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New Tool Helps Water Utilities Implement Effective Utility Management

 

water utility with pools of waterThe Water Research Foundation and WDBC member CH2M HILL have teamed up on benchmarking tool for effective utility management. The tool, released earlier this month, will help utilities plan, implement, measure, and monitor organizational performance enhancements against 10 specific attributes of effectively managed utilities.

By: Mike Matichich, CH2M HILL Principal Technologist; Yakir Hasit, CH2M HILL Senior Principal Technologist; and Fair Yeager, CH2M HILL Deputy Project Manager

Effective Utility Management (EUM) is a framework that provides utility organizations a method to plan, implement, measure, and monitor organizational performance enhancements against ten specific attributes of effectively managed utilities. The ten attributes defined in the EUM Primer established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, six major water and wastewater industry associations, and representations from 16 utility systems in 2008 include:

  • product quality
  • employee and leadership development
  • financial viability
  • operational resiliency
  • water resource adequacy
  • customer satisfaction
  • operational optimization
  • infrastructure stability
  • community sustainability
  • stakeholder understanding and support

While the Primer defined the attributes that utilities should strive to achieve, it did not provide specific ways for utilities to implement the attributes. Recognizing the benefit of providing utilities with concrete ways to benchmark performance, the Water Research Foundation (WRF) initiated a project to develop a benchmarking tool, which is now available to utilities.

The tool and a related guidance document, developed by CH2M HILL for WRF as part of the project Performance Benchmarking for Effectively Managed Water Utilities, will enable water utilities to conduct a self-assessment in order to improve utility performance in one or all of the ten attributes to fit with their strategic goals.

Utilities are facing challenges such as aging infrastructure, financial constraints, security, and increased customer level of service demands to mention a few, and need to find ways to efficiently respond to these challenges.

The EPA, the associations that sponsored the initial development of the Primer, a project advisory committee, nearly 30 utilities, and a dozen subject matter experts from our consulting research team provided valuable input on the benchmarking guidance document and tool. Utilities that worked with us to test this benchmarking process and tool found that it provided significant value in identifying ways to improve management performance and efficiency. Using the tool, utilities can access specific recommendations on how to benchmark their current and target performance for attributes and identify strategies to address gaps in order to improve the performance and effectiveness of their systems.

The tool and user guide are available to freely download on the WRF project website. The final project report will be available to the industry in April 2014.

This article has been republished with permission by CH2M Hill. To view the original article, visit CH2M Hill's blog here.

 

Water \u0026amp\u003B Wastewater Handbook

 

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Mike Matichich has more than 30 years of experience in managing and conducting strategic financial planning, management consulting, policy analyses, facility planning, and infrastructure management studies for public and private projects. He has served as Principal Investigator for this EUM benchmarking project, and has been a lead contributor to several other finance and management-related research projects for WRF.

Yakir Hasit is a senior principal technologist with 38 years of experience in consulting, teaching, and research in water supply, utility infrastructure, water system security, and mathematical modeling. He has been the Principal Investigator or Project Manager of 15 WaterRF projects on water distribution system infrastructure and water quality research.

Fair Yeager has more than 18 years of experience as a project manager and engineer. She specializes in management consulting, hydraulic modeling, and master planning.

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Identifying Energy Solutions that Finance Themselves

 

water treatment plantIs it possible to make energy upgrades to your water or wastewater treatment facility without being hampered by the inability to raise rates or undertake expensive capital improvements? Now it is. Energy Performance Contracting enables utilities seeking to reduce energy costs to use their cost savings to finance their installations and upgrades. As one of the greatest users of energy, water and wastewater plants now have a new, cost-effective option to lower power consumption and reduce their carbon footprint.

Cleaning Dirty Water Takes Serious Power

It’s no secret. Water and wastewater treatment plants can potentially use the largest amount of power within a city. As a result, utilities throughout the country are seeking ways to lower their power consumption that also benefit the environment. Unfortunately, in the boundaries of their financial reality, utilities are not able to undertake these expensive capital improvement projects, so they are forced to take alternative measures. 

Finding Energy Cost Saving Opportunities

To avoid high capital costs, utilities will perform energy management audits and evaluations first to identify energy saving opportunities within their treatment plants. By assessing the facility energy usage before making an investment, the utility owner can decide which areas are worth upgrading and which will make little to no difference in their costs.

