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Newsletter #128 for June 24, 2014

So You Have a Great Financial Plan… Now What?

At the recent AWWA conference, Rob McElroy delivered a dynamic presentation sharing low- and no-cost approaches to communicating value to your customers in support of rate increases. Fortunately for those who could not attend, you can download a copy of his presentation (with speaking notes) from his blog. If your water system is doing the work to be more sustainable, you'll likely need some of this advice in the near future.

Download the presentation.

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The Value of Source Water Protection

This fact sheet from the Ground Water Protection Council offers recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels on how source water protection efforts can be improved.

Download the fact sheet.

via Operation Matters, the blog of Kentucky's Operator Certification program

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SmallWaterSupply.org Calendar

Upcoming Free Webinars

Private Well Q&A Webinars
July 15 or August 19
Sponsored by PrivateWellClass.org
These webinars are geared towards answering questions of private well owners, but may be of value to many very small water systems using groundwater. In particular small systems may want to ask questions about non-regulatory issues, such as pump troubleshooting and source water protection.

Click to Register

Want to find additional training opportunities for operators, including events in your area? Search the calendar.


How the Federal Government Supports Small Systems

As a small system (and let's use the example of small systems in states here), the primary contact related to your regulatory requirements and your overall water system health is likely someone in the state program. Depending on the size of the state, maybe it's someone in the regional field office or maybe it's someone at the state headquarters. Either way, you probably have a decent understanding of what it is that the states do for small systems in your area.

What you may not know is that the federal government, most commonly through the EPA and USDA, routinely invests in technical assistance programs for small systems so there are even more people on the ground to help you. Maybe you've received assistance from a technical assistance organization in the past, where the training is free. Sometimes the states also help fund these organizations to deliver training and provide direct assistance when you need it, but that varies widely from state to state.

Four of the largest organizations that have received this funding are networks of location-specific providers, many of whom are certified operators and all of whom have a passion for helping small systems:
* Rural Community Assistance Partnership - Note: We receive funding as a partner with RCAP.
* National Rural Water Association
* Environmental Finance Center Network
* American Water Works Association

Our point here is that the government funds these organizations to supplement the great work that states do in their programs, so there's even more support available for you. They are funded via competitive cooperative agreement, meaning their ability to help you effectively has been vetted by experts. While we may wear different hats, we at SmallWaterSupply.org believe we're all in this together serving YOU as you protect public health and the environment. The next time you attend a training event or receive technical assistance and it's free, remember to ask who funded the program that allowed that to happen.


Discuss This:

Let's get to know each other a little better. Where do you live?

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Share This:

“Sustainability is an orientation, not a destination.”
- Jeanne Bell

Share This offers useful or interesting information that can be shared with the public and other stakeholders.


Reading Selections

Into the Drink: Keeping Our Water Safe - The feature article in this publication from the Association of Public Health Laboratories highlights the role of labs in protecting public health, especially during and after emergency situations.

The More Conservation for the Illinois and Macinaw Rivers – the Better - This article from USDA's blog highlights the role of the National Resources Conservation Service and its conservationist in protecting source waters.

Why So Many Americans Don't Care about the Drought - As the drought continues to worsen in the west, there is a disconnect between the news and public perception. Plus, those who are hardest hit often have the quietest voice.

Deep Underground, Oceans Of Water May Be Trapped In A Crystal 'Sponge' - While this does not pose any near-term promise for water supplies, the idea of three times as much water as the oceans in the Earth's mantle is pretty cool.

Become a Raindrop and Learn How Water Travels - A new interactive, traveling educational display designed by marine artist Wyland helps kids and adults alike understand the water cycle.

And from our own archives...

Our Town Water System: Yesterday & Today
Market Your Community with YouTube
Suggestions for Using CDC's Communication Toolbox
Are You Doing the Right Thing?

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Featured Video

This video highlights the importance of developing a culture of security around your water or wastewater utility. While the case study presented serves a large community, EPA's "10 key features" they used to improve their program can be applied to any size of system.

Securing Your Utility Using EPA s 10 Key Features  VIDEO    SmallWaterSupply org   Blog

Securing Your Utility Using EPA's 10 Key Features (VIDEO)

Have a great video? We're dedicated to bringing you helpful, entertaining, or inspiring videos to you. If your organization has a relevant video to share, let us know!

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Do you #talkaboutwater?

People in small communities and rural areas care about what's going in their neck of the woods. Social media messaging is developing rapidly at the local government level, but water is not always part of the conversation.

SmallWaterSupply.org is forming a new LinkedIn group of social media practitioners that will seek to extend the water dialogue in social media beyond ourselves and into channels the public cares about.

While messaging ideas for safe drinking water via public water supplies and private wells will be an underlying emphasis, this group will focus on social media and community engagement strategy. Eager novices are especially welcome.

You're right for this group if you:
* Care about getting water messages in front of the public
* Have a role in social media communication at your organization
* Are interested in getting started with social media

Click here to join.


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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