Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010 - (Page 20)

THE ON DC T SHING CTIVE WA RSPE PE Why it Pays to Come to the Conference BY THE NRWA WASHINGTON, DC STAFF CONFERENCE ALLOWS ALL participants the opportunity to better understand a real sense of the importance of Rural Water throughout the country. We have a saying that “the closer you look at rural water the stronger it gets” and that is exactly what happens at the national conferences. Washington D.C. dignitaries meet the local water system board members and operators, the federal agency staffs meet each other as well as with the operators, and in-the-field staff meet with staff from other state associations to better understand how to strengthen water systems in every state. Local folks learn from the sessions and in person-to-person discussions about what has occurred in DC that affects rural and small systems, as well as what may be happening over the rest of the Congressional session. This allows everyone to go back home with a better understanding of new things that can be done to strengthen Rural Water locally and nationally. Frequently, exhibitors and system operators work out how to start new projects, while state association personnel often gain new perspectives on how to improve their in-the field programs, how to deal with state environmental agencies, and new sources of possible funding for programs and for systems. 20 • First Quarter 2010 You are the practitioners, the ones who have to do the work when the politics, the speeches and the strategies all cease or become old news. It is important to note that regardless of your background, whether you are a utility operator in Arkansas or an engineer in Alaska or the under secretary of a federal agency, we all learn from our interactions with each other – but you have an advantage. You are on the ground where the work has to be done. At these conferences, national leaders can see fi rsthand the impact of their policies, the ones that work and the ones that need to be adjusted or terminated. We also learn from national leaders what their goals are – for example, when the Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development spoke at the H2O-XPO Conference, he listed several administration priorities including proving water and wastewater assistance to rural communities that experience persistent poverty with the funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Many of you are the lead in this effort. An example of your impact on the national level came from one forum where a utility operator discussed the need to advocate for additional wastewater technicians and funding to rehabilitate and construct facilities. This discussion from the participants in the audience and other state water and wastewater providers led to a change within the National Rural Water’s legislative agenda for this coming year to seek additional funding to meet this growing need. The work done in the field on energy conservation for small systems has now become a national issue to be addressed in our nation’s capital. The stories you told of your work, your successes and the positive fi nancial savings for the systems and end users are the ones that created this initiative as we seek additional funding to help other small rural communities on a national level. You are the foundation that we and many people stand on that makes this whole effort work…seeking and obtaining the necessary resources and expertise to ensure rural America has modern, safe and affordable water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure rural America is never left behind. Conference is THE PLACE TO BE! Whether it’s your own state association conference, or the H2O-XPO or the WaterPro conferences, nowhere else can you see, learn, experience, network and share with thousands of other rural water family members. We’re really in this together…we really DO need each other! ❍

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010
Table of Contents
From the President
H2O-XPO to Waterpro
The Utility Perspective
The State Rural Water Association Perspective
The Washington DC Perspective
Recent Drinking Water Quality Claims Unfounded
Telling Our Story: The City of Risk
Finding Art in Unexpected Places
Regulatory Update
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2010