Environmental Finance Centers Offer Two Interesting Webinars


Rural Water Resiliency through Watershed and Roadway-Stream Intersection Management

Proper watershed and streamway management can decrease both the probability of flooding and drought and community vulnerability to these problems, protect roadway infrastructure, and prevent soil erosion, all of which help with cost savings for local governments.

DATE:              Thursday, April 21, 2016

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7142138735759194115

This webinar will cover watershed functions, including the effect of tiling and roadside ditches, demonstrate strategies to improve resiliency through streamway management, adjustment of ordinances and roadway drainage practices, and highlight re-engineered solutions, including relocation of infrastructure, phased retreat, and floodplain buyout. The webinar will also discuss the Climate Change Resiliency Act and how to utilize available money for municipal budgets.


Financing Resilient Communities

Flooding can leave a community with damaged roadways, downed transmission lines and uninhabitable buildings. The need to replace or renovate damaged infrastructure becomes an emergency expenditure that many communities simply cannot afford.

DATE:              Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4099846136796137987

This webinar will discuss financing strategies and asset management for communities to prepare for flooding and other severe weather events. The webinar will also provide basic resources for communities to generate a resiliency plan and discuss funding programs at the state and federal levels.



NRWA to Host Sustainable Utility Management Webinar

On April 7, NRWA is hosting an hour-long webinar to explore their Sustainable Utility Management for Rural and Small Systems initiative.  The program is built around ten key management areas of sustainably managed utilities that can help rural and small water and wastewater system managers address many ongoing challenges and move toward sustainable management of both operations and infrastructure.

DATE:              April 7, 2016

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click Here to Register

More information is available from the Rural Wire Newsletter at this link: http://nrwa.org/2016/03/sustainable-utility-management-for-rural-and-small-systems-2-p-m-cst-april-7/

National Drinking Water Week Coming Soon

Have you thought about what you can do to support National Drinking Water Week?  This year, it happens from May 1 through 7.  This celebration is our best national opportunity to promote the value of drinking water and remind your community about all of the things that drinking water does for them!

What You Can Do:  Invite your Governor to issue a proclamation about drinking water; post information on your website; issue a press release; have an open house at your water system; interview respected community leaders about the economic and health benefits of having good drinking water; or hold art or essay contests at local schools.

State Examples: Here are some examples from state programs:

  • The Vermont Drinking Water Program is holding a Drinking Water Week fair and poster and photo contest. The state has also developed a video on the value of water.
  • The Washington Drinking Water Program presents awards to outstanding water system operators during NDWW in conjunction with a proclamation from the Governor. View the information on the web site.
  • Pennsylvania holds its Ground Water Symposium every year during NDWW to help celebrate and sets up drinking water displays, along with the signed Governor’s proclamation, in the lobby of the state office building where the drinking water program resides.
  • New York has worked with its partners as part of the Water and Wastewater Education and Outreach Committee (WWEOC) to promote the value of water during NDWW and all year long. The web site also includes links to a customizable version of their “Value of Water” brochure and a Children’s Activity Booklet.
  • The Virginia Governor’s proclamation from last year.
  • The  North Dakota Governor’s proclamation from last year.
  • Beginning in 2013, American Samoa celebrates Drinking Water for the entire month of May (in conjunction with NDWW). Activities have included educational outreach to high schools and some elementary schools to “Get Yo’ Drank On!”  They have also held 30 minute TV talk shows to promote awareness about the different ways communities can protect their drinking water sources.

Water Utilities also provide a great avenue for promoting NDWW.  State programs can help by inviting them to join you in your state-directed activities and sharing some of these resources as examples of what they can do individually – such as developing bill stuffers and news releases.  The City of Evanston, Illinois provides a good example of what a water utility can do.  Their theme this year is “The Power of Water.”  As part of the celebration, they are holding a third grade art contest and a high school Instagram photography contest.  In previous years they have held a sunset paddle, a water sports event, and a rain barrel workshop.  Look here for more information:  http://www.cityofevanston.org/sustainability/water-conservation/drinking-water-week/.

AWWA Resources:  Finally, as they have for many years, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has a web page that strongly supports National Drinking Water Week.  The web page includes a history of NDWW, a web banner with this year’s theme: “Your Water:   to know it is to love it,” and a list of celebration and promotion ideas.





EFCN to Host Webinar on Using Future Scenarios to Identify Risk and Test Resiliency

EFC-West, in collaboration with the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and AWWA, are planning a new webinar as part of their training and technical assistance grant award in support of small systems.  There is no cost to participate, but you must register in advance.

DATE:              Wednesday, April 13, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5984803791125332226

During the webinar, participants will be introduced to two systemic tools, PESTEL and Wind Tunnel.  PESTEL is a simple strategic planning tool that allows participants to develop potential future scenarios that may impact their program with a systemic view.  A wind tunnel is a tool that tests system operations (both internal and external) against various future scenarios developed through the PESTEL.


EPA Releases the Drought Response and Recovery Guide for Small Water Utilities

As part of their ongoing effort to provide tools and strategies to support smaller water system needs when disaster strikes, the EPA Water Security Division has just released the Drought Response and Recovery Guide for Water Utilities.  The Guide is based on lessons learned from seven drought-impacted case study utilities. Using an interactive format, the Guide features worksheets, best practices, videos and key resources for immediate emergency response actions as well as those that also build long term resilience to drought. The Guide, designed for small- to medium-sized utilities, contains three main sections: 1) staffing, response plans and funding; 2) water supply and demand management; and 3) communication and partnerships. The Guide also links to a Case Studies Map, a multimedia GeoPlatform website, which documents the unique stories from the seven case study utilities: Tuolumne Utilities District, CA; Spicewood Beach Water System, TX; Hogansville, GA; Las Vegas, NM; cities of Hays and Russell, KS; and Clinton, OK.

To download the Guide, please click this link http://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/drought-response-and-recovery-guide-water-utilities.

To view the interactive case studies map, go here http://epa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=84f1c3dac56f4226b677d8247b0e3c07



New Rate Setting Discussion Opportunity

The Environmental Finance Center at UNC-Chapel Hill is hosting an “Ask the Expert” online discussion on March 22.  This online forum will provide individuals with a unique opportunity to ask any and all questions regarding rate setting and fiscal planning.

“Ask the Expert:  Advice for Setting Your Rates” hopes to answer some of your questions about appropriate changes to your rate structure like where/how to begin thinking about effective rates; does your system’s current structure really meet your needs; or what options are out there that might work better?

DATE:              Tuesday, March 22, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3618377691221004034

Register today for this no cost informative discussion opportunity!  Shadi Eskaf and Glenn Barnes from the Environmental Finance Center at The University of North Carolina will be on hand to answer your questions. Both have extensive experience helping small water systems with their rates.

EPA Webinar on POU/POE Coming Soon

As part of their ongoing webinar series, EPA’s Office of Research and Development invites you to join them for “Point of Use/Point of Entry (POU/POE) Treatment Devices” at the end of this month.  This event will highlight two discussions – the first on household water systems and how to tailor treatment alternatives for groundwater and distribution systems; and the second on New Hampshire case studies in the use of POU/POE.

DATE:              March 29, 2016

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)*

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6359747151712432132

*There is also an optional additional 30 minutes to accommodate questions from participants.

More details on this event are available at this link ORDSmallSystemsWebinar_March2016.