December SWIC Newsletter

PAB Champion, Water Resources Chairman Join SWIC at U.S. Capitol

SWIC joined the Chronicles Group in hosting water documentary film screenings and speaker panels of Members of Congress and water leaders at the U.S. Capitol in November. Water summit special guest, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), began the program and encouraged support for his private activity bond legislation that would provide $50 billion in private capital investment in water and wastewater infrastructure and create more than one million jobs. ?

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) commenced the international segment and talked about his Water for the World Act of 2013 bill that will strengthen USAID water and sanitation programs. Water Resources Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) opened the domestic segment and discussed the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which is pending final Congressional action. Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Member Grace Napolitano also shared her extensive knowledge and expertise highlighting California and western U.S. water challenges and solutions. ?

Others who participated in the Congressional water and wastewater forum were: top U.S. civil engineer Steve Stockton of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Abengoa Water CEO Francesca McCann; Mayor Ortiz of Las Vegas, N.M.; David Nahai, former CEO of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Brent Fewell, vice president of United Water; Robert Stewart, executive director of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership; and Lisa Schechtman of WaterAid America. In addition to discussing critical water and wastewater issues, special guests and panelists emphasized the need to continue to raise public awareness of the pending crises. The all-day event was filmed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will be available for viewing soon.

SWIC MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority

Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority (GCA) is a non-tax supported unit of local government dedicated to water and waste management services and activities in the state of Texas. ?

The Authority owns and operates industrial wastewater treatment facilities that process liquid wastes from more than 80 petrochemical plants in Harris and Galveston Counties and in Odessa, Texas. It also operates a regional municipal wastewater treatment plant in Friendswood, Texas and an industrial solid waste landfill in Texas City.

Recently, GCA was authorized to provide drinking water services, due to the extreme need for reliable and sustainable water supplies in Texas. ?We are in a unique position to provide solutions to those areas of the state that need water most,? said Ricky Clifton, GCA general manager. ?Our primary focus will be tapping non-traditional sources of water including reuse, brackish water treatment and desalinization for a variety of uses. We have?proven relationships with industry, municipalities, local and state governments and vast experience in managing regional facilities with multiple partners.?

SWIC Talks Alternative Financing At UIM Conference

At the UIM Conference last month, SWIC presented on ?Alternative Financing Trends for Water and Wastewater Infrastructure,? providing an overview of federal legislative proposals under review for the 113th Congress. SWIC discussed the political environment and told the audience that although federal resources are scarce, opportunities exist to leverage federal dollars with private investment and to encourage public-private partnerships.

SWIC told UIM participants that federal legislators and staff are confronted with hundreds of issues daily and they are forced to focus on the crisis at hand. The trick to advancing public policy on Capitol Hill is to raise awareness of the issue by providing public and individual educational briefings with Members of Congress and staff. ?The best method to advance policy and to raise awareness is with good old fashioned ?shoe leather,? going door to door to educate staff and advocate for the issue,? SWIC told the packed room. Last Congress, SWIC conducted more than 300 individual Congressional meetings to advocate and advance the private activity bond legislation. ?

Steering Committee Prepares 2014 Strategy

Members of the SWIC Steering Committee met recently to discuss the coalition?s leadership structure and strategy as the coalition?s efforts head toward the second session of the 113th Congress. Moving forward, decision making will stem directly from the Steering Committee with active participation encouraged by SWIC member organizations.

The SWIC newsletter for
UIM is authored by SWIC co-executive directors Bruce Morgan, Principal of Water Policy Associates, and Eben Wyman, Principal of Wyman Associates. Bruce can be reached at and Eben, at 703-750-1326 or ?

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