Conferences: UIM Conference Visits Seattle

The UIM Water/Wastewater Conference was held May 4 at the near Seattle and featured a host of expert presenters covering an array of topics. The conference gathered more than 50 people at the Doubletree Guest Suites Seattle Airport/Southcenter in Tukwila.

The conference was co-located with the Trenchless Technology Road Show, a two-day conference with exhibition hall and live demonstrations. Together, the events drew a combined 200 participants.

Leading off the presentations were Liz Kelly and Terry Martin who covered ?Seattle Public Utilities? Approach to Asset Management: Past, Present and Future.? Seattle has been recognized as one of the pioneering cities in the United States implementing an advanced asset management approach to sewer and water systems. They explained that the first question they ask is ?How can we best meet the needs of our customers?? while at the same time keeping in mind cost-effective solutions and meeting future needs.
Also participating in the discussion was Tim Skeel, SPU Principal Economist, who gave a presentation on ?Building a Business Case for Infrastructure Investment,? in which he outlined the elements of building a business case as well as the steps needed in their preparation.

Related to infrastructure investment, there were presentations on ?Rate Setting on Funding,? by Tom Gould, HDR, and ?Emerging Trends in Infrastructure Funding,? by Michael Deane, National Association of Water Companies.

The conference also featured firsthand presentations from other cities including Ligaya Kohagura and Li-Kai Huang, Sacramento (Calif.) Area Sewer District; Mark Liebe, City of Portland (Ore.) Bureau of Environmental Services; and Larry Dunbar, City of Port Angeles, Wash.

The next conference is planned for the Washington, D.C., area in December 2011. The dates will be posted on when they are available. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please submit a 200-word abstract to Jim Rush, Editor, Benjamin Media Inc., at

We are looking for presentations covering, but not limited to, the following topics: Washinton, D.C., regional historic, current and future projects; funding and financing strategies; regulatory issues; asset management; data management; construction techniques; social/environmental considerations; contracting strategies/procurement; technological innovations; energy-water nexus; water conservation and reuse; energy conservation; regional planning/watershed management; managing a consent decree; green infrastructure initiatives; business case evaluations; metering; environmental/NGO issues and their impact on water/wastewater.

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