Municipal Water Leader
  • Interview

    The Quagga Mussel Experience The Great Lakes’ Lessons for the West

    T he quagga mussel is an invasive species that, over the last 30 years, has heavily colonized the Great Lakes. Its hydrodynamic, geochemical, optical, and ecological effects are so great that the species is termed an “ecosystem-revising organism” or “ecosystem engineer.” Now, quaggas are spreading to the rivers of California, Lake Mead, and other water bodies in the West—largely thanks to human enablers. Not only does the quagga affect water bodies from an ecological point of view, it can also pose major problems for irrigators and water suppliers. Russell Cuhel and Carmen Aguilar are scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences who have researched the quagga mussel…

  • Interview

    A New Agency for a Growing Region The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency

    The Santa Clarita Valley, north of Los Angeles, has grown in population by 41percent in the last 15 years, and its current population of 250,000 is expected to reach nearly half a million in the foreseeable future. To serve this growing population and deal with problems such as drought and natural disasters, the two major water providers in the valley, Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency, decided to move forward with a consolidation that resulted, in 2018, in the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCVWA). In this interview, SCVWA General Manager Matt Stone speaks with Kris Polly, editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader, about the ambitious and successful…

  • Screenshot of flipbook PDF reader for Municipal Water Leader October 2018. Volume 4 Issue 9.

    Volume 4 Issue 9 October 2018 Big-Picture Thinking

    Water managers deal with huge geographical areas, huge quantities of water, and huge responsibilities. In this issue of Municipal Water Leader, we take a look at the big-picture thinking that is required to successfully manage these challenges. In our cover story, we speak to Matt Stone, the general manager of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency, a new entity created through an ambitious merger of several large water agencies north of Los Angeles. Mr. Stone tells us about the multiyear project of relationship building, problem solving, and detail-oriented planning that led to the creation of the agency, all based around the question, “If, historically, there had been just one integrated…

  • Innovator

    Water Bottle Fill Stations as Public Outreach Lessons From Eastern Municipal Water District

    Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) provides water, wastewater, and recycled water services to more than 816,000 people in Riverside County, California. EMWD is the sixth-largest retail water agency in the state of California. More than a decade of California water industry survey data suggest a strong correlation between the value that customers place on water with their acceptance of water infrastructure project expenses, rate increases, and other management decisions. Customer approval is extremely important in EMWD’s service area, where demographics are diverse and people tend to be more cost-sensitive than the statewide average. With an eye toward boosting customer approval, EMWD developed the Tap Into campaign to support its goals…

  • Innovator,  Interview

    A Burst of Innovation Charles Otis of Pulsed Burst Systems

    Pulsed Burst Systems is a Milwaukee-based startup that has developed a simple yet effective device called the MegaBubble that creates large air bubbles that can be used to mix large quantities of water or even pump water through a pipe. With help from The Water Council in Milwaukee and its BREW business accelerator program, Pulsed Burst is finding potential clients across the country, including wastewater treatment plants and municipal water districts. Charles Otis, chief operating officer of Pulsed Burst Systems, spoke with Municipal Water Leader Managing Editor Joshua Dill about his background in the water industry, his company, and what the U.S. water industry could do to boost innovation.

  • Interview

    Seamlessly Integrated Calgary’s West District Central Park

    HDR, Inc., recently designed the Historic Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta, Georgia—a popular community gathering space that can also capture nearly 7 million gallons of storm water runoff, thus forming an important part of Atlanta’s water infrastructure. Word about the innovative park design spread all the way to Calgary, Alberta, where a local developer contacted HDR to ask for its help in creating a similar feature in a mixed-use development near the downtown area. In this interview with Municipal Water Leader writer Tyler Young, Robby Bryant, HDR’s planning and landscape architecture discipline leader, tells us about how he brought the lessons of the Fourth Ward Park northward, and adapted them…

  • Photo portrait of Tage Flint, Chair of the National Water Resources Association’s Municipal Caucus

    Staying on the Cutting Edge A Conversation With Tage Flint

    From scientific discoveries about harmful algae and invasive species to technical advances in materials and machinery, the municipal water world is always changing. Yet for municipal water district managers tasked with the weighty job of providing water to hundreds of thousands of users, it is difficult to stay up-to-date on all these changes. Tage Flint, the chair of the National Water Resources Association (NWRA) Municipal Caucus, recently took part in an NWRA tour of the Water Council’s headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The tour provided a valuable chance to get ahead of the curve on upcoming technologies as well as to provide feedback to the researchers and entrepreneurs at the council.…

  • Interview

    Beautifying San Antonio’s San Pedro Creek A Conversation With Jeffrey Mitchell of HDR

    San Antonio, Texas, is famous for its urban River Walk development along the San Antonio River, which was completed in 2014. A few years ago, local authorities decided to pursue a similar revitalization project for another downtown waterway, the San Pedro Creek. As of 2018, the ambitious San Pedro Creek Improvements Project is only partly complete, but it already includes 4,000 feet of accessible walkways, murals by local artists, benches, and infrastructural components. In this interview with Municipal Water Leader writer Tyler Young, Jeffrey Mitchell, HDR’s senior project manager for the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, speaks about the genesis of the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, the special challenges…

  • Photo portrait of Congressman Bill Shuster

    WRDA Works for America’s Water Infrastructure

    On October 23, 2018, the president signed into law the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, a legislative package that features the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018. The enactment of WRDA 2018 marked the third such bill signed into law since I became chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in 2013. I am particularly proud of the fact that one of my earliest priorities as chairman—returning Congress to the regular consideration of a WRDA every 2 years—came to fruition over the last 6 years. These laws authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study and undertake infrastructure enhancements that strengthen our economy, connect and protect our…

  • Interview

    The Water Council Driving Innovation in the Water Industry

    Headquartered in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, next to the world’s largest freshwater system, The Water Council is a nonprofit organization that drives economic, technology, and talent development to support the global water industry. As the leading U.S. water technology cluster and one of the most powerful water technology hubs in the world, The Water Council convenes global water leaders and supports more than 180 members, including small and mid-sized businesses and large global corporations, engineers, entrepreneurs, utilities, government agencies, education programs, and nonprofits, with valuable services, programming, and networking opportunities. As The Water Council continues on its path of fostering innovation in the water industry, the organization…