Municipal Water Leader
  • Interview

    How HDR is Transferring Knowledge and Developing Careers Through TaLON

    HDR is an employee-owned engineering, architecture, and consulting firm that works on projects, including federal-related projects, related to transportation, water supply, drinking water, clean water, electrical solid waste, and industrial development. In a sense, what HDR sells is knowledge, and that being the case, knowledge transfer within the company is critical. One program that HDR has established to further this goal is the Technical and Leadership Optimization Network (TaLON), which sets up one-on-one mentoring relationships between senior and midlevel professionals. In this interview, HDR Vice President Amy Dammarell explains the background of TaLON, and two TaLON participants, John Koch and Jeff Zahller, tell us about their experiences. 

  • Interview

    How the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Apprenticeship Program Is Building a Skilled Workforce

    The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is a regional water and wastewater treatment service provider for eight southeastern Michigan counties. In order to replace an aging workforce and ensure that it has sufficient skilled employees, GLWA has established a 3-year apprenticeship program that combines paid, on-the-job training; in-house educational courses; and community college courses. The program’s graduates are offered full-time positions at GLWA. In this interview, Patricia Butler, GLWA’s manager for organizational development, tells Municipal Water Leader about how the program was designed and how it is benefiting the authority, and Etaune “EJ” Johnson, an apprentice graduate and current full-time GLWA employee, tells us about his experience in the program. 

  • Interview

    A Tribute to Dave Luker

    The Benevolent Dictator  Mark Krause General Manager, Desert Water Agency (DWA)  My friendship with Dave Luker started in 1986, when I hired on at Krieger & Stewart, a civil engineering firm in Riverside, California. I met Dave my first day. He assigned me a construction survey job for DWA in Palm Springs. Dave ran the survey crews and actually started the firm’s in-house survey department. He loved construction and taking part in building things. Dave also loved working with people who loved their jobs and worked hard. Dave worked his way up to partner at the firm and was instrumental in opening that opportunity up to many others who followed…

  • Interview

    National Water Resources Association President Christine Arbogast on WRDA 2020

    For several decades, Congress has considered omnibus water development acts every 2 or so years; these laws are frequently entitled the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed P.L. 116‑260, which included WRDA 2020. In this interview, National Water Resources Association President Christine Arbogast tells us about the new legislation and what it means for western water providers and users. 

  • Interview

    How Burns & McDonnell Is Helping Homewood, Illinois, Transition Its Water Source

    The Village of Homewood, Illinois, recently decided to move forward with the biggest public works project it has undertaken since its founding in 1893. A 2½-mile stretch of 30‑inch transmission main and a booster pump station will allow it to change its water source from the Village of Harvey, Illinois, to the City of Chicago Heights, Illinois, allowing it to continue providing clean and reliable water service to its inhabitants at a lower and more reliable cost. The design-build firm Burns & McDonnell was selected to design and build the new tie-in. In this interview, Stephen Boden and Stephen Crede, respectively a senior project manager and a design and construction…

  • Interview

    Zach Renstrom: Planning for the Future of the Washington County Water Conservancy District

    The Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) provides culinary, secondary, and wastewater services to nearly 200,000 people in southwestern Utah. The WCWCD’s new general manager, Zach Renstrom, is carrying on the work of his predecessor by planning to make sure that the district has reliable water supplies decades into the future. In this interview, Mr. Renstrom tells Municipal Water Leader about his work on several key initiatives: a future Lake Powell pipeline that will bring Colorado River water to the region, the construction of two new reservoirs, septic-to-sewer conversions, and conservation efforts. 

  • Interview

    Progress on the Integrated Pipeline Project

    For nearly 100 years, the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) has been providing flood-control services along the Fort Worth floodway and water supply services to 11 counties. Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) has been providing water to its service area for over 125 years. Combined, TRWD’s and Dallas’s service populations are in the 5.75–6 million range. Population growth, climate variability, greater distance to sources, bonding capability, debt service, rates, politics, regulations, legislation, and capital and life-cycle costs are all driving state and local agencies to partner and share regional resources and conveyances, and TRWD and DWU are not exceptions. The rapid growth of both agencies’ service areas has necessitated the design…

  • Interview

    Jerry Brown: Advancing the Sites Reservoir Project

    The proposed 1.5-million-acre-foot Sites Reservoir is intended to capture storm water flows from the Sacramento River for storage and release in dry years for environmental, residential, and agricultural uses. A reservoir of this scale requires serious, long-term planning efforts that encompass funding, design, and permitting. Jerry Brown was recently hired to lead the project team. Since April 2020, he has served as the executive director of the Sites Project Authority, the joint powers authority (JPA) in charge of advancing the project, which is projected to be complete in 2030. In this interview, Mr. Brown tells Municipal Water Leader about the challenges that the authority is facing and overcoming on the…

  • Interview

    The Brown’s Creek Watershed District: Improving Water Body Health in an Urbanizing Area

    The Brown’s Creek Watershed District (BCWD), located near Stillwater, Minnesota, was recently recognized by the Water Environment Federation with its Water Quality Improvement Award for reducing runoff and pollution to the trout stream it works to protect. Despite being located in a quickly urbanizing area, the BCWD has managed to improve the biological health of local water bodies with the result that native species are returning in a sustainable manner. In this interview, BCWD Administrator Karen Kill tells Municipal Water Leader about the agency’s activities and the successes it is seeing. 

  • Interview

    How the City of Pueblo’s Ntensify Nutrient Removal System Is Saving Money on Chemicals and Energy

    The City of Pueblo, Colorado, recently undertook a renovation of its James R. DiIorio Wastewater Reclamation Facility, installing an Ntensify nutrient removal system that has made its treatment process significantly more efficient and has reduced chemical and energy expenses so much that the improvement will pay for itself within 2 years. In this interview, Pueblo’s director of wastewater, Nancy Keller, tells Municipal Water Leader about the benefits of the Ntensify system and about the Pueblo Wastewater Department’s other top issues.