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NACWA Supports Energy-Water Nexus Provisions In Senate Energy Bill

2016-01-29T-energy-waterThe Association sent a letterpdf button to Capitol Hill this week supporting two sections in S. 2012 pdf button, The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, that will advance innovation in the clean water sector. NACWA voiced support for Section 4101 which establishes an Interagency Coordinating Committee to identify and coordinate all activities across federal agencies related to the nexus of energy and water. The Committee will gather data to establish best practices and develop new energy-water programs. As a central repository of knowledge for the energy-water nexus, the Committee will also serve as an important resource that clean water agencies can utilize when implementing innovative projects.

The Association also strongly supported Section 4102 of the bill which establishes a Smart Energy & Water Efficiency Pilot Program. This Program would provide competitive grants to eligible entities – including drinking water and clean water utilities – implementing unique and advanced technology-based projects that increase the energy efficiency of water, wastewater, and water reuse systems. The bill authorizes the pilot program at $15 million to fund 3 – 5 projects. The concept aligns with the Water Resources Utility of the Future (UOTF) initiative that many NACWA members have embraced, and offers an exceptional opportunity to advance the innovative work of clean water agencies.

NACWA also supported an amendmentpdf button to the energy bill sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that passed by voice vote on Thursday afternoon. The amendment expands the role of the Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) to provide technical assistance to drinking water and clean water utilities. IACs provide technical assistance to manufacturers in identifying options for improving energy efficiency and implementing new technologies, but they have had limited engagement with clean water agencies. This provision will allow IACs to better serve clean water agencies requesting technical assistance. Based at 24 universities nationwide, IACs also play an important role in workforce development. NACWA will closely follow energy bill developments as the Senate continues debate next week and will keep members updated. Please contact Pat SinicropiThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any questions.

Call To Action: NACWA Needs Your Input!

2016-01-29T-surveyNACWA recognizes that effective communication is essential to achieving the Association’s advocacy goals, and is committed to a thorough analysis of its current communication efforts. Along these lines, NACWA has contracted with experts in communications and public opinion research to execute an independent and comprehensive communications audit – including internal and external opinion research. The results of the audit will help NACWA develop a strategic plan to improve its communications and outreach efforts and more effectively serve its members on a variety of fronts. However, to develop the best strategic communications plan, the Association need your help!

Earlier this week, NACWA CEO Adam Krantz sent an invitation to Association Member Agencies and Affiliates to complete a 10-minute survey. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey as soon as possible. Responses are anonymous and will be reported without attribution.

NACWA will provide members with an executive summary of the survey results in coming months. To take the survey, please click on: www.NACWAsurvey.com. The deadline is close of business on February 2. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Amanda WatersThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it via email or at 202/530-2758.

Senate Drought Proposal Funds Reuse Projects, References NACWA Research

2016-01-29T-drought-bill Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has released a discussion draftpdf button of legislation to address drought issues in the West. The legislation contains significant funding for water recycling and reuse. The bill also references the results of a water recycling project survey carried out by NACWA, the WaterResue Association, the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), and other groups. The Senator’s press release on the bill also specifically references the survey and notes NACWA’s role.

Among important elements, the bill would authorize $200 million for water recycling projects that could reclaim and reuse wastewater. It would also authorize an additional $200 million for a federal loan program to assist municipalities and other eligible entities with the financing of water projects, including recycling and reuse projects, along with $10 million for EPA’s existing WaterSense program to promote water efficiency.

Efforts to pass a comprehensive drought bill were unsuccessful at the end of last year, but this new proposal from Sen. Feinstein demonstrates a renewed interest in advancing meaningful drought legislation in this Congress. NACWA and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) have been closely involved in these efforts and will continue discussions with Congress moving forward. The Association will be distributing a more detailed analysis of the bill next week and will keep the membership updated on developments.

