Workforce Webinar Reminder

Don’t forget to register and join our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and AWWA as they present a comprehensive overview of the components of attracting, maintaining, and retaining a quality workforce.

Workforce Development:  An Overview of Key Components

DATE:              Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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

REGISTER:      Click here to Register

Topics covered will include:  recruitment, retention, evaluating performance, succession planning, and communicating about the industry.

Partnership Discussions

During the first part of March, EPA’s Sustainable Systems Team hosted a webinar to look at Water System Partnerships.  This event was part of the ongoing Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and Capacity Building in Action webinar series.

Ellen Tarquinio (EPA SST) set the stage and provided background on the partnerships concept and what the range of partnerships can look like.  Two states then provided insights into how their capacity development programs supported a range of partnership opportunities.  Thanks to both Karen Torres of New Mexico and Arlene Wyatt of Washington for sharing their approaches!  For those of you who could not participate in the event, ASDWA has included the powerpoint presentations at the link below.

EPA_Presentation_Partnerships

How to Share Good News

The March 21st edition of WaterOperator.org Newsletter has a useful article on how communities can use Public Advisories beyond emergency alerts.  As the article says, “Sometimes public notification systems are a great way to build good will and awareness of all drinking water and wastewater systems accomplish.”  Click Public Advisories: They’re Not Just for Emergencies to read more from WaterOperator.org on this subject.

EFCN & AWWA Host a Workforce Webinar

Please join our colleagues at the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) and AWWA as they present a comprehensive overview of the components of attracting, maintaining, and retaining a quality workforce.

Workforce Development:  An Overview of Key Components

DATE:              Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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

REGISTER:      Click here Register

Topics covered will include:  recruitment, retention, evaluating performance, succession planning, and communicating about the industry,

Please share this information with those in your state with an interest in Workforce issues.

National Rural Water to Host 3-Part GIS “How To” Webinar Series

In April and May, our colleagues at the National Rural Water Association will be hosting three webinars to look at Geographic Information Systems.  This webinar series includes an introduction to GIS fundamentals, data conversion methods, solutions for water, taking it to the field and back, plus resources to get started.  Presenters for all three sessions will be Jason Channin, Senior Solution Engineer at Esri’s Water Practice and David Totman, the Industry Manager for the Esri Global Water Practice.

These webinars are free and open to all interested parties.  However, you should register separately for each event.

Part 1: GIS 101 for Rural Water Systems

DATE:              April 13

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

REGISTER:      Register Now

This webinar will discuss the fundamentals of GIS, including:  What is a GIS? What resources do I need? How can it benefit my organization?

 

Part 2: Transforming Your Organization to a Digital World:

DATE:              April 27

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

REGISTER:      Register Now

This webinar will discuss the benefits gained by moving from paper to the digital ArcGIS platform, including:  Data Collection and Management; Basic Analysis; Mapping; and Using solutions for water.

 

Part 3: Going Mobile: Taking your GIS into the Field

DATE:              May 11

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

REGISTER:      Register Now

This webinar will discuss field workflows enabled by mobile apps including:  plan, coordinate, navigate, capture, and monitor.

 

Did You Miss “Communicating with the Public”?

On February 9, ASDWA’s colleagues at AWWA and the Environmental Finance Center Network cosponsored a webinar titled Communicating with the Public about Water Infrastructure.  The information and shared techniques on effective communication were very helpful.  If you didn’t have a chance to view the webinar, you can watch it at your convenience using this link:  http://efcnetwork.org/events/webinar-communicating-public-water-infrastructure/.

 

New Rate Checkup Online Tool

Wichita State University’s Training and Technology Team (T3) has developed an easy-to-use online forecasting tool to assist smaller water systems with setting appropriate water rates.

The Rate Checkup Online Tool is designed to help water systems calculate water rate schedules.  The Tool allows you to:

  • Input data in easy to manage interfaces
  • View integrated data validation
  • Forecast water rates based on customer groups
  • Generate custom reports with charts in various formats.

To learn more about the Tool and the University’s T3 program, go to http://www.tthree.org/rate-checkup/ and/or contact Amy Jones, T3 Project Manager at Wichita State at amy.jones@wichita.edu

RCAP Seeks New Executive Director

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) seeks an experienced and politically savvy Executive Director who is a passionate advocate for rural communities, and has a strong track record of leading organizations through transitions.  As many of you know, Robert Stewart has held the position for 11 years and has made the decision to move back to Texas.

RCAP is looking for a strategic leader that can build on the organization’s excellent track record of delivering high quality services, information, and resources to rural communities.  RCAP is a nonprofit service delivery network comprised of a national office in Washington, DC and six regional partners.  For more information and a full description of the position and the organization, please visit http://rcap.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/RCAP-Executive-Director-Position.pdf.

EFCN and AWWA Partner on Small System Webinars

EFCN and AWWA, under the Competitive Award Grants provided by EPA, have shared a list of upcoming webinar opportunities for states, assistance providers, and small utilities.  See below for more details.

Communicating with the Public about Water Infrastructure

 DATE:              Thursday, February 9

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

REGISTER:      Register

Issues such as drinking water contaminants, algal blooms, and increased utility rates can put a community on edge.  This webinar will address how best to communicate with the public in a way that will garner support and encourage public engagement.  Participants will learn tools for communicating with their customers directly and through media outlets, as well as effective messaging for maximum impact.

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Financing for the Future – Financial Longevity for Municipal Operations

 DATE:              Thursday, February 16

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

REGISTER:      Register

With increasing demand on utilities, expanding or declining populations, and the need for future infrastructure repair, it is necessary to look beyond the sort term financial planning and look towards financing for the future.  This webinar will introduce methods that can be used for budgeting for the future.  Participants will gain an understanding of how they can project for future changes and risks, and create a financial plan that will ensure there is money to address these events as they occur.

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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.

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