Many water and wastewater facilities can realize zero or low cost energy saving opportunities through managing their energy demand in coordination with the energy billing rates. This is especially true for facilities whose electric energy rate structures include peak demand ratcheting and time of use billing. 

Pay for Upgrades with Savings

What if you could stabilize utility rates for the next 20 years, improve aged infrastructure and benefit the environment through a contract where your savings would cover the costs? This is potentially what energy performance contracting delivers. 

Energy Performance Contracting is an innovative financing technique that uses cost savings from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservation measures. This financing technique allows facility owners to achieve energy savings without upfront capital expenses. The costs of the energy improvements are borne by the performance energy contractor and paid back out of the energy savings.

Energy Performance Contract Benefit: A Single Source Contractor

Along with receiving a financial guarantee of annual savings for the life of the energy performance contract, utilities also have the opportunity to use a single source design-build contractor to do necessary energy audits. Utilities are able to minimize confusion, maximize collaboration and promote innovation using one design-build entity. With this, many utility clients have saved millions and avoided any additional monthly outlay.  

We understand, as utilities, you have much to do with little, but despite economic conditions, you now have another option to improve your facility. If you would like to discuss specific water energy issues within your facility, contact Bryan Bedell of Haskell at bryan.bedell@haskell.com

This article was originally published on Haskell's InMotion Blog. See more at: http://www.haskell.com/Moving-Ahead/January-2014/Identifying-Energy-Solutions-that-Finance-Themselv 

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AECOM joint venture awarded US$285.8-million contract by Thames Water

 

Aerial shot DeephamsA joint venture involving Water Design-Build Council member AECOM Technology Corporation has been awarded a US$285.8-million contract by Thames Water to rebuild Deephams Sewage Treatment Works, one of London’s largest sewage works facilities.

AECOM and joint venture partners Murphy and Kier will provide upgrade services to Deephams in order to meet new environment agency sewage treatment standards without disrupting the facility’s current operation. The project will improve the water quality of London’s River Lee, increase capacity to allow for future rises in population and significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of odor on site.

“Our team’s creative, sustainable and cost-effective approach is an example of how AECOM can enable a client like Thames Water to meet complex challenges with energy-neutral solutions,” said AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio. “We are honored that AECOM will be contributing to one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the United Kingdom’s water industry.”

Work on the project is set to begin immediately by preparing for the planning application, which is expected to be submitted during summer 2014.

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in more than 140 countries and had revenue of $8.2 billion during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2013. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

 

Water \u0026amp\u003B Wastewater Handbook

 

 

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Understanding the True Cost of Water

 

boy drinking waterThe British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) featured Bryan Harvey of WDBC member company CH2MHill in two recent broadcast segments on water, one of the world’s most precious natural resources. Bryan shared his perspective on the true cost of water and why it is important for nations and consumers to understand the value of water.

By: Bryan Harvey, International Business Development Director, Water Business Group, CH2M HILL

Water is one of the world’s most precious resources. With urbanization, climate change, and growing populations, demand for water is on the rise and getting water where it needs to be presents a huge global challenge, especially for countries where water is scarce and industries and people alike need it to survive.

Despite the fact that water surrounds much of the planet, access to useable water remains a challenge, because only a small proportion of the water can be used for food production or as a source of safe, reliable drinking water. Although desalination offers an alternative for treating sea water, the energy cost remains high.

Today more than 40 percent—or approximately 2.5 billion people—don’t have access to sanitation or clean water. As a matter of fact, more people have access to mobile phones in Southeast Asia than access to sanitation.

As more people demand water, its value is increasing. Governments and nations must remain flexible in their approach to managing water and focus on developing long-term strategies to ensure that this irreplaceable and valuable resource doesn’t run out.

The water industry has changed almost beyond recognition in just a few decades – from state-owned water providers to international business players. To move the industry forward and protect water sources for future generations, it’s time for people and businesses to truly value water like the scarce resource it is.

Bryan Harvey was recently interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s Evan Davis and BBC World Service’s Peter Day. Listen to the full interviews on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service to learn more about water and what can be done to increase the world’s access to this necessary resource.

Bryan Harvey Bryan Harvey serves as the International Business Development Director for CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group. Bryan is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 22 years of experiences across the water sector. His specialization in water has provided him with numerous interesting assignments including: irrigation schemes in Pakistan; hydro electric schemes in Indonesia; and leading the delivery of CH2M HILL’s flood risk management services to the Environment Agency, UK. Bryan is particularly interested in contributing towards the world’s adaptation responses to the challenges of climate change, population growth, urbanization and increasing wealth, and in 2010 contributed towards the World Economic Forum’s Water Initiative (Innovative Water Partnerships). 

