Municipal Water Leader
  • Interview

    SRP’s Precedent-Setting Watershed Management Initiative

    Diverting, storing, and delivering water is the main trade of a major water supplier like the Salt River Project (SRP). But to successfully carry out that mission, it must pay attention to a much wider landscape than that encompassed by its infrastructure and service area. All water comes from somewhere, and that means that SRP has a direct interest in the tracts of forest and wilderness land, much of which is federally owned, that its water flows through on the way to its reservoirs. One challenge is forest management. Without it, forests become unhealthy and overgrown and are susceptible to devastating wildfires that send ash and debris into SRP’s system.…

  • Interview

    Walking All 131 Miles of SRP’s Canal System

    The Salt River Project (SRP) has 131 miles of canals in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, 60 miles of which have public recreational paths alongside them. This year, a group of 23 SRP employees have committed to walk all 131 miles of the canal system, calling their project 131 Can Be Done. In addition to being a healthy challenge, 131 Can Be Done is helping office staff connect with field teams and learn more about how the SRP canal system works on a dayto-day basis. In this interview, Lynn Allen, the manager of the SRP Water Contact Center, and Stephanie Berry, SRP’s manager of water scheduling and field customer service, tell…

  • Interview

    Investigating Inland Indirect Potable Reuse for Norman, Oklahoma

    The City of Norman, Oklahoma, and engineering firm Garver recently secured a $700,000 grant through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for a pilot inland indirect potable reuse (IPR) program. The pilot program aims to determine the viability of using reuse water to supply Lake Thunderbird, the primary source of drinking water for Norman, turning it into a drought-resistant source. In this interview, Garver Water Reuse Practice Leader Michael Watts, who coauthored the successful grant application, explains the motivations and aims of the pilot project and discusses how municipalities can best make use of Title XVI.

  • Interview

    Revamping Garland’s Wastewater Treatment Plants for a Growing Area

    The City of Garland, Texas, provides wastewater services to over 320,000 customers in a large residential area north of Dallas. Like many wastewater service providers in the region, Garland is dealing with a rapid growth in population and urban density. The increased demand has required major renovations to its wastewater treatment plants, both to increase their capacity and to cut down on unpleasant odors from preventing development around the treatment plants. In this interview, Malcolm Parker, the superintendent of Garland’s Rowlett Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, speaks with Municipal Water Leader about the process of revamping the plant and how it led to a National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)…

  • Interview

    Upper Trinity Regional Water District: New Technology for a Growing Region

    The Upper Trinity Regional Water District provides water and wastewater services to the rapidly growing region north of Dallas, Texas. This year, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognized Upper Trinity with a National Environmental Achievement Award for its Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant, which was recently expanded in order to keep up with development in the area. The plant now uses ballasted flocculation technology, allowing it to treat wastewater more quickly and in a smaller footprint. In this interview, Upper Trinity Director of Operations and Water Resources Jody Zabolio speaks with Municipal Water Leader about the district’s experience in expanding the plant and choosing to implement ballasted flocculation.

  • Interview

    The Water Education Foundation: Helping Professionals and the Public Understand Western Water

    The Water Education Foundation has been educating water professionals and the general public in California and across the Colorado River basin for more than 40 years. Its tours, conferences, publications, and online resources make the complex world of western water more easily comprehensible while also highlighting the high stakes of the issues involved. In this interview, Executive Director Jennifer Bowles tells Municipal Water Leader about the foundation’s history, its current activities, and its importance for the municipal water audience.

  • Interview

    How SRP’s Infrastructure Became a Public Relations Tool

    The Salt River Project (SRP) is a major utility that providesboth electrical power and water to a combined count of a littleover a million customers in the Phoenix, Arizona, region. SRPmanages 131miles of Bureau of Reclamation–owned major canalsand more than 1,000miles of laterals. This infrastructure—whichtraverses heavily populated urban areas—provides an unexpectedresource for public relations. SRP has cooperated with the Cityof Phoenix, Scottsdale Public Art, and other partners to turn itsinfrastructure into a place for recreation, education, and historicalcommemoration. Its Arizona Falls hydropower station doublesas a historical interpretation site, and the quarter-mile ScottsdaleWaterfront hosts a major yearly arts festival called Canal Convergence.In this interview, JimDuncan, SRP’s manager of fieldconsulting services, speaks…

  • Interview

    Learning From Oroville: HDR’s Dam Inspection Program

    In February 2017, the service spillway of California’s Oroville Dam was damaged, resulting in an emergency that required the temporary evacuation of 188,000 people downstream. While the danger was contained and the spillway was reconstructed the following year, the Oroville incident was serious enough to provoke a thorough rethink of dam maintenance and inspection practices across California and nationwide. The personnel of engineering firm HDR, Inc., were onsite at Oroville Dam and played a major role both in responding to the initial damage and in developing new methods and practices for dam and spillway inspection. In this interview, HDR Principal Hydraulic Structures Engineer Sam Planck and Hydraulic Structures Practice Leader…

  • Interview

    The ASDSO: Advocating for Dam Safety Nationwide

    The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) was founded in 1984 after a string of high-profile dam failures to aid each state in improving its dam safety regulatory program. Since then, it has helped state dam safety agencies communicate with one another and adopt best practices, conducted training, and engaged in awareness raising and legislative advocacy. In this interview, ASDSO Executive Director Lori Spragens speaks with Municipal Water Leader about the organization’s history and activities and about the prospects for increased dam safety funding on the federal and state levels.

  • Interview

    Modernizing Oregon’s Dam Safety Statutes

    In 1928, the St. Francis Dam in California failed, resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives and the passage of dam safety laws in several states, including Oregon. Over the years, however, the resources dedicated to dam safety have been limited, and challenges in ensuring their safety remain. Engineering standards have evolved over time, as has our understanding of seismic and flood risks, demanding new actions and programs. These challenges are compounded by the fact that dams are aging, with some showing signs of degradation or requiring urgent repairs.