CUPSS Team to Host an Asset Management Webinar

Join the CUPSS (the Check Up Program for Small Systems) team as they host the latest in their series of CUPSS Community Calls…in this case, actually a webinar!

This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10 and will feature Wayne Cannon from the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program.  He will be speaking about the Ohio RCAP approach to asset management and CMOM.

Date:    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Time:   2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

Register:  http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=1479&evt=123

More information about this web event can be found in the flyer link below.

CUPSS Community Call Flyer_2014 December

CWA-SDWA Toolkit is Ready to Use

Last week, ASDWA and EPA announced the availability of a new resource, “Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water and Advance Watershed Goals Through the Clean Water Act: A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal and Federal Water Program Managers.”  This Toolkit is designed to enable state and EPA water quality practitioners to better protect drinking water supplies using regulatory and non-regulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act and achieve mutual goals – better protected sources of drinking water and improved water quality.

The Toolkit is the result of a multi-year effort by state and EPA water quality managers across clean water and safe drinking water programs.  The group drew on expertise and examples of success from many states to provide the most promising opportunities to address complex water quality challenges that could benefit from a coordinated and collaborative approach, leveraging all available tools and resources.  This Toolkit:

  • identifies opportunities to reduce pollution in drinking water sources by using CWA tools;
  • provides examples of on-the-ground implementation;
  • demonstrates how program managers can align their efforts to protect source water through a combinationof actions and institutional relationships that facilitate cross-program coordination at the national, regional, state, and watershed scales to achieve common objectives; and
  • shows how state clean water programs can leverage the high value that consumers place on public health protection and safe drinking water to increase public support for addressing surface and ground water quality challenges more effectively.

A flyer that describes the Toolkit in a bit more detail is available here CWA SDWA Toolkit flyer 11-10-14.

A series of webinars is also in the planning stages that will delve into the Toolkit in detail and provide some case examples of how it can be used.  But, please don’t wait for those webinars.  The Toolkit is “good to go” and can be used now to support coordination and collaboration between safe drinking water and clean water managers. Click http://www.asdwa.org/document/docWindow.cfm?fuseaction=document.viewDocument&documentid=3007&documentFormatId=3779 to download the Toolkit.

Questions?  Contact Deirdre Mason at ASDWA dmason@asdwa.org.

USDA Listening Session on Private Financing for Rural Water/Waste Disposal Systems

USDA Rural Development is holding a listening session to hear comments on the 2014 Farm Bill provision that requires the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to encourage private financing of rural water and waste disposal facilities and how it impacts USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant programs. Included in Section 6019 of the Farm Bill, the requirement would:

  • Maximize the use of loan guarantees to finance eligible projects in rural communities with populations in excess of 5,500;
  • Maximize the use of direct loans to finance projects in cases where there would be a significant impact on rate payers when compared to a loan guarantee;
  • Establish and apply a definition of “material impact” to determine when to maximize loans;
  • Require projects requiring over $500,000 in interim financing to seek private financing; and
  • Determine whether a borrower can refinance with a private lender before RUS funding occurs.

USDA hopes to hear your thoughts.  This Listening Session will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to address these additional funding options for rural water and waste water systems, which are designed to offer more immediate private investment in rural areas. The details are below.

Date:    December 10, 2014

Time:   1:00-3:00PM (eastern)

Dial:     Please RSVP to WEPFarmBill@wdc.usda.gov to receive the call-in number.

Please RSVP by 5pm  December 8, 2014 and indicate that you require a call-in number.

More information on the listening session is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDFarmBill.html.  If you have any questions, please email  WEPFarmBill@wdc.usda.gov

You may also submit written comments to USDA.  Information about that process is available here:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/10/2014-26612/project-financing-loans-grants-and-loan-guarantees.

Need to Find Your TA Competitive Award Partners?

As you know, the grantees who received the latest round (FY 13) of drinking water training and technical assistance grants have for the most part completed their coordination and consultation meetings with the state primacy agencies and EPA regional offices.  The classroom training sessions, webinars, system on-site visits and other activities have been or are being scheduled, and the work has begun.

In order to keep informed regarding scheduled events and other assistance activities, you can visit the following web sites for more information.

Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) http://rcap.org/rcaptraining

This link has information on scheduled training events and conferences; searchable either by state or by training topic.  Each of the six RCAP regional affiliates also has a web site with more details on trainings and activities as well as local contacts.  You can access these web sites through the RCAP national web page: http://rcap.org

National Rural Water Association (NRWA) http://www.nrwadev.org/training/

Scheduled training sessions are listed by state.  Information on webinars can also be accessed at this site.  Individual web sites for the NRWA state affiliates can be accessed from the NRWA national site, at http://nrwa.org.

Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) http://efcnetwork.org/

Click on the “Trainings” tab to find information on scheduled future trainings and webinars, as well as past trainings and recorded webinars.

