Operating at a Deficit: Solutions to a Water and Wastewater Operator Shortage

Written by: Daniel Willems, Research Assistant, Environmental Finance Center at UNC Across the country, communities are dealing with a shortage of water and wastewater treatment plant operators. This shortage –  largely due to retirements occurring in an aging workforce – is leaving many municipalities in need of immediate replacements or short-term transition plans.  Without qualified individuals to ensure state and federal …

Four Words that Forward-Thinking Utilities Should Rethink

Written by: Leslie Kimble, Marketing Coordinator, Wichita State University Environmental Finance Center Each quarter, the Oxford English Dictionary adds new and revised words to the official dictionary. The latest update included more than 650 new words, senses, and subentries, including: “fake news,” “xoxo,” and “Jedi mind trick.” Out of the roughly 172,000 words in the dictionary, there are four words …

RDOs: Supporting Water Infrastructure and Improving Quality of Life

Written by Brett Schwartz, Associate Director, NADO Research Foundation This blog post is a condensed version of a more detailed article, available here. Every day, regional development organizations (RDOs) are working to improve the lives of residents in communities across the country.  Known locally as councils of governments, regional planning commissions, economic development districts, and other names, RDOs provide various …

Blog Post Round-Up: Infrastructure Week 2018

Written by: Elizabeth Harvell Elizabeth Harvell is the Outreach Coordinator at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Today marks the end of the sixth annual National Infrastructure Week—a week of events, media coverage, and issue advocacy across the country to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting America’s future. In the world of environmental …

Top Five Small Town Websites and Tips to Improve Your Own

  Written by: Erin Danford Erin Danford is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill For many small towns, websites are the main avenue of communication with residents. At the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we use town websites to find contact information, water rates, and link towns …

Podcast Round-Up: 12 Episodes on Drinking Water Finance and Management

Written by: Glenn Barnes Glenn Barnes is the Associate Director at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill My colleague Stacey Isaac Berahzer, a senior project director here at the Environmental Finance Center, made her podcast debut this week on The Water Values Podcast, a series specifically focused on drinking water finance and management.  The Water Values is …

Resiliency: What’s the Buzz?

Written by: Sarah Diefendorf Sarah Diefendorf is the Director of EFC West. There is quite a bit of talk about resiliency today and it seems as though there are numerous definitions and uses to fit just about any circumstance.  There are schools of thought dedicated to data resilience, military resilience and even psychological resilience.  Entire academic and nonprofit centers have …

Envisioning the Future of Water: Three Lessons Learned from One City

Written by: Andrea Kopaskie Andrea Kopaskie is an undergraduate student at The University of North Carolina, where she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in energy and sustainability. In March, the UNC Institute for the Environment hosted the Clean Tech Summit, a multi-day event in which students and professionals  convene and foster leadership and discussion among the …

Toxic Water: Our Responsibility

Written by Heather Himmelberger Heather Himmelberger is the Director at the Southwest Environmental Finance Center “4 million Americans could be drinking toxic water and would never know” headlined USA Today on December 15th, 2016.  There is no question that lead in drinking water is a major concern and that making drinking water safe for everyone should be a paramount concern.  …

What Role Should Your Utility Play in Your Community’s Development?

Written by: Nick Willis Nick Willis is a Program Manager with the Environmental Finance Center at Wichita State University.  Most of the time water and sewer professionals focus on the day-to-day tasks of operating a utility. But how involved should utilities be in advancing the growth of their community? How does community development fit within the utility’s role to provide …