This article has been republished with permission by CH2M Hill. To view the original article, visit CH2M Hill's blog here.

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HDR Expert Authors New Book On Activated Sludge Technologies

 

Cleary BookOne of the key pillars of the Water Design-Build Council's mission is education, and over the past year, we've produced quite a few new educational documents designed to raise awareness of design-build and alternative project delivery methods in the water and wastewater sector. In addition to our own eductional content, our members produce a variety of materials relating to best practices. This past November, Joe Cleary, a senior vice president and section manager of engineering design services with WDBC member HDR Inc., co-authored a newly released book: "Activated Sludge Technologies for Treating Industrial Wastewaters – Design and Troubleshooting." The book is for students, plant operators and engineers seeking knowledge and case studies on recent developments in activated sludge biological treatment.

The timing of the book's publication was strategically aligned with the 2013 100-year anniversary of the activated sludge process, a major milestone for treatment of wastewater. Though the process has evolved over the past century, the same basic principles remain intact and are reviewed in the book.

Cleary's book addresses topics like the evolution of the activated sludge process, more stringent effluent permit limits, advancements in treatability testing and process modeling tools, microconstituents, sustainability goals for water and energy, and the impact of frac water from the development of shale gas plays.

"Activated Sludge Technologies for Treating Industrial Wastewaters" is available for purchase through the publisher and Amazon.

Cleary has 40 years of experience providing environmental engineering consulting services to both private and public sector clients in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, South America and Europe.

HDR is a global employee-owned firm providing architecture, engineering, consulting, construction and related services through our various operating companies. More than 8,500 professionals are committed to helping clients manage complex projects and make sound decisions.

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Brown & Caldwell Wins Award for Seattle Water Project

 

Brown and Caldwell teamSeattle Public Utilities (SPU) and WDBC member Brown and Caldwell recenty received the Award for Excellence in Innovation from the Water Environment Research Foundation. The award recognizes the team’s work to improve the flood grouting process that has allowed Seattle Public Utilities to cope with frequent wet weather sanitary sewer backups and overflows in the city’s Broadview neighborhood. This project adds a new tool to the infiltration reduction toolbox.

The flood grouting project is a successful example of applying asset management principles, through the business case process. For SPU, the project has had significant impacts: It reduced sewage volumes by 66 percent and reduced peak flow rates by 41 percent, shaving the odds of basement backups and sanitary sewer overflows. Through the business case process, the project resulted in a positive net present value — all with overwhelming public support.

The project has been so successful that the client, Seattle Public Utilities, is already putting to use the lessons learned and considering expanding the use of flood grouting throughout the Broadview basin to cost effectively reduce infiltration and thereby reduce the frequency of sewer backups.

The project’s success in large part is due to the information developed and published in previous WERF-funded projects. Those projects used included:

  • Reducing Peak Rainfall-Derived Infiltration/Inflow Rates—Case Studies and Protocol, 99-WWF-8
  • Methods for Cost-Effective Rehabilitation of Private Lateral Sewers, 02-CTS-5
  • Legal and Funding Issues During Private Lateral Rehabilitation, 02-CTS-5d
  • Documenting the Effectiveness of Greencastle, Ind.’s Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Policy, U3R06

These WERF-funded projects helped to lay the groundwork for the SPU infiltration reduction project.

Many jurisdictions have experience with pipes bursting, CIPP lining, joint grouting, or open trench replacement. But almost no one has experience with flood grouting. Brown and Caldwell's work in Seattle is a great example of asset management practice where the business case evaluation selected an innovative technology and the post-project analysis validated the original decision. 

This is Brown and Caldwell’s second WERF award for innovation. The company also was recognized for its collaborative work on DC Water’s Biosolids Program, which won the inaugural WERF award in 2011. 

The Award for Excellence in Innovation recognizes organizations that have made improvements to wastewater and stormwater collection, storage or treatment operations, facilities, or processes by applying WERF research. A team of WERF volunteers selected the recipients from a field of well-qualified organizations.

Washington DC\u0026#39\u003Bs Biosolids Management Program

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Aging Water Infrastructure: From Out of Sight to Top of Mind

 

water main burstStory by Bryan Scribner, Black & Veatch

Once buried issues, potentially crippling effects of aging water infrastructure have started to come to the surface.

