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Newsletter #97 for October 2, 2012

What's Next for SmallWaterSupply.org

Our users and readers (You!) are what make our website and newsletter successful and special, so we felt it was important to be transparent about our current situation, which we mentioned in last week's newsletter. To summarize, the grants that have funded SmallWaterSupply.org have ended. Partnering with RCAP, we have secured funding for helping tribal utilities in Regions 6, 8 and 9 (see our new Tribal Utility News), but we will be limited in maintaining the website in the manner you all have become accustomed to.

If you've ever talked with us about the website, you've likely heard how cost-effective it is for us as a university entity to hire students for data entry (vs. federal entities hiring contractors). Our student workers have been the heart of the site, making the tremendous resources of our document and event databases possible. Not only has it allowed us to do more with less, but we have also taught 12 university students about the water and wastewater industry and the significance of small communities throughout the country. They have gained an appreciation for the needs of small systems that will stay with them, which, we are very proud of. For today, as we move forward, our current source of funding dictates that we do so with a specific focus.

SmallWaterSupply.org will continue to provide a weekly newsletter plus a new monthly tribal newsletter, but our other document and event updates will focus on our tribal program. Because tribal utilities face many of the same challenges as other small, rural systems, our blog post topics will still be relevant to most. However, you'll see more news and information specific to tribes and their unique cultural and jurisdictional circumstances.

This biggest anticipated shift will be in how our databases are updated. Event data entry will focus on Regions 6, 8 and 9 and additionally, on nationwide online events. Other events will be added as time allows, but the reality is that we will not be able to keep up. Additionally, documents that are more general or nationally-focused will be added, but our ability to add state-specific materials will be limited.

For our part, we are aggressively pursuing additional sources of funding for this free, vital resource in hopes of maintaining the databases and continuing to provide hands on support to operators all over the country. That said, we are reaching out to our readers and users for support. Here's what you can do to help:

Operators and other site users - Send an email to info@smallwatersupply.org telling us how you've used the site and how it has helped you or your community. Please indicate whether you prefer your message remain anonymous or if we can post it on the site as a brief case study or testimonial. Showing others just how valuable a resource we have and the variety of ways it has helped, will help us.

State staff and water organizations - How can we, together, help achieve your goals and better serve small systems? We know funding is in high demand and short supply, but please contact us if you see a possibility of working together: 217-333-0956 (Steve Wilson) or sdwilson@illinois.edu.


First Issue of Tribal Utility News Released


On Monday, the first edition of Tribal Utility News was delivered to those on our tribal interest group mailing list. This new communication effort is part of the US EPA-funded Tribal Utility Governance (TUG) program. With RCAP's western affiliate the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) coordinating this effort, the TUG partners include the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), the Midwest Assistance Program (MAP), the Community Resources Group (CRG) and SmallWaterSupply.org.
* Click to read Newsletter #1

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Small Talk: Outreach Tip of the Week

When discussing water fluoridation in your community, it is helpful to have resources to share with the public. CDC's Community Water Fluoridation Question and Answer fact sheet is a great place to start.

Each week, we're sharing a quick tip to help you educate the public and communicate more effectively with local decision makers and customers.


Weekly Reading for October 2, 2012

Each week we'll provide a collection of our favorite links we know you'll love too!

Color, Taste & Odor: What You Should Know - Here's a new, well-written fact sheet for consumers on taste and odor issues from the Massachusetts DEP. (via AWWA)
Promised Land Official Trailer - While we recognize the nuanced issues surrounding fracking, we're excited to see real small town issues highlighted in this new film. (via RCAP)
How to Prepare for the Sanitary Survey - This post from the Kentucky DEP offers seven steps you can take in advance of your state inspector's arrival.
Is Your Due Date Inconvenient for Seniors? - Gary Sanders offers an option for addressing the needs of community members severely inconvenienced by your billing date. (Editor's Note - This link does not constitute endorsement of services offered by the author.)
USDA Matches Funds for Water Pipelines - Nevada community to receive funding to match state SRF monies for a planned and much-needed infrastructure project.


Video of the Week

In each week's newsletter, we highlight an excellent video worth watching. That video is also be featured on our home page during the week. Visit our archive for past features.

This week's video highlights the services of a larger sanitation district in Southern California. The purpose of sharing this video is to illustrate the benefit of a short (less than 2 minute) video that showcases the value of your utility. With HD video cameras on many phones and simple video editing software bundled with your computer, it is easier than ever to create a professional-looking presentation.


Ventura Regional Sanitation District

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SmallWaterSupply.org Calendar

Upcoming Free Webinars

October 4 - USEPA: Water Quality Standards 101
In this webinar, you will learn how to use water quality standards to protect water resources. It is aimed at states, territories, tribes, environmental groups, industrial groups, municipalities, the academic community, federal agencies, watershed groups and any other interested parties.

Want to find additional training opportunities for operators, including events in your area? Search the SmallWaterSupply.org Calendar for more online and in-person events.

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Recently at SmallWaterSupply.org

Educating the next generation of tribal water stewards
Camps, other environmental education programs foster water interest, appreciation in next generation.

Tribal groups putting available funds to use
Funding exists for infrastructure improvements and other water needs of tribes.

Hydrology, Environmental Science Degrees Available at Tribal Colleges
Tribal colleges provide natural resource training and information.


About SmallWaterSupply.org

SmallWaterSupply.org is a free service, grant-funded to support small community water and wastewater operators with comprehensive resources and information in one easy-to-use place. We also serve the 800+ training, primacy, and technical service organizations, by helping operators get to their information. We aren't buying, selling, or advertising anything. You can call us at 1-866-522-2681 if you need assistance.

Want to use one of our articles?

We hold a liberal fair use policy here at SmallWaterSupply.org - we'd love for you to share our work. We only ask two things if you choose to duplicate one of our blog posts or newsletter articles, no advance permission required:

1. Please credit SmallWaterSupply.org and include a link to the site.
2. Please send us a copy of your publication (info@smallwatersupply.org) to let us know.

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