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Newsletter #114 for May 13, 2013

NYTimes Article Highlights Need for TA Providers

This is a story many of us - across the industry - are all too familiar with. Small systems need help, but it's difficult for them to get it because of the same reasons they need it: lack of technical, managerial, and financial capacity. In "Why Federal Efforts to Ensure Clean Tap Water Fail to Reach Faucets Nationwide", the NYTimes uses California as an example of SRF funding being much-needed and available, but often in a holding pattern for distribution. The article sheds light on a real problem, but perhaps missed a critical piece of the puzzle.

The article mentions how government bureaucracy (at all levels) can get in the way, but more significantly how "small water systems often lack the technical expertise and funding to prepare applications, hire consultants to get their projects ‘shovel-ready’ and to make them happen." The state agencies, with their own budget challenges, do not have sufficient time, money or manpower to provide the needed one-on-one assistance to help small systems.

That is the core of the challenge and one that TA providers in California like RCAC and California Rural Water exist to support. Through partnership with the primacy agency programs, these organizations (along with online programming from their national counterparts) are designed to fill that gap. However, with inconsistent funding year to year for TA providers, it's not surprising that these critical federal funds are not reaching their intended destinations fast enough.


Are You Installing Smart Meters?

Smart meters allow two-way communication between the device and the water system. Bloomberg reports that $2 billion will be spent in the next 7 years on smart meters. This is in part because of the 2009 ARRA funding that targeted water efficiency improvements. Is your system headed this direction?

Whether smart meters are on your agenda or not, you can learn more about water efficiency strategies from US EPA.

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Use Video to Share What You Do

No matter your profession, it can be difficult to answer that question of "What do you do?" when a friend or neighbor asks. So instead of explaining it, try showing them!

There's a good chance that you or someone in your family has a phone with a video camera on it. Record a short 90 second video of what it is your do on a daily basis and just say "Let me show you." the next time someone asks.

The more someone in your community understands, the more that person can be an advocate for your small system. Read more at Small Biz Survival.)

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Small Talk: Outreach Tip of the Week

Being an operator or utility manager is challenging but rewarding. When you're living life in your community, at picnics, school events, church functions etc., consciously share the rewards of what you do.

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

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Video of the Week

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

This video offers a lighthearted look at a recent report on the state of our infrastructure. While the video emphasizes the bad news (and not the improvements in drinking water and wastewater), this appearance in popular media means more public awareness of the issue.


Tiny Triumphs: Infrastructure & River Pollution


Weekly Reading for May 13, 2013

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

Safe Storage of Water? Go Underground - Experts are urging cities to build reservoirs below the ground, where the water cannot evaporate.
Drought may cause water issues in rural Oregon - Landmark water rights settlement may prompt a new water dispute to erupt between tribe and rural farmers.
Digging Deep for Clean Water in Illinois - USDA funding helps develop new water system for rural area of Illinois.
Emerging Technologies for Wastewater Treatment and In-Plant Wet Weather Management - This new US EPA document assists users considering more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective wastewater treatment and in-plant wet weather management technologies

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SmallWaterSupply.org Calendar

Upcoming Free Webinars

May 16 - NRWA: Security Issues - Best Practices & Options Part II
The second part of this two-part webinar will focus on security technology and defense system. We will explore firewalls and access control, intrusion prevention, content security, vulnerability tools, software and system updates, social engineering, and end user behavior and training.

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.


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.

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