Author Archives: Ken Kirk

We Are the Masters of Our Own Fate

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The political landscape here in DC is increasingly contentious and it is harder than ever to get the attention of our national leaders. For example, when it comes to water we are told that Congress focuses so much effort on the Waters of the US rule because the stakeholders opposing the rule are a far […]

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What Lies Beneath: Our Basement Has a Secret – And It’s Not Out of Sight or Out of Mind

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As Halloween approaches, Americans tend to watch more horror movies than usual.  And what is one of the scariest places depicted in horror films?  The basement.  NACWA has been watching its very own horror story unfold right before our eyes in the bowels of its headquarters building.  
In 1999 at the turn of the 21st century, […]

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Because Water Works!

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Today, water leaders from across the sector were in Washington, DC for a series of events co-hosted by members of The Value of Water Coalition along with the American Society of Civil Engineers; the Bipartisan Policy Center; Building America’s Future; the National Association of Counties; the National League of Cities; the National Urban League; and, […]

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With Crisis Comes Opportunity

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The recent crisis in Toledo where toxic algae blooms led to the shut off of municipal water to almost half a million people serves as a painful reminder that we should not take clean water for granted, something we as a nation are too often prone to do.  
The culprit in the Toledo case – toxic […]

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NACWA Finance Dialogue Opens Pipeline between Public and Private Sectors

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NACWA hosted a vibrant Clean Water Finance Dialogue in New York City this week of approximately 40 representatives from private investment firms, public clean water agencies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a focus on how private capital can be invested in public clean water projects. The issue of privatization was not on […]

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Moving Beyond Gray vs. Green to Embrace “Sustainable Infrastructure”

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A bioretention pond slowly releases stormwater runoff into an enlarged storm sewer.  An overflow drain system collects sheet flow from a bioswale to manage storms larger than the design event.  These are both examples of how green infrastructure utilizes and integrates traditional “gray” components, like conduits and drains, to function properly and efficiently.  On a […]

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Inaugural Water Week Highlights Collaboration to Focus National Attention on Clean Water Priorities

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Since the passage of the Clean Water Act over forty years ago, clean water agencies have undergone a remarkable transformation, actively contributing to local economies, spurring job growth, advancing cutting edge technologies, and improving the environment and public health. Now, public water and wastewater utilities are stepping up to communicate these triple bottom line benefits […]

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Collaborating to Meet the Challenges Ahead

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Last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy posted seven “themes” to guide the Agency’s priorities during her tenure as Administrator. NACWA welcomes Administrator McCarthy’s commitment to partner with local governments and we are eager to work with the Agency to advance a number of the themes relevant to the clean water community, including the following priorities […]

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We Applaud Our Members’ Ongoing Commitment to Coastal Water Quality

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I applaud our public agency members for their ongoing commitment to ensuring clean water progress following the release of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 23rd Annual Beach Report. The Report found a total of 20,120 beach closing and advisory days in 2012, a decrease of 14 percent from 2011.
Although the Report notes that the reduction in closures is largely due […]

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2012 Ended in Victory—Looking forward to a Terrific 2013

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As the New Year begins, we’re excited to have ended 2012 on a high note with two key victories for NACWA and our public agency members. At the end of December, NACWA learned that the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) petition seeking to have the Agency expand the definition […]

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