Ontario Pipeline - Summer 2015 - (Page 6)

FROM THE PUBLICATIONS CHAIR Golf Balls, Climate Change and the Price of Water Y ou might wonder how these connect. Early in my career with the Ontario Clean Water Agency, I met with a senior municipal administrator to review any issues in our service delivery and to thank them for their business. As a token of gratitude, I passed along a sleeve of three golf balls imprinted with the OCWA logo. I was a little surprised by the tongue-in-cheek response: "So this is the reason your price is so high...hey, I'm paying you to operate a plant, not buy me golf balls!" At that moment, I realized that branding, communications, and customer outreach were not perceived as legitimate line items in a utility budget; rather, they are often considered fluff that can be dispensed of in this "cut the gravy" world we live in. To the contrary, communication (and lots of it!) is essential to our industry. It takes an educated public to understand a rate increase. When customers appreciate what is behind a rate increase, it becomes easier to get the funding we need-for water plants, for wastewater plants and for storm-water management. When the public sees the knowledge, skills, activities and problem solving that we apply on a daily basis, when they observe our integrity and transparency, then they will trust us. When we come calling for new rates, they will trust our advice on infrastructure spending, and they will trust our advice on climate adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gases. It is essential that we communicate daily on all of the great things the water sector does to deliver water to the tap. At some point in time, it is inevitable that there will be an issue to be managed, but with credibility built through the routine communication of good news and facts of interest, we will get the latitude we need to respond effectively when there is bad news. So, go ahead and invest in branding, communications and outreach; it will be worth it. This is my last column as Chair of the Publications Committee. As I turn my attention to my new role as an OWWA Director, I am pleased to announce that Linda Cooke, Business Development Manager at Runnalls Industries, has agreed to take on the role of Publications Chair. Linda is highly respected in the water sector for her solution-focused approach as a resource to her clients. Furthermore, I am pleased that David O'Connell, Business Development Manager at OCWA, has agreed to take on the Vice Chair role. David has experience with a broad cross section of municipalities and is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities of the water sector. With this transition, I know that our fantastic Publications Committee is in good hands, and I eagerly anticipate our next edition. 6 | O N T A R I O P I P E L I N E | SUMMER 2015 NICK REID VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS ONTARIO CLEAN WATER AGENCY CHAIR, OWWA PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE WHEN CUSTOMERS APPRECIATE WHAT IS BEHIND A RATE INCREASE IT BECOMES EASIER TO GET THE FUNDING WE NEED-FOR WATER PLANTS, FOR WASTEWATER PLANTS AND FOR STORM-WATER MANAGEMENT.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Ontario Pipeline - Summer 2015

From the Publications Chair
The OWWA Report
The OMWA Report
The OWWEA Report
From Our AWWA Director
Water on the Water: Ontario’s Water Conference and Trade Show
Conference Sponsors
2015 Fuller Award
2015 OWWA Awards
Student Art Awards
When Big Users Cut Back, Utilities Left Scrambling
Small Town Dilemma
Committee Reports
Certification Corner
Calendar of Events
Welcome New Members
OWWEA Member Listing
OWWEA Member News
Index of Advertisers

Ontario Pipeline - Summer 2015