Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2011 - (Page 11)

A The Future of Rural Water we are we going. From the President I SAT DOWN to write this article and realized that there were too many things to talk about as we consider the “Future of Rural Water.” I realized there wasn’t enough space in the entire magazine for me to discuss ALL of the things that need to be discussed! So, with that said, let me proceed by saying it’s important for everyone associated with Rural Water to be looking ahead; planning today for tomorrow; and looking beyond the horizon to try and determine exactly where As we look ahead to the future of Rural Water, it’s obvious we are becoming stronger as an organization. The future is bright for rural and small communities. Today, rural and small communities comprise 92 percent of the community water supplies in the nation and serve approximately 25 percent of the population. Utility membership BY JOE LILES, NRWA PRESIDENT in State Rural Water Associations has increased this past year to 28,358 water and wastewater utilities. It is this membership base that, I am totally confident, will lead our industry into the future and meet the challenges of tomorrow. As we face the future, we also have to face reality and that reality is “change.” A retiring workforce, increased complexity of regulations, less availability of loan and grant funds and technology advances in the systems and in social networking are changes we must embrace. State Rural Water Associations are uniquely positioned as the driving force of change. Their actions are driven by the true grassroots membership of water and wastewater systems. With the support of the membership, your association will continue to advocate reasonable, practical and affordable regulations and the critical role that rural and small utilities play in serving 25 percent of the population of the United States. Our efforts in Washington DC will continue to be critical to ensure access to funding and training and technical assistance resources. You, as rural water members in your State Association, hold the As we look ahead to the key to our future. Our efforts in Washington will continue to be critical in ensuring access to funding, training, technical assistance future of Rural Water, it’s resources and regulatory initiatives. We must organize together to deobvious we are becoming liver one common message. It is extremely important that we educate and reeducate Congress and their staffs, both at home and in Washingstronger as an organization. ton, of the importance of all the Rural Water and wastewater federal proThe future is bright for rural grams. They must understand just how important the circuit rider, source water protection, training and technical assistance, loan and grant federal and small communities. programs are to rural America and what the programs mean to small utilities. Let’s not forget we have over 100 new members in Congress and we’ll have a few more coming in January 2012. Even the older members of Congress, who you think you know, have had staff changes and position changes that can alter their decision-making process. With each member in Congress facing daily decisions about where to cut the federal budget, we must keep Rural Water at the forefront on each Senator and Congressman’s mind. We are not able to maintain the relationship that is needed with one or two visits to his office in Washington each year by a handful of people. We must each reinforce our relationships at home, in the local district, by local people, at the continued on page 48 Fourth Quarter 2011 • 11 http://www.naylornetwork.com/nrw-nxt3/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2011

FROM THE PRESIDENT
THE FUTURE OF MARKETING IN A BRAVE NEW UTILITY WORLD!
PROTECTING OUR DRINKING WATER
FINDING WATER FROM OUTER SPACE
REBUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND THEIR TAP WATER
REGULATORY UPDATE
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL H2O-XPO
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM
FROM THE CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2011

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