The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Stormwater Institute (SWI) reports on challenges and the annual funding gap for the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) sector.
To crib from an old commercial and tagline made famous by a certain stock brokerage firm, "When Reese Tisdale talks, people listen." That's because Reese is the president of Bluefield Research, a highly respected advisory firm that helps companies and organizations, including municipalities, address the regulatory, technology, business, and competitive trends impacting water.
It can be hard to go it alone, especially when times get tough. Many utilities are seeking support, as they deal with failing infrastructure, escalating contamination threats, extreme weather, and a retiring, difficult-to-replace workforce. These challenges could be overcome with a full set of resources — money, people, equipment, expertise — but many utilities, especially small-community systems, are not so complete.
With the proliferation of new sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) initiatives now feeding SCADA systems, water industry managers lament how they are drowning in a sea of data yet starving for insights that really matter. With concepts like data democratization starting to bear fruit, advanced analytical capabilities are creating new opportunities for water insights without requiring a degree in computer science.
Understaffing, upcoming retirements, and finding qualified replacements seem to be recurring themes in the water industry. Perhaps the answers are as much about the tools we use as the people using them. Here is how a new approach to utility data management can capture the knowledge of retiring workers, share the insight across all disciplines, and shore up the skills and interests of the next generation.
In many water industry applications, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system is considered the heartbeat of the operation. As a result, many data management decisions revolve around what the SCADA system can or cannot do and how big of a deal and expense it is to change. Can’t there be a way to devise more ROI-responsive data solutions, without having to change SCADA solutions?
Texas is sizable enough to be a large country on its own, with an economy to match, and is also proudly unique. But when it comes to water issues, the Lone Star State shares a lot in common with the rest of America: overwhelmed and vulnerable infrastructure, threats to water quality and security, and competition for resources.
Environmental Impact Bonds, EIBs, are a market-based option that leverage private capital, typically from impact investors, to finance infrastructure. They typically use pay-for-performance, and are rapidly traction in green stormwater infrastructure and climate resiliency initiatives.
In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) third Notice of Funding Availability, the agency received 51 letters of interest, collectively requesting $6.6B in Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $218M Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Silicon Valley Clean Water (SVCW) to finance wastewater infrastructure upgrades that will protect public health and the San Francisco Bay.
The Water Research Foundation (WRF) has announced that Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are available for 12 new research projects. The RFPs are as follows:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that $350M is now available through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program for municipalities with infrastructure projects that protect public health or improve water quality.
The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) recently released the inaugural edition of the U.S. Water and Wastewater Contract Operations Market Report. The study establishes accurate, aggregated market data for Contract Operators in the U.S. The goal of the research is to provide a more robust representation of the market size and its growth year-after-year on an industry level.
Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley recently announced that USDA is investing $192M in 71 projects located across 29 states to improve rural water infrastructure(PDF, 201 KB).
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced that 18 projects will receive a total of $9M to prepare for drought. These projects will provide more flexibility and reliability for communities while reducing the need for emergency actions during a drought.
The drinking water treatment plant and water distribution system for the City of Saint John in eastern Canada is the largest in the province and the oldest in the country and has been modernised by ACCIONA and inaugurated this week.
Today, State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) is pleased to announce a $15M one-time investment of General Funds for the southern Central Valley.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19) recently announced legislation to help repair the nation’s aging water infrastructure.
Electromagnetic meters (mag meters) are well established in terms of highly accurate performance for a variety of municipal and industrial water applications. Differences in their construction formats, however, dictate how easy they can be to install, maintain, and calibrate. Compare these three options to see the value of full-profile-insertion (FPI) mag meters and their associated advantages in real-world use.
When it comes to metering water flow — drinking water or wastewater — full-bore mag meters offer many advantages. While the underlying technology based on Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction is shared among all styles of full-bore mag meters, specific implementations have impacts on longevity and accuracy. Here is what to look for when the time to choose arrives.
Among utilities concerned about resilience and response in natural disasters or other emergencies, precise asset inventory and mapping are high priorities. In truth, there is value in having the same information for everyday purposes as well. For anyone who has ever had a problem locating or tracking key water or wastewater system assets, here are several good reasons and ways to avoid a last-minute scramble.
If a water utility is going to use digital communication to enhance the customer experience, it needs to ensure that it does so as seamlessly as possible.
When space is tight and straight-run piping is at a premium, V-Cone differential pressure (DP) meters are an excellent choice — especially where the potential for turbulence raises metering accuracy issues with other conventional meter styles. This article describes how to satisfy some challenging water infrastructure applications with V-Cone meter accuracy at a low permanent pressure loss.
Mapping the assets of a water treatment, water distribution, or wastewater collection and treatment system is just the means to an end. Maximizing value from that effort requires systematic planning and a healthy curiosity for looking into patterns of activity. Here are some considerations for turning raw asset data into more valuable benchmarks for better decision-making across multiple aspects of water operations.