EPA Sustainable Systems Team Shares Tabletop Exercise

EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team has developed a Tabletop Exercise and Facilitators Guide that states and assistance providers may want to use on their own.  The Sustainable Systems Team has worked through this Exercise a couple of times at National and Regional workshops and the response has been very positive.

The Exercise assigns roles for a variety of state programs and works through a project list that needs input from each of the respective roleplayers.  Projects are prioritized and funding, compliance, and/or assistance decisions are made based on that input.  As noted in the provided materials, the purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a better understanding of other state roles, increased communication, and collaboration among different roles, will result in better, more holistic, PWS assistance.  Here’s the link to the Exercise and Facilitator’s Guide:  https://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/table-top-exercise-collaborating-across-state-drinking-water-programs-support-sustainable

March Webinars on Financials

Just a reminder – our EFCN and AWWA partners are facilitating helpful workshops on issues relating to financial capacity.  If you haven’t already done so, please register today!

Water Audits and Water Loss Control:  Gathering Your Data

DATE:              Wednesday, March 1

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

REGISTER:      Register

The hardest part of completing a water audit or determining the categories of your non-revenue water, by far, is just getting started. The first step is finding and collecting your data.  Knowing what data you need, where to look for it, what some of the potential issues with the data may be, and how you can improve data in the future is your starting place.  This webinar will cover all of those topics to help make it easier for you to start the process.

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Preparing Winning Financing Applications for Water Infrastructure Projects

 DATE:              Thursday, March 9

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

REGISTER:    Register

This webinar will showcase some of the federal funding programs related to financing water infrastructure projects.  It will highlight some tools that you can use to enhance your application, and better plan for the financial management of your utility.  Tools include intentional rate setting practices, asset management, capital improvement planning, and customer affordability analyses.

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Water Audits and Water Loss Control:  Entering Your Data into the Spreadsheet

DATE:              Wednesday, March 22

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

REGISTER:      Register

The water audit process starts by gathering your data. That process was described in the webinar on February 7th. Once the data is collected, you are ready to enter it into the free Water Audit Spreadsheet from AWWA.  This webinar will discuss how and where to enter the data as well as determining the appropriate data grades for your information.

Water System Partnerships Webinar

If you haven’t already signed up, don’t miss the upcoming webinar on Water System Partnerships.  Brought to you by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Capacity Building in Action Team, this is the latest in the ongoing series of webinars to highlight ways in which DWSRF set-asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.

DATE:              March 7, 2017

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3500&evt=030717

The purpose of this webinar is to highlight ways that states are utilizing DWSRF funds to assist water systems in forming partnerships.

EPA Awards $12.7 Million to Assist Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

Today, EPA is awarding $12.7 million in grants to help small drinking and wastewater systems and private well owners.  Since 2009, EPA has provided $95 million in technical assistance grants to assist small drinking water and wastewater systems and private well owners.  Water systems staff will receive training and technical assistance to improve operations and management practices, promote system sustainability, and better protect public health and the environment.  The selected grantees are:

  • $4.0 million each to the National Rural Water Association and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership to help small public water systems across the country achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • $1.8 million to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to improve the financial and managerial capabilities of small public water systems across the country.
  • $1.7 million to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership to inform private drinking water well owners about protecting their drinking water supply and improving water quality.
  • $1.2 million to the National Rural Water Association to improve operational performance at small publicly-owned wastewater systems and decentralized wastewater systems, thereby improving public health and water quality.

Correction – despite the earlier press release from EPA, the $1.2M for wastewater training was actually awarded to RCAP not NRWA.

More than 97 percent of the nation’s 157,000 public drinking water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people, and more than 80 percent of these systems serve fewer than 500 people. Many small systems face unique challenges in providing reliable drinking water and wastewater services that meet federal and state regulations. These challenges can include a lack of financial resources, aging infrastructure, and high staff turnover.

More information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/dwcapacity/training-and-technical-assistance-small-systems-funding#rfa

Water & Energy Efficiency for Small Systems

EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Sustainable Systems Teams at EPA are hosting the latest in their ongoing a series of webinars to highlight ways in which DWSRF set asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.  This latest event will discuss how the DWSRF can be used to reduce water loss and increase energy efficiency.

DATE:              Tuesday, January 24

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3404&evt=012417

During the webinar, Kiri Anderer (EPA HQ) will discuss some background on eligibilities for water and energy efficiency projects and set aside activities.  Two state speakers will also share information about their programs’ efforts…Danielle West will describe Missouri’s Leak Detection Program and Tim Wendland will present on Idaho’s assessment of water and energy savings.

