NRWA’s New Workforce Apprenticeship Program

Last November, ASDWA attended the formal signing of an agreement between NRWA and the US Department of Labor to launch and support a workforce apprenticeship program.  That agreement reflects nearly two years of effort culminating in the National Guidelines for Apprenticeship Standards for Water and Wastewater System Operations Specialists.

The program supports a two-year registered apprenticeship.  Participants, or apprentices, are placed at a water utility where they receive 4,000 hours of on the job training and an additional 288 hours of training and instruction by state rural water association staff.  Thus far, the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water has developed a program, submitted and received approval from the Department of Labor, and is the first state to have a Registered Apprenticeship Program using the jointly developed national standards.

For more information on this effort, please contact your state’s rural water association.  To read more about the program, please visit the NRWA website https://nrwa.org/ and click on the magazine link under the “News and Media” tab.

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EPA Leans in to Water System Partnerships

EPA has launched a new interactive website https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/water-system-partnerships to increase awareness about the benefits of drinking water partnerships.  EPA describes partnerships as “…tools to help address the challenges water systems face, with options ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation.

Drinking water system partnerships provide opportunities to increase capacity by working together to solve compliance challenges, share costs of operations and maintenance activities, and leverage other resources. EPA’s new website highlights ways partnerships can address these challenges, leading to enhanced public health by working together and sharing information.

The Partnerships website also outlines benefits for state programs such as improved compliance, resource savings, improved customer relations and the potential for a reduction in the number of systems to be regulated.  There’s also a clickable map that briefly describes, by state, the available types of partnership resources.

EPA’s Water System Partnership website provides states, communities, utilities and others with a user-friendly interface to explore the different types of partnerships, success stories across the nation, and national and state resources.  We encourage you to check it out!

EFCN Hosts January Webinars

Time for New Year’s resolutions!  Why not brush up on your water pricing and asset mapping skills?  Our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) are offering two new webinars for the month of January…

 

Pricing Water for Full Cost Recovery – How Different Rate Structures Impact Different Customers

DATE:              Thursday, January 18

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

REGISTER:      Register

Water rates should ideally bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of providing water service today and into the future. This webinar will demonstrate how water systems can calculate price levels under different rate structures to achieve full cost recovery and then look at how those various rate structures impact a range of customers with different levels of monthly water consumption

Intermediate Asset Management – Benefits of Mapping Your Assets

DATE:              Tuesday, January 30

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

REGISTER:      Register

Mapping your system’s assets and collecting asset inventory data can provide tremendous benefit to your system, including operations and maintenance efficiency, emergency response/repair, short and long-term capital planning, and knowledge management. Gathering this information and turning it into actionable data and knowledge through proper visualization of the data can aid decision-making. This hour-long webinar will discuss techniques and tools you can use to begin your asset inventory and system map, as well how these activities can begin your overall asset management program.

Talking About Water Loss…

  During ASDWA’s October 2017 Annual Conference, the topic of water loss and water audits came up.  What tools are out there that might be helpful in trying to prevent, identify, and correct water loss in a community?  One free tool is AWWA’s Water Audit Software.  You may download it at no cost here from AWWA’s website.

Their description of this audit tool includes the following…This spreadsheet-based water audit tool [is] designed to help quantify and track water losses associated with water distribution systems and identify areas for improved efficiency and cost recovery…Version 5.0 introduces a new Water Loss Dashboard with interactive graphical analyses as well as a new Comments page allowing the water auditor to capture essential information pertaining to the audit (data sources, assumptions, calculations, etc.). In addition, the overall color scheme and layout have also been improved

Take a look at this tool and consider recommending it to your water systems that may be experiencing water loss.

Sustainable Systems Team Publishes New Set Aside Analysis Doc

EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team is pleased to announce that the new Analysis of the Use of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Set-Asides: Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems is now posted on the EPA website! This document highlights the ways in which state drinking water programs, including Capacity Development and Operator Certification, have used the DWSRF set-asides to support water systems in building and maintaining capacity in the recent years.  You can view this EPA website for more information about the report and use of DWSRF set-asides.

Also, just a reminder EPA is hosting a webinar to highlight this document and the 2017 DWSRF Eligibility Handbook. The webinar will also include a presentation from Virginia on coordination between their Capacity Development and DWSRF programs.

 

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3718129797900846850.

EFCN and AWWA Host Water System Management and Finance for Board Members Webinar

  

This webinar, Water System Management and Finance for Board Members, is designed to be an educational tool to assist board/council members in understanding and operating their water business.

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6918675100844301058

Water is a business! It is also the foundation of your community’s jobs and future. Like any business, there are risks and options, but is your board/council keeping them in mind? Boards/councils need to know the pros and cons concerning managerial and financial decisions about water. In fact, their job is making the right choices about complex managerial and financial decisions of running a high quality water utility. Yes, it takes time to keep up on the laws, regulations, and rules. However, as a board/council member, you are personally responsible.

EPA to Host DWSRF Set-Asides and Eligibility Handbook Webinar

EPA invites you to register and attend a webinar titled Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Capacity Building in Action:  Analysis of the Use of DWSRF Set-asides and the DWSRF Eligibility Handbook.

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3718129797900846850

This webinar will highlight two EPA documents – Analysis of the Use of DWSRF Set-asides and the DWSRF Eligibility Handbook. These documents describe the variety of ways that DWSRF funds can be used for infrastructure improvements as well as programmatic activities and technical assistance through the set-asides. The webinar will also include discussion of state examples that are highlighted in the documents.

Webinar – Training Your Board Members

The Environmental Finance Center Network in collaboration with AWWA are hosting a webinar titled Water System Management and Finance for Board Members

DATE:              Wednesday, November 29

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

REGISTER:      Click Register

This webinar is designed to be an educational tool to assist board/council members in understanding and operating their water business.

Water is a business! City Councils and rural water district boards have a lot to consider: water pressure, meeting all federal and state regulations and standards, and making rates affordable. In fact, their job is making the right choices about complex managerial and financial decisions of running a high quality water utility. Boards/councils need to know the pros and cons concerning managerial and financial decisions about water. Like any business, there are risks and options, but is your board/council keeping them in mind?

 

Sign up today for this webinar and find out!

Want to Talk Asset Management?

The Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) is hosting another webinar in their “Ask the Expert” series.  This month, they are focusing on asset management.

The webinar, Ask the Expert: A Unique Opportunity to Ask Your Asset Management Questions or Seek Advice on How to Begin, is scheduled for:

DATE:              Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TIME:               1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click Register

If your water systems have been to an asset management training or have considered or even started asset management activities, they 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?  They may have specific questions regarding something they’ve tried and had difficulty with. This webinar will provide individuals with a unique opportunity to ask any and all questions about asset management or implementing asset management.  State staff should also participate in this Q&A event…you never know what you may learn!

EFCN & AWWA Present Regulating Rates that Fund Customer Assistance Programs at Small Water Systems

DATE:              Thursday, October 5

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5988289254285906433

This webinar will look at how customer affordability issues can be measured at the water utility level. The webinar will also take participants through some of the ways that the water utility can address any affordability concerns that are found. We will pay special attention to the role that rate revenues from the water system can play in addressing the growing concern of customer affordability.