Water Asset Management Conference Draws Interactive Crowd in Arlington

The Water Asset Management Conference, which has its roots dating to 2001, headed back to Arlington, Va., last week with a full two-day agenda of presentations and awards focused around trends in water utility asset management.

Formerly known as the UIM/SWIM Conference, the re-branded Water Asset Management Conference is a partnership between UIM: Water Utility Infrastructure Management journal and the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center at Virginia Tech.

The new title is more descriptive and reflective of the content as the dialogue has historically been rooted in water infrastructure asset management. In addition, a distinctive new logo has been developed that shows the intertwining relationship of water and the infrastructure needed to transport it.

The Water Asset Management Conference began with SWIM Center meetings on Dec. 2 followed by panel discussion that kicked off the conference that afternoon. Following the panel was an awards reception where the UIM Award and SWIM awards were bestowed.

Highlighting the agenda on Dec. 3 was a full day of focused presentations covering the latest in technology and best practices in asset management. Presentations were selected by a panel of leading professionals in the field of asset management.

Topics addressed included: risk assessment, data management, planning and prioritizing infrastructure investment, renewal technology and more. One of the hallmarks of the event is the interactive dialogue amongparticipants. The classroom venue (right) was ideal for back-and-forthdiscussion that is missing from many industry events.

(Right): Peter Kraft, asset management coordinator at Denver Water, presents on “social infrastructure” as the missing ingredient to developing a successful asset management program.

Sponsors of this year’s Water Asset Management Conference were Echologics, CH2M, Pure Technologies and PICA Corp.

The Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The area is host to many dining and lodging options, as well as entertainment.

For complete information on the conference, visit www.waterassetmgmt.com.

NEORSD?s Julius Ciaccia Receives Annual UIM Honor

As part of last week’s Water Asset Management Conference, UIM recognized Julius Ciaccia, chief executive officer of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD), as its 2015 Water Infrastructure Management Award Winner.

Affectionately known as ?Ciaccia,? NEORSD?s top executive is a highly reputable and respected figure in the water/wastewater industry. Throughout his career, which spans nearly 40 years, Ciaccia has held numerous leadership positions with public utilities in Northeast Ohio on both the water and wastewater side. Within those positions, Ciaccia has overseen billions of dollars in capital improvement projects.

(Right): Julius Ciaccia (right) accepts the 2015 Water Infrastructure Management Award from UIM Editor Jim Rush on Dec. at the Water Asset Management Conference in Arlington.??

The Water Infrastructure Management Award was created by?UIM?in 2012 to recognize individuals who are on the forefront of driving innovation and who have had a lasting and meaningful impact within their utility and/or the water/wastewater field. This year?s award was formally presented to Ciaccia on Dec. 2. Ciaccia is also the subject of UIM?s December 2015 cover story.

?Ciaccia is a true leader in this industry,? said Bernie Krzys, publisher and CEO of?UIM. ?In Cleveland, we have a unique history in the development of water policy stemming from the Cuyahoga River fires and water pollution that were major factors in driving the Clean Water Act. It is through the work of leaders like Ciaccia that this image has been reversed locally and at a national level, where Ciaccia has also been an environmental leader. We are thrilled to honor Ciaccia this year and tell his story to our readers.?

In addition to his work with Cleveland Public Utilities, Cleveland Water and NEORSD, Ciaccia has been involved in several industry associations including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) where he is a long-time Board member and past president of each.

This is the fourth year?UIM?has bestowed its annual honor. Winners are:

2012 ? Steve Allbee, U.S. EPA (retired)
2013 ? Kevin Shafer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
2014 ? Ben Grumbles, Maryland Department of Environment
2015 ? Julius Ciaccia, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

About UIM
UIM: Water Utility Infrastructure Management,published by Benjamin Media, Inc., is a leading bi-monthly professionaljournal covering finance and management in the municipal water,wastewater and stormwater sector.?UIM?has hosted the popularWater Asset Management Conference in conjunction with the SustainableWater Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center at Virginia Tech for 15years.

For more information on the annual Water Asset Management Conference, please visit www.waterassetmgmt.com.

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