Municipal Water Leader
  • Interview

    How Maryland’s State Environmental Agency Is Coping With the Coronavirus

    The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) protects and restores the environment for the health and well-being of all Marylanders. During the current pandemic, it is finding creative ways to manage workforce, regulatory, enforcement, and customer service challenges. In this interview, Ben Grumbles, the secretary of the MDE, and Lee Currey, the director of the MDE’s Water and Science Administration, tell Municipal Water Leader about adjustments the state agency is making, the lessons they are learning, and the advice they are sharing with other agencies around the country. 

  • Interview

    Ensuring Water Safety in the Inland Empire By Roxanne Rountree and Kevin Pearson

    A coalition of six Riverside County, California, water agencies have come together to promote their role as essential service providers during the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID‑19. Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), Jurupa Community Services District ( JCSD), Rancho California Water District (RCWD), Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), and Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) have partnered on a campaign to reassure customers that their tap water is both safe and reliable.  The campaign was launched in late April amid ongoing state and county restrictions that were put in place to protect public health. This partnered effort—which includes both water and wastewater messaging—is helping…

  • Interview

    How Desert Water Agency Is Keeping Its Employees and Customers Safe

    Desert Water Agency (DWA) provides water services to about 90,000 people in Palm Springs, California. As an essential service provider, DWA has had to find creative ways to continue its services during the COVID‑19 pandemic. In this interview, DWA Manager Mark Krause tells Municipal Water Leader about the changes the agency has had to make to overcome the disruptions of the pandemic. 

  • Interview

    CHIP STUDENTS PROVIDE ASSISTANCE

    The Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) was established in 2000 by Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) after discussions between then NWU professor Dr. Robert Oberst and his former student and NWU alum, Kris Polly, about the need for a Washington, DC–based internship experience that provided housing and limited classes. Nine U.S. universities now participate in the program, which is run by the United Methodist College Washington Consortium and has been directed by Dr. Doug Steinel since its beginning. Students in the program participate in an internship and take two classes. Program tuition is the same as the tuition students pay at their home schools. Participants live in the CHIP house, which…

  • Interview

    Planning for Tarrant Regional Water District’s Future

    The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has been providing flood control and water supply services to the city of Fort Worth, Texas, for nearly 100 years. In a swiftly growing urban area that is expected to double in size by 2070, planning for the future through water reuse and new storage and conveyance infrastructure is crucial.  In this interview, Jack Stevens, the president of TRWD’s board of directors, tells Municipal Water Leader about his fascinating professional background, how he decided to run for the board, and the ambitious plans that the board has for the district. 

  • Interview

    How Geneva Pipe Will Help Grow Northwest Pipe’s Business

    Northwest Pipe Company is North America’s largest manufacturer of engineered steel water pipe systems. In February 2020, Northwest Pipe announced that it was acquiring Geneva Pipe Company, Inc., a concrete pipe and precast product manufacturer based in Utah. Branching out into concrete pipe and precast products will allow Northwest Pipe to grow its business in new markets and will provide a new source of revenue.  In this interview, Scott Montross, the president and CEO of Northwest Pipe, and Mike Wray, a Northwest Pipe vice president and the general manager of Geneva Pipe and Precast, explain how Northwest Pipe identified Geneva as a potential acquisition and explain how the acquisition stands…

  • Interview

    DWA’s Supervisor Training and Succession Planning Programs

    Desert Water Agency (DWA) has about 23,000 domestic water connections that serve approximately 89,000 people (including seasonal residents) in the vicinity of Palm Springs, California. Like all municipal water agencies, it has numerous specialized and highly qualified staff members with the institutional knowledge that comes from many years of service. This means that succession planning is a must: When it comes time to replace longtime supervisors or other high-level employees, the agency must find an equally highly qualified replacement, preferably from its own ranks.  In this interview, DWA Human Resources (HR) Director Kris Hopping tells Municipal Water Leader about the agency’s supervisor training and succession planning activities, as well as…

  • Interview

    Keeping Metropolitan’s Employees Safe on the Job

    The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative public agency that provides water to 26 member agencies that serve about 19 million people across a densely populated 5,200‑square-mile service area in Southern California. Its facilities include some of the largest treatment plants in the country, reservoirs, hundreds of miles of large pipeline, and several hydroelectric plants. It also operates the Colorado River Aqueduct, which brings water from Lake Havasu on the California-Arizona border over 240 miles to western Riverside County. Operating and maintaining these immense facilities have inherent hazards associated with them, and to ensure that Metropolitan’s employees stay safe and healthy, the agency has a well-developed operational…

  • Interview

    How EMWD Successfully Pursues Grants and Loans

    Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) supplies municipal water, wastewater, and recycled water services to nearly 900,000 residents of Riverside County, California. It frequently engages in major projects that include infrastructure construction and water quality improvement. EMWD is in a growing region that is currently only about 40 percent built out, which means that it is under a continual demand to expand its plants and other infrastructure. In order to do this in a cost-effective manner that does not burden existing rate payers, EMWD has a well-developed grants and loans team that researches and vets around 1,800 funding opportunities a year, determines which ones are appropriate for EMWD’s projects and schedules,…

  • Interview

    Andy Fecko: PCWA’s Plans for Resilience and Rebuilding

    Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains 30 miles northeast of Sacramento, California, provides water to about 35,000 treated water customers and around 4,500 irrigation customers. The region has a varied history that includes mining and some of the earliest transnational shipments of fresh fruit on the transcontinental railroad. While some of PCWA’s infrastructure dates back to mining days, the agency is aggressively pursuing certification and funding for new storage, delivery, and recreational infrastructure.  In this interview, PCWA General Manager Andy Fecko tells Municipal Water Leader about how PCWA is continuing its operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and planning to be part…