Utility Water Reuse Survey Underway

2016-01-29T-la-surveyThe City of Los Angeles – LA Sanitation, a NACWA Member Agency, requests that Association members complete a short survey related to water reuse. The survey focuses on the use and management of on-site treatment facilities for the production of recycled water. The results of the survey will assist the City in developing its One Water LA 2040 Plan for managing and integrating resources for its water supplies and production, and will also be valuable to other NACWA members that are exploring water reuse opportunities. Please complete the survey by Friday, February 12. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Denise ChowThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at the City of Los Angeles.

Also of Interest

Biosolids Committee Discusses Legal, Regulatory Developments

2016-01-29A-biosolidsNACWA’s Biosolids Management Committee met via conference call on Thursday to discuss a range of legal and regulatory developments. Jimmy Slaughter, Principal with NACWA Legal Affiliate Beveridge & Diamond, provided updates on two important legal issues – the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent decision that biosolids are protected under the state’s right to farm laws and the upcoming trial in the fight over land application in Kern County, California.

The Committee also discussed EPA’s work to complete a risk assessment evaluating pollutants identified in the Agency’s Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey, ongoing implementation of the new incineration regulations, and a number of other recent developments on the biosolids front.

A recording of the call with a copy of the slide presentation will be available next week. Contact Chris HornbackThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like to access these materials. While the Biosolids Management Committee won’t meet during NACWA’s upcoming Winter Conference in San Diego, any critical biosolids topics will be addressed during the Utility & Resource Management Committee meeting on Monday, February 22.

Opportunities For Water Reuse Take Spotlight This Week

2016-01-29A-watereuseNACWA, this week, participated in two Southwest conferences which addressed water reuse issues – a particularly timely topic as many in the West continue to feel the effects of a historic drought. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) hosted an International Symposium on Potable Reuse in Long Beach, California with the support of NACWA and a number of other organizations. At the close of the week, the Multi-State Salinity Coalition (MSSC) invited utilities, regional and local government, and salinity managers to their annual Summit in Las Vegas. NACWA was privileged to organize and moderate a panel at the Symposium on public health, and to present perspectives on federal funding and legislation for reuse at the MSSC Summit.

Presenters and participants at both events, regulators and utilities alike, focused on the adoption of safe and innovative technology, the protection of public health, and the outlook for both water reuse regulation and funding. AWWA also promoted their collaborative framework to help state regulatory agencies and utilities develop guidelines for direct potable reuse. Amidst a number of interesting perspectives, participants acknowledged that in many states water reuse of one form or another is a necessary component of communities’ ability to meet future water demands in the face of population growth.

States To Offer Web Seminar On Innovative Uses Of CWSRF

2016-01-29A-ecos-webinarThe Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) will be hosting a February 10 web seminarpdf button from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern, demonstrating the unique uses and distribution of Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF). The CWSRF: A Flexible Tool for Advancing Clean Water seminar will include valuable case studies on innovative ways in which CWSRF resources have been used. NACWA Member Agency the Camden County (NJ) Municipal Utilities Authority will be one of the presenters. NACWA members interested in creative use of the CWSRF are encouraged to register.

Not to be Missed

  • Complete NACWA's Communications Audit survey – the deadline is February 2 (see related article this issue).
  • Register for NACWA's 2016 Winter Conference , Back to the Basics . . . Will Compliance Concerns Derail Efforts to Innovate?, February 21 – 24, 2016 at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA.
  • Apply now for NACWA's Peak Performance Awards program, for permit compliance in the 2015 calendar year.
  • Become a supporting organization of Water Week 2016! The week of April 10, 2016 has been designated as a week for the water sector to work together to highlight critical water issues shared by all states, cities, and communities.

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Flint Crisis Spurs National Dialogue, Water Sector Responds

The unfolding drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan continues to receive significant national media attention, and serves as an important reminder about the fundamental importance of safe and reliable water treatment. As the facts in Flint continue to unfold, all can agree that the residents of Flint deserve much better and that there was a core breakdown in what should have been a local-state-federal partnership aimed at protecting the residents of Flint and the basic access to safe water. How can the national water sector respond to this crisis and work to ensure something like it doesn’t happen again? Read on to find out more.