And as a head’s up…keep watch for info on the webinar to be held in March on the subject of Water System Partnerships!

 

Financing Recovery and Mitigation – A Free Webinar Series

Learning about funding opportunities and how to access them is important for all members of the small system community. EPA is hosting two new webinars that showcase available funding for both disaster recovery efforts and resilience mitigation projects.  Please share these webinar discussions with your smaller systems.

Disaster Recovery Financing

DATE:              November 22

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disaster-recovery-financing-tickets-28791523221

This event describes how states and communities use SRF, FEMA, and other financing approaches to recover from a disaster. Utility and state speakers will share tips and examples.

Resilience Mitigation Financing

DATE:              December 7

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-mitigation-financing-tickets-28791849196

This event focuses on tools and financing resources to conduct resilience planning and to mitigate impacts before a disaster strikes. Utilities will share stories about investing in resilient infrastructure.

 

Using the DWSRF to Address Lead in Drinking Water

EPA’s DWSRF and Sustainable Systems Teams have been hosting a series of webinars to highlight ways in which DWSRF set-asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.

Registration is now open for the next in the DWSRF/Capacity Development webinar series.  The topic is how the DWSRF can be leveraged to address the challenges of lead in drinking water.

DATE:              Tuesday, November 15

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3187&evt=111516

Both Federal and state partners will tackle the subject.  Nick Chamberlain (EPA DWSRF Team) will discuss background on eligibilities, Robin Schmidt (WI) will present on lead service line replacement, and Michael Maynard (MA) will present on lead testing in schools.

Sign up today!

DWSRF and Capacity Building in Action:  Leveraging Resources to Address Lead in Drinking Water

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Sustainable Systems Teams at EPA are hosting a series of webinars to highlight ways in which DWSRF set-asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.

DATE:              Tuesday, November 15

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3187&evt=111516

The topic of this webinar is to discuss how the DWSRF can be leveraged to address the challenges of lead in drinking water.  Nick Chamberlain (EPA HQ) will discuss background on eligibilities; Robin Schmidt (WI) will present on lead service line replacement; and Michael Maynard (MA) will present on lead testing in schools.

These every-other-month webinars will continue into 2017.  In January, look for information on how the DWSRF can be used for projects to reduce water loss and increase efficiency.  In March, the subject will be water system partnerships; how their formation may help to improve capacity; and the role that the DWSRF might play.

 

EPA Webinar Covers Latest Competitive Awards for Small Systems Assistance

On September 21, EPA OGWDW hosted a webinar for state drinking water program staff involved with the training and technical assistance grant competitive award program.  Successful awardees from the FY 15 competition – RCAP, NRWA, and EFCN – each described their program and proposed approach for this effort that encompasses small system drinking water compliance assistance, financial and managerial assistance, and assistance for private well owners.  In all, $11.7 million was awarded for these initiatives.  A separate wastewater award was not part of the webinar’s focus.

For those of you not able to participate in the web event, EPA has provided a consolidated powerpoint presentation from all three awardees.  In addition, EPA have developed a fact sheet about the purpose of and process for the awards.  The fact sheet also outlines roles and responsibilities for assistance providers, state primacy agencies, and EPA Regional and Headquarters offices.  See below for these two items.

consolidated-rollout-webinar-slides-sep2016-final

training-and-technical-assistance-grants-factsheet-sep-2016

ASDWA and EPA WSD Explore Hazard Mitigation

Hazard mitigation is important for small systems.  By engaging with local mitigation offices, small water systems may be able to take advantage of some funding opportunities that would improve their resiliency to recurring events like flooding or power loss.  It’s the kind of proactive and preventive action that helps water systems be more sustainable and resilient.

On September 15, ASDWA and EPA cohosted a webinar and interactive discussion to showcase Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.  This Guide explains why mitigation is important; how small systems can be included in their community’s local mitigation plan; how to identify potential mitigation projects; and how to implement and fund proposed mitigation projects.

You are invited to visit ASDWA’s security web page at www.asdwa.org/security and scroll to the Important Documents Section.  There you will find:

+ A link to the video recording of the webinar

+ A link to the Hazard Mitigation Guide

+ A link to FEMA’s list of State Hazard Mitigation Officers

You are also encouraged to share the Guide with your water systems.