Forging the Future Through Policy and Innovation

By Kris Polly 

This month, we have the pleasure of featuring Congressman Peter A. DeFazio, the chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Chair DeFazio tells us about his commitment to federal funding for smarter, safer, greener, and more resilient infrastructure and explains the importance of the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, which he recently reintroduced. I hope you will enjoy our fascinating interview with this key congressional policymaker. 

We also look at developments in California’s Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD). David Wilson, CVWD’s engineering manager, and Katie Evans, its director of communications and conservation, update us on the district’s L‑4 pump relocation project and its Oasis in-lieu recharge pipeline project. 

We then feature four exciting new technologies. Craig Milne, the CEO of Copperstone Technologies, tells us about his company’s robust, amphibious environmental monitoring field robots, which have potential pipeline and sewer applications. Bryan Eagle, the CEO and cofounder of Glanris, tells us about how rice hulls—usually treated as waste—can be turned into effective and environmentally friendly filtration media. Melanie McClare, the CEO of Swirltex, introduces her company’s custom, modular wastewater treatment systems, which use buoyancy-based membrane filtration to more efficiently separate solids and liquids. And Sergie Albino, the cofounder and CEO of ecoSPEARS, tells us about his company’s NASA-developed technology, which uses alcohol-filled spikes and ultraviolet light to remove and destroy harmful and endocrine-disrupting chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls from natural environments. 

Smart policy, forward-thinking infrastructure upgrades, and amazing new technologies are exactly what the municipal water industry needs to move forward and guarantee safe water supplies to all users in the future. I hope you enjoy reading about all three in this month’s Municipal Water Leader. 

Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and the 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 can be contacted at