Smart Management for Small Water Systems
Program Newsletter | Spring 2015

  Upcoming Workshops & Webinars for
  Small Water Systems 


Maine | Asset Management Workshop for Small Water Systems May 7

Illinois | Financial Management Workshop May 13

Ohio | Asset Management Workshop for Small Water Systems May 19

Colorado | Multi-funding Workshop June 2

Rhode Island | Leadership Workshop for Small Water Systems June 10-11

Pennsylvania | Asset Management Workshop
June 23

West Virginia | Financial Management Workshop June 23

South Carolina | Asset Management Workshop
June 23

Washington | Asset Management Workshop
August 19
 
Attendees participate in a group activity at a Rates and Finance Workshop in Roanoke, Virginia on January 29, 2014 
  Stories from Small Water Systems
Hachita, NM
 
The Hachita Mutual Domestic Water Consumer Association serves roughly 41 households and less than 80 people in an unincorporated community in Hachita, New Mexico. For years, the association had been operating with minimal financial reserves. Hachita learned about the EFCN at a rate setting and fiscal planning workshop in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Discussions about capital planning, rate design, financial condition assessments, and funding opportunities helped Hachita think about new ways to manage the water system. 
 
In the winter of 2014, Hachita requested direct assistance with EFCN staff in order to set new financial rates. Using the EFCN's Water and Sewer Rates Analysis model, EFCN staff analyzed Hachita's existing rate structure, calculated new rates, and designed a strategy to begin building the system's reserve funds. Hachita realized it needed to more than double the rates in order to cover costs, a move that would place considerable financial strain on low and fixed income customers. The EFCN worked with the system to address these equity issues, examining strategies to adjust base and volumetric charges to protect vulnerable customers while continuing to generate revenue.
 
In the end, the EFCN's direct assistance set Hachita on a path towards a more sustainable business model for its water system. System directors were trained on how to use the EFCN's tools, how to analyze financial data, and set rates effectively. As the director stated, "it was well worth the effort of working with the EFCN Network to get to this point and help us get closer to financial sustainability. (The EFCN) spent their time advising us and were concerned about our customers' ability to pay as much as the water system's need to be financially stable."
  
   News
New Blog from the EPA:  
All Dried Up - Advice for Drought-Impacted Water Utilities

 

"As drought continues across the United States, creating conditions that threaten to become the "new normal", it is critical that water utilities prepare for changes to long-term supply and demand. Whether it's using sustainable gardening practices or being aware of water emergency conditions, we as community members must also understand our role in water conservation and stewardship. Drought may be a slow-moving disaster, but our drought management efforts will help more water utilities move towards greater resiliency."

Read More

EPA Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative Releases Storm Surge Inundation Map

 

The Storm Surge Inundation Map is an interactive map that illustrates the current worst-case storm surge and inundation scenarios on the American Gulf and Atlantic coasts, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The map combines data layers from FEMA 100 and 500 year flood maps as well as NOAA's Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) and National Hurricane Center's coastal county hurricane strike maps.

Learn More

   What We Offer
Please download our 2014-15 program brochure for an overview of free services available
 
   Program Contacts
For questions, comments, or more information, please contact a program leader:

Heather Himmelberger
Project Director
Southwest Environmental
Finance Center
Glenn Barnes
Project Director
UNC-Chapel Hill
Environmental Finance Center
glennbarnes@sog.unc.edu

Khristopher Dodson
Project Manager
Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center
kadodson@syr.edu

Or, download our STAFF DIRECTORY for a complete list of program partners.
About EFCN

The Smart Management for Small Water Systems program is administered by the Environmental Finance Center Network
(EFCN), a university based organization creating innovative solutions to the difficult how-to-pay issues of environmental protection and improvement.



Round Two of Smart Management for Small Water Systems is offered in partnership with the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

The Smart Management for Small Water Systems program is made possible through a cooperative agreement with the US EPA