Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016 - (Page 11)

FrOM tHe PreSIDeNt f By Charles Hilton, Nrwa President Just Musings Flint, MI - We have all read the news reports of the lead issues in drinking water in Flint. I have talked with Dr. Grevatt at EPA twice about the situation. The bottom line is; this situation should never have occurred. A financial decision was made to switch to another water supply. I can understand that. However, I can only think, "this could happen to any of us, should we get complacent in what we do." Our jobs can easily become repetitious and dull - but, we must never forget the huge responsibility each of us carries on our shoulders. I think it has been a wakeup call to all of us. Rally - It appears we have had one of the most successful Rallies we have had in some years, based on reports back from the Hill. I personally thank each of you for joining us in one of the most important things we do each year - folks from "back home" telling their Congressmen and Senators what is important to them. Special thanks to our DC staff for paving the way and their tremendous "behind-thescenes" work to make it all happen. Spring conferences - State rural water association conferences are in full swing about now. It's been my privilege to attend three since the Rally, and I will be on the road five of the next seven weeks. What an honor to attend these meetings across our country, but an even greater pleasure is meeting some of the finest folks in America. The system operations specialists, managers and board members at these conferences are there to improve their ability to serve their customers. And for most of us, it's not for the money (many careers are far more remunerative), it's not for the glamour (ever cleaned out a sewer?), and it's not for the prestige ("Hello Sir - I'm your local sewer system operations specialist"); it's the satisfaction of serving people in the place we call home. Careers in water - The theme for the Second Quarter issue is "Education and a Career in Water." Just last week at the Rural Water Association of Arizona Conference, I had several people approach me and ask, "How do we attract young people into this industry?" Unfortunately, my answer of "I don't have a clue" was not the correct one. As I travel, I am more acutely aware of the amount of grey hair in our midst. And I am hearing more and more questions about how we attract (and more importantly, keep) qualified young people in our ranks. I would say better pay and benefits. Our utility went through this many years ago with aggressive changes in our salary scales and benefit structure. We now compete with anyone in both salary and benefits in our area and exceed most other employers. Yet, finding qualified and dedicated employees remains one of our greatest challenges. Every major association recognizes the challenges the industry faces and yet I have not seen the answer. I realize I am a Baby Boomer and I see things differently, and have different expectations of individuals. We are now past the Generation X's and are now in the Millennials. It is imperative that all generations sit down and find a solution to this problem and solve it quickly. And closing thoughts - Next week, I will hit the road again, traveling to many of the state conferences. If you haven't heard me say it, thank you for your hospitality, your friendliness, and your gracious welcome and comments to me wherever I go. The greatest part of all of this is meeting you - the greatest people alive. ‚óŹ rural water 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016

From the President
Careers in Rural Water
Water University
Credential from Water U Helps Land the Job
Lessons in Water
Finance: Tracking Down Non-Revenue Water
Technology: GIS and the 5 Ws
Emergency Management: Drought to Flood: Oklahoma
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Four Key Benefits to Incorporating Cellular Technology into Your Utility Management System
The WaterPro Online Community
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2016