Every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates about a quarter-million water main breaks occur across the United States, threatening safe water supplies, causing street and property flooding and creating sinkholes. What's more, about 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows annually contaminate recreational waters, leading to thousands of illnesses, according to the EPA.

An April report from the EPA showed $384 billion was needed for repairs to U.S. drinking water infrastructure by 2030. This figure is up sharply from the $225 billion estimate EPA issued in 1999. The biggest chunk of investment, $247.5 billion, is estimated for distribution and transmission repairs and improvements. Another $72.5 billion is estimated for water treatment infrastructure, according to the EPA’s fifth “Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment.”

The more than $150 billion increase in capital needed to fix aging buried infrastructure by 2030 is most likely the result of “economic stress and an out of sight, out of mind” mentality among community leaders and residents, said David Egger, Senior Vice President and Executive Managing Director of the Technical Solutions group for Black & Veatch’s water business.

Egger said too much of the public does not fully understand the value of water and the services that utilities provide. “A one-day outage is generally tolerated, but as infrastructure continues to deteriorate, extended periods of low-water pressure, boil orders and emergency shutdowns are likely forthcoming,” Egger said.

Finding Funds to Address Aging Water Infrastructure

While water utilities across the U.S. know there is a problem with aging underground infrastructure, the biggest problem for most of them is finding the resources to address it, said Ahmad Habibian, Ph. D., Technical Specialist for Black & Veatch’s water business.

“The money isn’t in their hands to make all of the improvements at once, forcing many utilities to focus on urgent needs first,” he said.

Rate increases aren’t high enough to make significant infrastructure improvements, said Joseph Mantua, Client Director, Black & Veatch’s water business. That’s because the cost of safe, reliable water has in the past been based on consumption and not on the true value of the natural resource.
 
“There’s always been this expectation that it’s going to be as cheap as possible, and you’re always going to keep your costs down to cover the basic services and repairs,” Mantua said. “However, that mindset needs to change to take into account the value of a reliable water delivery system and the upkeep of its infrastructure, including major capital improvements.” 

As demonstrated in the EPA report, the costs to make repairs will only continue to climb as systems age and deteriorate, Habibian said. 

“In addition, population growth will further increase the demand for safe, reliable water services,” he said. “Hence, utilities have no choice but to address the funding shortfall through rate increases or innovative financing options in order to maintain the level of service provided to customers.”

Educating the Public

Egger said when policymakers ask their constituents to agree to rate increases for rebuilding and repairs, they’re often faced with the argument, “Well, haven’t you already been doing that?” He said the best way to combat that sentiment is through education and revamped media campaigns — articulating to ratepayers why problems exist, the potential consequences and the importance of investing in water infrastructure.

In fact, more education seems crucial at a time when nearly 60 percent of ratepayers don’t understand the costs of providing safe and reliable water services, according to respondents in Black & Veatch’s 2013 Strategic Directions in the U.S. Water Industry report. On the other hand, nearly half of water industry professionals believe their customers would be willing to support improvements through rate hikes.

Projected rate increases, however, might still not be high enough to make proactive investments in aging water infrastructure, according to Greg Kail, Director of Communications for the American Water Works Association.

“Most consumers will tell you that water is very important, but many of them do not think much about what it takes to manage, treat, test and deliver it,” he said. “When we in the water profession observe that people do not value water, often what we are really saying is that people are not willing to pay the true cost of providing water service.”

Communicating the Value of Water

To effectively communicate the value of water, Kail said it’s important that utilities relate messaging to ratepayers at “places they intersect with water.” Those areas might include water’s value in washing clothes, making coffee, cleaning vegetables or fighting fires.

“We can help them understand that water is so integral to all we do, consume and manufacture, that we can never truly pay for its value — but we most certainly can afford its cost,” he said.

To that point, Kail said water utilities have conducted several successful consumer marketing campaigns, including the following: 

  • The promotion of tap water through branding.
  • Advertising in high-traffic areas that explains clean water is essential for public health, the economy and the environment.
  • Communication efforts that provide tips for water conservation. 

“Black & Veatch can help utilities by explaining the risks of not improving aging infrastructure, such as significant economic consequences, environmental hazards and dangers to human health,” Mantua said. “Utilities can basically tell their customers ‘you can pay me now, or you can pay me later.’ Either way, it’s going to cost their customers a lot more when a main breaks versus taking care of infrastructure up front.”

