NACWA, AMWA to Collaborate on Advocacy Projects

The National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) Board of Directors met in Alexandria, Va., on Nov. 16 to consider critical Targeted Action Fund (TAF) projects aimed at supporting the association’s member agencies and its advocacy agenda, and also witnessed the signing of a Statement of Collaboration with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA).

The Board approved TAF funding in the amount of $50,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 specifically to gather input from stakeholders – both internal and external – and to formulate advocacy strategies on the issue of nutrient pollution; including concerns over EPA’s continued focus on point sources, development and implementation of nutrient criteria, and the interplay between point and non-point sources. The TAF funds will be used to retain a facilitator to conduct interviews with key member agency representatives to prepare for a Nutrient Summit planned for March, 2017. The facilitator will also conduct the Summit and synthesize the outcomes to help NACWA craft a position paper by July, 2017.

Another $25,000 TAF investment for FY 2017 was authorized as a contribution to an ongoing project by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) that evaluates and advances the use of peracetic acid (PAA) as an additional option for clean water utilities to disinfect their effluent. PAA provides advantages over existing disinfection options, but its use across the U.S. has been limited due to lack of knowledge in key areas, and uncertainty among state water regulators. The project will advance the industry’s understanding of this disinfection alternative, and a planned regulatory workshop will help alleviate any uncertainty of state regulators.

The Board also supported an FY 2017 TAF request for $10,000 to create a Digital Utility Blueprint. Building upon the 2013 Water Resources Utility of the Future Blueprint, the Digital Blueprint will explore the use of big data, advanced analytics and decision support systems across the water enterprise to improve operational and management efficiency, and ultimately provide greater flexibility in meeting Clean Water Act requirements. The brief document will highlight the opportunities these technologies provide for utility managers.NACWAlogo

Work on the Blueprint is currently underway based on in-kind contributions from NACWA’s Smart Utility Task Force members. Funding will be used to hire a contractor to compile the individual content contributions into an online resource for utility managers. Case study examples within each main area of discussion in the Blueprint will also be presented.AMWA_logo

Additionally, the Board meeting featured the signing of a Statement of Collaboration between NACWA and AMWA, highlighting a continued commitment for strong collaboration between the two organizations. Diane VanDe Hei, CEO of AMWA, attended the meeting as an invited guest, discussed some of AMWA’s key current priorities, and joined in a signing ceremony for the Statement with NACWA CEO Adam Krantz.

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