Private Well Class.org http://www.privatewellclass.org/

This site contains information on the private well class lessons (currently sent out by e-mail; will soon be available on YouTube as well as in the form of Podcasts).  The site also contains recordings of past webinars on small well owner topics.

If you have questions about this information, please contact Steve Hogye at EPA Headquarters  hogye.stephen@epa.gov

Do You Know Your SDWA?

Next month, water systems, state primacy agencies, and US EPA will all celebrate the official 40th Anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Most of us have been engaged with drinking water issues for a number of years, but not too many of us have first-hand professional knowledge of what the original law (enacted in 1974) did for public health protection in the United States.  A few of us might remember working through the 1986 amendments that, among other things, called for the regulation of 25 new contaminants every three years (whew!).

Most of us, however, came into the drinking water picture around the time of – or just after – the 1996 SDWA Amendments.  This groundbreaking legislation gave us the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund that not only provided a dedicated funding stream for water infrastructure improvements but also allowed funds to be set aside or reserved for brand new concepts such as helping water systems attain and/or maintain their technical, managerial, and financial capacity; a national list of common core elements to be found in all state certification requirements for operators; and a new direction in protecting our sources of drinking water.  It included enhanced consideration of transparency in decisionmaking and right to know actions such as the Consumer Confidence Reports and new Public Notification requirements as well as creation of a new Contaminant Candidate List to help with the effective and orderly assessment of contaminants of concern for possible regulation.  It’s been a very busy and very productive 40 years!

EPA has created a new website http://www2.epa.gov/safedrinkingwater40 that offers an interesting look back over our drinking water history.  Sections are devoted to “Safe Drinking Water Act 101” facts; infographics and multimedia options; SDWA milestones and connections to local water Consumer Confidence Reports; and resources appropriate teachers and students beginning with kindergarten games and running through high school projects and discussions.

Take a look…you’ll feel good about the work you’ve been doing.

RCAP Offers “User Guide” for Non-Water Professionals

Have a Board, Council, or other decisionmakers who really don’t understand what it means to be a water system and how one works?

Our partners at RCAP may have just the thing to help educate these folks so that they can be better prepared for their responsibilities in both water supply and public health protection.

Called “A Drop of Knowledge,” this Guide uses simple, everyday language to explain the technical aspects of drinking water utilities from source to tap.  It “describes the various components and operations involved in small drinking water systems, including source, treatment and system of distribution to the customer’s home. This guide is the perfect orientation and background resource for new small utility board members and small community decision makers.

You can download a copy by clicking Download PDF.

 

EFCs and AWWA Partner on Numerous Webinars for Small System Issues

The Environmental Finance Center Network and its partner, American Water Works Association, are hosting a series of webinars to focus on small system issues.  Check below and register today for those events of interest for your state.

WEBINAR – Aging Infrastructure Part 1: What It Is and What to Do About It 

DATE:  November 13, 2014

TIME:   1:30pm – 2:30pm EST

REGISTER:  Click this link: Register Now

Why Attend

What is “aging infrastructure” and how do you know if it’s a problem?  Once you understand the nature of aging infrastructure, the next step is do decide what to do about it. This webinar is Part 1 of a two-part series on aging infrastructure. The first part will define aging infrastructure, help attendees identify it, and describe tools such as asset management to address infrastructure problems. Part 2 will focus on water loss caused by aging distribution piping.

 

WEBINAR – Aging Infrastructure Part 2: Impact on Water Loss 

DATE:  November 20, 2014

TIME:   1:30pm – 2:30pm EST

REGISTER:  Click this link: Register Now 

Why Attend

This webinar is Part 2 of a two-part series on aging infrastructure. This webinar will share with participants information on water loss caused by aging distribution piping. As pipes fall into the category of “aging infrastructure” they are more likely to experience leaks or more serious ruptures. We will investigate the costs and benefits of addressing water losses before they reach the point of catastrophic failure.

 

WEBINAR – Energy Management Planning for Small Water Systems and the NYSERDA Model 

DATE:  December 2, 2014

TIME:   2:00pm – 3:00pm EST

REGISTER:  Click this link:  Register Now

Why Attend

A good energy management plan can improve energy efficiency, manage energy consumption, control peak demand for energy, manage energy cost volatility, and improve energy reliability. The NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority) seven step model for energy management planning will be shared with operators and decision makers. The webinar will also include small water systems sharing their experiences with energy management planning.

 

WEBINAR – Customer Affordability Considerations in Water Rate Setting

DATE:  December 9, 2014

TIME:   1:00pm – 3:00pm EST

REGISTER:  Click this link:  Register Here

Why Attend

How can you best serve low income customers and still pay costs? This webinar will help operators and other staff involved in water rate setting to consider customer affordability. Often, the operator is challenged to make add revenue to maintain and improve the utility. But, faced with customer affordability, decision-makers hesitate to approve rate increases. This webinar will equip small system staff with some ways to assess customer affordability for their own customer base, and introduce approaches to help low incomes customers pay water bills.