DC Water’s General Manager George Hawkins has an impressive education and résumé, but it is his force of personality that is so readily apparent in conversation. Mr. Hawkins is a leader, and DC Water’s ongoing projects are a testament of his leadership. The District’s aging water infrastructure and wastewater treatment challenges are daunting; however, DC Water is replacing its aging pipe at twice the national average, and its Clean Rivers Project is an impressive feat of engineering. Massive 23-foot-diameter tunnels more than 100 feet below the surface will capture sewer overflows during storm events. Overflows that once went directly into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers will be retained and treated before release. At a price of $2.6 billion, the project is not cheap.

Mr. Rudy Chow, director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works discusses his city’s Integrated Planning Framework for prioritizing its capital improvement program for water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure projects. Baltimore has many challenges, but Mr. Chow demonstrates that it is moving in the right direction.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Chief Engineer Gary Gumm discusses his agency’s efforts to address its 1,800 to 2,000 water main breaks a year. Serving nearly 2 million people, the WSSC has a $1.6 million capital improvement program over the next six years.

Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with oversight jurisdiction that includes the Environmental Protection Agency, provides a guest column regarding concerns over the new definition of waters of the United States. Specifically, the Chairman discusses the importance of clarifying the regulatory status of former streams that were piped long ago by municipalities.

Mr. Mike Warren of Watertronics explains his company’s SkyHarvester technology, which captures, stores, and applies rainwater for nonpotable uses. Mr. Randy Delenikos discusses the LAKOS Sand Separator, which provides utilities with a much-needed solution. Finally, Gregg Semler shares Lucid Energy’s LucidPipe system, which produces electricity by using a unique spherical turbine within a conventional water pipe.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Municipal Water Leader magazine and learning about the impressive people and the impressive engineering featured in our interviews and articles.

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