The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the United States in mid-March has disrupted countless aspects of daily life. Across the nation, many of us have been working from home; some people have lost their jobs or been furloughed; and all of us are wondering if and when things will go back to normal. 

Water, of course, is essential for life; and water treatment and delivery is an absolutely essential service. Municipal water and wastewater service providers do not have the luxury of temporarily closing up shop. Their work must continue. 

How exactly are they pushing forward with their operations amid the turbulence caused by the pandemic? That is what this special issue of Municipal Water Leader seeks to answer. We speak with the managers of water providers and water industry businesses across the nation to see how they are continuing services in a safe and reliable manner by implementing new technology, engaging in common-sense alternate procedures, communicating with their customers, and cooperating with other agencies. 

I hope that reading about the innovative changes these professionals have made in their operations will inspire you and provide you with new ideas about how to keep your business running amid the COVID-19 pandemic and what changes you may want to make or retain once the post-pandemic new normal sets in. 

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm 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