The very best part of my job as editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine is meeting and speaking with the men and women in the municipal water sector. The public nature of their industry tends to promote higher performing, capable people. This personal observation was underscored during our interview with Mr. John Sullivan, chief engineer of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. I was very interested in speaking with Mr. Sullivan as his father and grandfather had essentially held the same chief engineer position. “My family has been in this business for more than a century,” he told me. Mr. Sullivan’s family background, his three degrees, and his 44 years of on-the-job experience combine to make him one of the sharpest individuals I have ever met in the water business. With the exception of removing some side conversation and a few pretty good jokes, the published interview is nearly unedited. Though the interview was conducted over the phone, I had the distinct impression that Mr. Sullivan answered every question with nothing more than a cup of coffee in his hand. He is an exceptionally knowledgeable individual and at the very top of his game.
Continuing our theme of exceptional individuals at the top of their game, Ms. Paula Zelenko, mayor of the city of Burton, is a strong and effective leader who has helped her city out of financial crisis while addressing its infrastructure problems. Mr. Thair Peterson tells our readers about the rich history of the development of the Colorado River Aqueduct and the 75th anniversary of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California receiving Colorado River water. An engineering marvel, the Colorado River Aqueduct has provided water for millions of people. Mr. Stephen Martinko, Mr. Jim Sartucci, and Ms. Sarah Beason do an excellent job explaining the status of the Water Resources Development Act currently being considered in Congress. Ms. Melissa Meeker, executive director of the WateReuse Association, describes the mission, vision, and values of her organization. Ms. Gloria Cadavid of the Office of the General Manager of DC Water discusses the launch of Bloom, a unique soil conditioner produced from biosolids by DC Water’s new CAMBI wastewater treatment process. This exciting new technology allows DC Water to create a revenue source from what was previously a disposal expense. Finally, Mr. Ken Komiske, director of utilities for the city of Norman, Oklahoma, explains the city’s unique situation in which the customers vote on their water, sewer, and sanitation rates and how the city has created a successful pipe replacement program.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Municipal Water Leader magazine and find some information that may be helpful to your particular situation.
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