Asset Management

In addition to help in educating the public on the value of water, today’s water utilities need support in prioritizing needs, such as which infrastructure improvements must take place in five to 10 years, and which ones are longer-term projects, Habibian said.

After all, Mantua said, the United States finds its water infrastructure in its current condition largely because formal asset management practices are still relatively new to the country.

Asset management helps utilities understand how to optimize performance, cost and risk in managing assets throughout their lifecycles. It assists utilities in implementing policies, procedures and analytics programs to help them better understand the whole-life costs of buried assets. Asset management helps ensure capital is managed as efficiently as possible.

For many years, Hong Kong has been investing capital into its aging water mains assets, according to Alan Man, Vice President and Managing Director for Black & Veatch’s water business in the North Asia Pacific Region.

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) in Hong Kong introduced a program in 2000 to reduce leaks and attain network improvements. A variety of measures have been assessed and prioritized to target a cut in water loss rates from 25 percent in 2001 to 15 percent by 2015. These include active leakage control through advanced pressure management and district metering schemes as well as an ambitious program to repair and replace almost 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of its water mains.

“Hong Kong is clearly turning the tide because of prioritized investments in its aging water mains. There are real long-term benefits from a large-scale and systematic approach,” said Man. “WSD is experiencing reduced operational and maintenance costs, and the public is experiencing less disruption from bursts and leaks.”

The figures point to success. Comparing 2000/01 with 2011/12 figures, the number of pipe bursts recorded has fallen from 2,479 to 317, while leakage cases have fallen by almost half from 21,693 to 12,111.

“All the initiatives are major components of Hong Kong’s Total Water Management strategy,” concluded Man. “The key to the program’s success is that it is founded on a clear vision and disciplined approach to optimizing the utility’s existing assets.”

This article has been republished with permission by Black & Veatch. To view the original article, visit Black & Veatch's Solutions Magazine.

 

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Developing Procurement Documents for Progressive DB Projects

 

Progressive Design-Build Procurement GuideThrough a partnership with the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the Water Design-Build Council is pleased to announce a new "Design-Build Done Right" webinar on Developing Procurement Documents for Progressive Design-Build Projects.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 29 at 1:30 pm EST and the cost to attend is $50. Participants will qualify for 1.5 continuing education units (CEUs). 

What is progressive design-build (PDB)? How does it work – and what are the key considerations in a PDB procurement -- are just a few of the topics to be presented in this webinar.

Given the benefits and growing popularity of the progressive design-build (PDB) approach to effectively deliver water infrastructure projects, the Water Design-Build Council has produced a unique set of educational documents for municipalities entitled Procurement Guide for Progressive Design-Build Projects. This webinar presents to public officials, owners, decision makers and industry members, WDBC’s user-friendly Guide that defines the steps involved in the PDB procurement process. These materials, which can be adapted for municipal use, support and facilitate the process to effectively and efficiently identify and select qualified bidders for design-build water projects focusing on progressive delivery.

Webinar participants will learn:

  • The differences in a one and two step process
  • How to define what is required in the RFP and RFQ
  • When to use an RFP or RFQ
  • The essential contract components

The course will be led by WDBC Executive Director Peter Hughes and DBIA's Brian Bedell. Click here to register now.

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Project Spotlight: Charnock Well Field Restoration

 

CharnockThe Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant is approximately 2 miles from the Santa Monica City limits, and is owned by the City. The plant serves a population of 89,736. Through a progressive design-build procurement process, Water Design Build Council member Black & Veatch was selected as the contractor for a project to provide engineering, design, procurement, construction and commissioning services for both the Charnock Treatment Unit and the Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant.

The Problem

Many utilities throughout the United States are increasingly facing limited fresh water supplies, mixed and/or emerging contaminants, and tighter regulations. With its Charnock Well Field closed for more than a decade due to contamination and the ink finally dry on settlements to fund a restoration project on the facilities, the City of Santa Monica faced an urgent need to return closer to water self-sufficiency. Limitations on water supplies that could be delivered to Southern California had Santa Monica’s project on the fast track to re-establish a sustainable water supply. The complex and changing regulatory environment also required an approach that would allow for progress even as specific details were being finalized.

Project Delivery Selection

Already familiar with the use of design-build (DB) through its experience on other municipal projects, the City chose a modification of the DB approach. In deciding to use Progressive Design-Build, the City was able to select the design-builder based both on qualifications and approach to problem-solving, with an open-book cost estimate for construction to be made during the 30 to 60 percent phase of design. One benefit of this approach was the collaborative relationship between the city and the design-builder to navigate the challenges of building the treatment facilities, such as additional requirements that might come from DPH review.

