Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 12

FEATURE

Sustainable
Utility Management

s

Using Workshop in a Box
BY STEVE GRIMM, WASTEWATER TECHNICIAN, NEW YORK RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION

Sustainable system
management. It seems many are
talking about it-but what does it mean?
How do you achieve it?
Simply put, a sustainable system
provides a desired level of service to
its customers at a fair and reasonable
cost. So many municipalities with water
infrastructure are facing challenges to
their sustainable livelihood. How they got
to this point is not really that important.
What is of importance is how they
approach the sustainability issue and
the steps they take to improve overall
system sustainability. There are many
ways to achieve a sustainable system,

12

SECOND QUARTER 2017

one of which is by using the Rural and
Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable
Utility Management, aka "Workshop in a
Box" (WIAB). Used in conjunction with a
committee approach, the WIAB process
can be used to evaluate a system's
performance in 10 key management
areas, as well as to aid in developing and
implementing a plan to improve lower
performance areas.
Many rural and small systems
throughout the country face significant
management and operational issues.
These may include aging or inadequate
infrastructure, recruiting and retaining
qualified staff, growing or establishing
financial reserves, and setting rates that
are reflective of their operational costs
and capital needs. The Rural and Small
Systems Guidebook to Sustainable
Utility Management (Guidebook) speaks
to these challenges. The Guidebook
helps rural and small water and
wastewater systems in their common
mission to become more successful
and efficient service providers.
The Guidebook is accompanied by
a companion resource, the Workshop
in a Box: Sustainable Management of
Rural and Small Systems Workshops.
The Workshop in a Box is a toolkit
for utilities, technical assistance (TA)
providers, water sector associations
and trainers who conduct workshops
based on the principles presented in
this Guidebook. The Workshop in a
Box provides guidance for workshop

preparations, execution and copies of all
materials to run a successful workshop on
utility management improvement.
The first, and admittedly most difficult,
step in the process is to find an interested,
willing and enthusiastic system. Easier said
than done. It may take upwards of a year
of technical assistance visits (TAs) before
a system finally decides to move forward.
Don't lose heart. The end result is well
worth all the time and effort you put into it.
Once an interested system is found,
the next step is to create a sustainability
committee. The committee should consist
of the Rural Water Association (RWA) as
facilitator, the chief elected official (mayor,
town supervisor), the village or town clerk,
an additional board member, the treatment
plant chief system operations specialist
and two district residents. The last two
members of this committee are critical
to the success of the process. These
members represent the public, the people
who will ultimately support and fund the
utility. These members are valuable assets
to the committee. They bring the concerns
and comments of the other district
residents to the table. They can also be
your biggest advocates. These members
can inform their peers of the issues facing
the utility and what is being done to
improve performance without being seen
as an elected official.
The first committee meeting (kickoff
meeting) is a general informational
meeting. Future meetings are scheduled
(once a month for no more than two



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017

From the President
Sustainable Utility Management Using Workshop in a Box
Centerville City’s Strategies for Energy Efficiency
Can You Keep a Secret?
Finance: Protect Your Utility with Risk Transfer
Emergency Management: Protecting Your Utility from Cybercrime
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Regulatory Update
Case Study: Tank Rehabilitation
NRWA Joins
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - intro1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Sustainable Utility Management Using Workshop in a Box
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Centerville City’s Strategies for Energy Efficiency
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 18
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Can You Keep a Secret?
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 24
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 26
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Finance: Protect Your Utility with Risk Transfer
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 28
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 29
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Emergency Management: Protecting Your Utility from Cybercrime
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 32
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 33
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 34
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 36
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 37
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 39
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Case Study: Tank Rehabilitation
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - NRWA Joins
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Throwing My Loop
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 44
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - Index to Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 47
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 48
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - 50
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2017 - cover4
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