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 …

Partnerships and Regionalization – A Real Life Situation

Written by: Tom Roberts, Community Assistance Manager, EFC at UNC Did you know there are over 250 publicly owned small water systems serving less than 1,000 connections in North Carolina? In the case of water and wastewater utilities, bigger can often mean better. The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was asked earlier this …

Water Utilities and Land Trusts: A Match Made in Heaven?

Written by: Ed Suslovic Ed Suslovic is a Program Associate at the New England Environmental Finance Center. There aren’t many organizations wondering what to do with all of their excess resources. “Gee, we just don’t know how to spend all of this extra money or where to assign all of these employees that just don’t have enough to do” is …

Three Strategies to Reduce Costs: Purchasing Partnerships for Water Systems

Written by: Lauren Joca Lauren Joca is a student intern at the UNC Environmental Finance Center pursing a Master’s degree in the School of Public Health and the Department of City and Regional Planning.  Drinking water and wastewater systems may be able to reduce costs bypartnering with other systems. These partnerships can range from informal agreements to the transfer of …

Four Finance Facts About Flint

Written by: Jeff Hughes Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As this blog is being written, water and community managers from across the country are talking about the water crisis that is occurring in Flint, Michigan. The City made a decision several years ago to discontinue buying …

Collaboration Opportunities for Small Drinking Water Systems

West Memphis Public Library 213 N. Avalon St., West Memphis, AR 72301 Date: 4/30/2014 Time: 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM Almost all systems face difficulties meeting regulatory compliance, providing excellent customer service, and managing their assets in the current climate of extremely limited dollars.  Small water systems face even greater difficulties since they have much more limited personnel and financial resources, often …

Multiple Options for Small Drinking Water System Partnerships

Drinking water systems of all sizes can benefit from partnering with other water systems in many ways. Small drinking water systems in particular are most able to benefit from partnerships because of the issues they face with economies of scale, access to capital, and use of trained operators. Physical interconnections between systems—pipes that bring water regularly, periodically, or during emergencies from one water system to another—are perhaps what most people think about when they hear “water system partnerships.” Systems interested in physical interconnections should ensure that the contract governing the interconnection is comprehensive, and many small drinking water systems have used physical interconnections to help bring down their cost of service.

Sioux Falls, SD Regional Cooperation – Asset Management

City of Sioux Falls, Public Works, Water Division 2100 North Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57104 Date: 02/25/2014 Time: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM This workshop was part of our Regional Cooperation work in South Dakota designed to utilize Performance Based Training. The topic for the workshop series was Asset Management.

Sioux Falls, SD Regional Cooperation – Asset Management

City of Sioux Falls, Public Works, Water Division 2100 North Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57104 Date: 01/28/2014 Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM This workshop was part of our Regional Cooperation work in South Dakota designed to utilize Performance Based Training. The topic for the workshop series was Asset Management.

WEBINAR: Water System Partnerships & Regionalization – Water Supply

Often small systems are reluctant to consider regionalization or collaborative approaches to solving problems because they fear the loss of autonomy. This webinar will showcase one regionalization/collaboration option used by a group of water systems in central Texas. These systems found a way to work together to solve common problems while also maintaining a high degree of autonomy.