Solution

Black & Veatch’s approach to progressive design-build enabled the City of Santa Monica to navigate numerous emerging issues facing the project.  As the City began to develop a project procurement plan, restrictions on importing water to southern California were being considered and/or implemented. It therefore became urgent for the City to quickly restore its sustainable groundwater supply. The City selection of a progressive design-build approach for design and construction of the water treatment infrastructure, offered flexibility in implementing a technical solution in a complex regulatory setting while providing a competitive price with an aggressive schedule. 

The progressive design-build approach also helped the City manage the approval of a treatment facility to remove a mixture of water quality contaminants – especially those of public health concern (e.g., MTBE) – which requires more time, communication, and planning as well as increased collaboration among the owner, the design-builder, and regulatory agencies.

Black & Veatch’s services included engineering, design, procurement, construction and commissioning services for both the Charnock Treatment Unit and the Santa Monica Water Treatment Plant.  The project incorporated a 3,750 g.p.m. wellhead treatment plant for MTBE and TBA removal at the Charnock well field; and a 7,000 g.p.m. treatment plant at the Arcadia site for softening, radionuclide removal, iron and manganese removal, and volatile organics removal.

With the City and Black & Veatch working collaboratively to provide rapid response at all levels to expedite restoration of the well field, the progressive design-build method allowed a 20-month project schedule to be met.

This design-build model also allowed the owner to transfer design risk to the contractor and reduced the schedule by overlapping design and construction phases while bringing continuous value engineering and constructability analysis. With flexibility throughout, the method provided the owner with a single point of contact and key guarantees, including quality assurance and quality control.

In December 2010, the city of Santa Monica restored the use of its valuable groundwater supply with the successful startup of the Charnock Well Field Restoration Project (CWRP). With the reopening the well field, the city now produces 70 percent of its water supply needs and is moving toward its 2020 goal of 100 percent self-sufficiency.

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'Value of Water' Campaign Aims to Educate the Public

 

CH2M HILL joins with Coalition to promote ‘Value of Water’, a new campaign aimed at educating the public on the importance of clean water and investing in our nation’s aging infrastructure

By: Elisa M. Speranza, CH2M HILL Operations Management Business Group President

The buzz this week is all about the value of water. If you follow the water conversation on popular social channels, like Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen some discussion and excitement about a new Coalition of associations representing water and wastewater utilities and private sector companies like ours that launched on October 1.

I am excited to share that CH2M HILL has joined the Value of Water Coalition. United around a common goal to address the lack of public understanding and support for the much-needed investment in water and water infrastructure, the Coalition is on a quest to help build understanding and support for the vital water and wastewater infrastructure that underpins our economy, our environment and our very way of life.

As I shared earlier this week on my personal blog, Speranza’s Postcards, the campaign will connect and reach the American public through avenues they currently use to seek and share information, including online and through popular social media channels. Although the majority of people believe clean water is critical to our nation and the world, only 40 percent of Americans think the same of water infrastructure according to the Water Environment Federation. It’s important to inform the public about the challenges America faces in terms of our water infrastructure, which is why I’m proud that CH2M HILL is a founding member of this Coalition to help shift this perspective.

Learn more about the campaign at www.thevalueofwater.org/ and get connected on Twitter at @thevalueofwater, on Google+ at thevalueofwater, on YouTube at thevalueofwater, on Flickr at thevalueofwater and Slideshare at valueofwater. Please consider sharing with your network. The more people who understand the extent of the challenge our country faces and its potential impacts, the more likely they will be support solutions to address the root concern.

Elisa Speranza, President of CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group and Enterprise Executive Sponsor for SustainabilityMs. Speranza has worked on both the public utility and consulting sides of the water and wastewater business since 1985. She directs operations, administration, and client relations for CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group. Her team provides long-term consulting and contract services to public and private sector organizations, including water and wastewater operations and maintenance, public works, and other city services, and facilities management and engineering. In the early 1990s, she was Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and previously was a Project Manager for the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. Ms. Speranza is the past Board Chair and an active volunteer of the global nonprofit Water For People, which helps people in developing countries obtain clean water and sanitation solutions. She has served as an officer of the AWWA, the New England Water Works Association and the Massachusetts Water Works Association, and is a long-standing member of the Water Environment Federation.

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