Monthly Archives: July 2012

Top Discussions: Integrated Planning, Social Media, Utility of the Future

NACWA recently hosted its 2012 Summer Conference & 42nd Annual Meeting, Transformational Leadership. . . Changing the Game for the Next 40 Years of Clean Water, in Philadelphia. Although several topics emerged during the conference, three were discussed repeatedly. These include EPA’s Integrated Planning Framework, the need for utilities to get involved in social media, and the evolution of the clean water utility. [ … ]

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Nutrient Limbo … How Low Can You Go?

“The number is going to be low regardless, so let’s make our best guess and deal with it through implementation.” While most clean water agencies have probably never heard their permit writer utter these exact words, this is the mindset of many regulators. When it comes to dealing with the effects of nutrients, regulators seem to believe that arguing over the exact number, when it is likely to be beyond the limits of technology, is pointless. State water quality criteria managers and permit writers, facing pressure to make progress on nutrients, are struggling to find ways to move forward that are reasonable and scientifically supportable, leading to sometimes contentious battles over what the right number is. [ … ]

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Social Media: A Missed Opportunity?

It’s no secret that clean water agencies have been slower to embrace social media than most other industries, including service-providers. Which is a shame, because by not taking advantage of the power of social media clean water agencies are missing out on some great opportunities.

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What is the Future of Stormwater Regulation?

Last week, EPA announced a new schedule for its efforts to develop a revised national post-construction stormwater rule. This development has opened the door to continue an ongoing discussion about the future of stormwater regulation in the United States. Much has been written recently about changes in urban stormwater management occurring across the United States. This change is significant, moving from an old model of using impervious surface to run stormwater runoff into collection systems (and nearby waterbodies) as quickly as possible to a new focus on retaining stormwater onsite and slowing its flow into local waterways. The use of green infrastructure and low-impact development, as opposed to more traditional concrete and asphalt, is a key element of this innovative approach. But what is the impetus for this new stormwater management method, and what does it mean for municipal stormwater utilities?

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Where the Rubber Meets the Road … Implementing the Integrated Planning Framework

It’s out! EPA’s final Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework is now available. The much anticipated, briefly delayed final version of EPA’s Framework was signed June 5 and released to the public on June 12. The final framework, though only slightly changed from the January draft, includes expanded discussions on adaptive management and financial capability, which should provide additional clarity as utilities explore use of the framework.
Work to ensure that EPA’s framework succeeds, however, is just beginning. [ … ]

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