This issue of Municipal Water Leader has a variety of articles about water systems and projects in Washington State, California, Hawaii, and Nebraska. While the locations are diverse, their respective narratives are very similar: local people working together to solve their own problems.
Linda McCrea of Tacoma Water is an impressive individual. She does a wonderful job explaining the history and accomplishments of her agency. Her selfdescription of being “born and raised at Tacoma Water” is a prime example of how people in the water business view their work as so much more than a job. When asked about her thoughts on the role of the federal government, her response mirrored what I have heard from other top municipal water managers. “Like many, I strongly believe that water is a local issue. People are very proud and protective of their water supply and the decisions made about their water resources. I think the most effective role for the federal government in water supply is to help utilities with sustainable infrastructure financing.”
The Cascade Water Alliance is a great story about cities and water districts working together to secure reliable water supplies. The alliance’s creation of the Water Forum to formally consider potential threats is a helpful example for others to follow. Thomas Wagoner, general manager of Lake Hemet Municipal Water District in California, discusses the many challenges his district has overcome. The building of the Hemet Dam using cement imported from Belgium and delivered to the building site by mule train is a tremendous story of western grit and determination. Glenn Johnson’s article on Antelope Valley Project for downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, is a tremendous example of local cooperation to plan, develop, and build a multipurpose flood control project. Equally remarkable to the project’s success is the fact that the government entity created to implement the project was dissolved after the project was completed. Hawaii State Representative Ryan Yamane discusses his state legislative efforts to evaluate, protect, and sustain potable water supplies. Finally, the Metropolitan Water District and the Desert Water Agency share their efforts to work with and educate the public through their respective Solar Cup boat competition and local television public service messages.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Municipal Water Leader magazine and find these articles of local solutions helpful to your efforts.
Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader and Irrigation Leader magazines. He is also president of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations, marketing, and publishing company he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at Kris.Polly@wateretrategies.com