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/.

 

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.

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.

Two New Webinars from EFCN

The Environmental Finance Center Network and AWWA as their partner, are hosting two new webinars that focus on support for small systems.  Registration is open, so sign up today!

Communicating with the Public about Water Infrastructure

 DATE:              Thursday, February 9, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7322447653661851652

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.

 

Financing for the Future – Financial Longevity for Municipal Operations

DATE:              Thursday, February 16, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2018195753572953604

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.  Topics to be covered include:

+ Projecting for future scenarios

+ Tracking and benchmarking financial performance

+ Creating financial plans that will extend beyond those that are currently being used

Lead in Schools Webinar

EPA is hosting a webinar to highlight the 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools.  This is a repeat of the earlier December 7 webinar on this subject.

DATE:              January 30, 2017

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

REGISTER:      http://login.icohere.com/registration/register.cfm?reg=3416&evt=3TsJan2017

The 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools was developed using a training, testing, telling approach to assist schools in implementing a voluntary lead testing program.  The webinar will provide a background on lead in drinking water, suggested steps for sampling at schools, discuss appropriate remediation measures, and the important aspects of an effective communication strategy.

Please share this information with your colleagues, assistance providers, water utilities, and anyone interested in knowing more about implementing a lead testing program in schools.

Disinfectant Residuals Webinar Coming Soon

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Disinfectant Residuals.  This is part of the ongoing monthly EPA ORD webinar series to discuss challenges and treatment solutions for small drinking water and wastewater systems.

DATE:              Tuesday, January 31, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4612325214578663169

 

Two topics – Disinfectant Residual: Representative Monitoring and Minimum Residual Implications and Development of a Disinfectant Residual Monitoring Plan – will be covered during the event.

 

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!