or office productivity suite. The Microsoft “End of Support” pages for Windows XP <http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx> and Office 2003 <http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/support-is-ending-for-office-2003-HA103306332.aspx> offer additional details.

There are software vendors and service providers in the marketplace who offer assistance in migrating from Windows XP or Office 2003 to a currently supported operating system or office productivity suite. US-CERT does not endorse or support any particular product or vendor.

Again, please encourage your water systems to make sure that they have installed an appropriate operating system that is protected adequately from viruses and capable of receiving needed technical support.

EFCN Hosting Part 3 of Water Loss Reduction Webinar Series

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is hosting Part 3 in its Water Loss Reduction for Small Water Systems webinar series on Monday, March 31.

Part 3 will focus on strategically deploying water loss detection methodologies.  Often times, people believe they either conduct leak detection activities on the whole system or not at all. There are several other possibilities of deploying water loss detection methodologies. The decision-making process will be explored in this webinar.

DATE:  Monday, March 31, 2014

TIME:   1:30-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:  Register Now    

If you have questions or need assistance in registering for this event, please contact Francine Stefan at mfstefan@sog.unc.edu

EPA Posts New Video on Investing in the Security of Water Systems

EPA’s Water Security Division recently posted a new video on their website entitled, “Don’t Get Soaked – Invest in Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation.”

The purpose of the video is to educate decision makers at drinking water and wastewater utilities such as managers, board members, elected and appointed officials on the importance of investing in preparedness, prevention and mitigation activities at the utility.  This 10 minute video is a good tool to share with small water systems.  It  features testimonials from drinking water and wastewater utilities on real world events that have impacted their organization.

While this video was created with “security” in mind, it also has a powerful message for systems that are striving to maintain their technical, managerial, and financial capabilities.

You may view the video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPK9j2S5TwE.