Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012 - (Page 11)

T From the President The Future of Rural Water TODAY, THE WATER and wastewater industry is more complex than ever before. Economics, increased complexity in regulatory requirements and a changing society are crafting the water and wastewater systems of tomorrow. As our industry changes, there is a strong need to enhance the recognition of the skills, knowledge and expertise embedded in the industry today. Recognizing the complexity of the industry and the skills required by its personnel is one of many steps forward to ensure the most qualified personnel are at the helm of water and wastewater systems across the nation. As we step into the future, management functions will take on a more critical role even in the smallest of systems. In smaller systems, operators will necessarily BY JOE LILES, NRWA PRESIDENT have to assume these duties. Management responsibilities, such as public relations, human resources, finances and other duties, are not part of operator certifications; thus, Water University created the Utility Management Certification (UMC) program offered through each State Rural Water Association. The UMC provides recognition of the skills, knowledge and experience of the management sector, and nearly 400 have completed the certification process. The benefits of this recognition are documented in an article in this very magazine. State Rural Water Associations are the trainers of the industry and do a tremendous job in providing educational sessions and needed training. Over 100,000 are trained annually in formal classrooms, conferences and online courses. Our associations are actively participating in discussions with industry groups in an effort to rebrand the title of operator to better project the professional image of the industry, raise awareness of the value of the profession and enhance salary levels to obtain and maintain qualified personnel for the future. These initiatives are avenues that improve and promote the proRecognizing the complexity of the fessionalism of our industry. As the Quality On Tap!, and Protecting Our Environment public relations efforts say, “Our Commitment – industry and the skills required by its Our Profession.” It’s time for the industry to take the necessary steps personnel is one of many steps forward and move the water and wastewater industry to a higher level in the eyes of the public, local governments and federal agencies. to ensure the most qualified personnel In closing, I’d like to say “Thank you!” to all of you for the hard work are at the helm of water and wastewater and professionalism in the past year. As a result of your grassroots efforts at home with your congressional delegation representing you in Washington systems across the nation. DC, the EPA Training and Technical Assistance funding was reinstated in the federal EPA budget for 2012. In the current economic environment, the reinstatement of funds could only happen with all members of the rural association in each state working together to convey how important the EPA training and source water programs are to your local water utility. I am eternally grateful to represent an organization that doesn’t make excuses, doesn’t point fingers and assign blame for failure, but steps up to the plate when asked and without recognition or personal gain – does whatever it takes to get the job done. Thanks again for all you do to make our Rural Water Association progressive and meet the needs of rural utilities and rural America. First Quarter 2012 • 11 http://www.nrwa.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012

FROM THE PRESIDENT
FIVE TRENDS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF HUMAN RESOURCES
BEING JULIA CHILD: MAKING THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES IN RURAL WATER
FROM DITCH TO DESK: THE PATH OF SUCCESS FOR A PROFESSIONAL IN OUR INDUSTRY
WATER UNIVERSITY GRADUATES
PRIVATE SECTOR ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
TAMING THE RIVER
REGULATORY UPDATE
THROWING MY LOOP
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
FROM THE CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2012

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