Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015 - (Page 11)
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Planning for the Future
By Charles Hilton,
I would be remiss if I failed to say thanks to those of you I have had the privilege of
meeting as I continue to travel around this great nation. To the states I have visited, thank you
for your welcome, your hospitality and most of all your support as we press on with the goals
of the National Rural Water Association. It gives me encouragement to know there are still
many who cherish all this country was built upon. So again, thank you.
This issue deals with a subject that we hear about every day and yet take for granted:
sustainability. Is it because we think we don't need to do anything? Sustainability can be
defined as the ability to withstand; be it climate change, aging infrastructure, aging workforce,
energy costs and external threats (cyber or real). But probably it all comes down to the basic
idea of responsible financial planning today, for tomorrow's needs.
I recently looked at some of the early records of our utility (1969 startup). I saw unit costs
of pipe of less than $3 a foot and wells costing $50,000. Just recently we laid a pipe at $68
a foot and built a water plant for $8,000,000. Quite a difference in 45 plus years. Yet, as the
old saying goes, "We ain't seen nothing yet." The challenges of the future are enormous. Our
responsibilities today are to take the steps necessary to reduce our expenses through new
techniques, installing energy efficient equipment, as well as retrofitting existing machinery for
better efficiency. Looking at source water protection today, to preserve the quality and quantity
of water resources is vital if the needs of our children and grandchildren are important to us. I'm
sure we all struggle with the concept of adequately funding depreciation/capital improvement
accounts and even shudder at its implication.
It would appear these challenges are staggering if not insurmountable on the surface. But, I
have witnessed you meeting every challenge for the 40-plus years I have spent in this industry.
I am confident we will meet those challenges by working smarter and more efficiently. The
biggest problem to overcome is complacency - we've always done it this way and we are
still around. We are all victims of complacency because of the success we have enjoyed. I
challenge each of us to look outside the box and not plan for our own retirement party, but
instead plan for our children's children's future.
This issue will make each of us think about the future of our organizations, and from
that, begin the task of responsibly planning for its success - not only now, but for many
generations ahead. ●
SUSTAINABILITY CAN BE DEFINED AS THE ABILITY TO
WITHSTAND; BE IT CLIMATE CHANGE, AGING INFRASTRUCTURE,
AGING WORKFORCE, ENERGY COSTS AND EXTERNAL THREATS
(CYBER OR REAL). BUT PROBABLY IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE
BASIC IDEA OF RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL PLANNING TODAY,
FOR TOMORROW'S NEEDS.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015
From The President
State Specialists Lead Efforts to Protect Community Drinking Water
Energy Efficiency 101
Assisting Utilities through Sustainable Management Initiative
Technology Update: Cyber Threats Not Limited to Large Retailers and Health Insurers
The Rural Water Loan Fund
USDA Rural Development
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2015
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