Water System Management and Decision-Making: Is it Time for Change?

October 17, Pyle Center, Room 313

Printable Final Agenda

Meet Our Presenters!

Parking is available in the Lake Street Ramp.  After leaving the ramp, walk 2 blocks toward Lake Mendota.  The Pyle Center is at the corner of Lake and Langdon

About the Program:

The water utility industry in Wisconsin is a rising cost industry, facing increasing challenges to remain financially viable and provide high quality, affordable service.  These challenges include: industry fragmentation, mounting infrastructure needs, rate design that does not reflect replacement costs, and loss of customer demand due to conservation and economic pressures.   The purpose of this forum is to gain an understanding of the costs drivers in the industry and to explore barriers and opportunities for moving forward to meet new demands.  This session will address options for meeting the challenge of rising costs associated with any number of issues now facing an aging water system infrastructure.   One promising option is to pursue cooperation among systems to achieve benefits of scale and best use of resources yet still maintaining your system identity. 

(Note to first time users you will not have a password for registration, enter your name and proceed to the next screen)


Who Should Attend


  • Water System Managers
  • Local Elected Officials – League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • Legislators and Staff
  • Academics and Consultants working Engineering, Urban Design, Hydrologists
  • League of Women Voters and other Citizen Groups
  • Attorneys
  • Graduate Students
Site: Pyle Center Date: October 17, 2013Credits: 6.75 CLEs, 7 CEUsFee: $20 Gov’t,
$65 WPUI Member,
$85 non-member
Limited number of scholarships are available for non-profit organizations- please contact
samb@wpui.org for more information


Final Program Agenda

Time Topic, Presenter Objective
8:15 Welcome:Jeff Mayers, President, WisPolitics Introduce the topic and outline for the programCara Lee, Director, WPUI introduces Jeff Mayers, Program Moderator
8:30 Matt McCaffree, Government Relations Director, National Association of Water Companies National overview of water industry – trends and challenges
9:30 Environmental Perspective in Wisconsin:Jill Jonas, WDNR Specific trends and challenges for Wisconsin utilities
10:15 Break
10:30 Panel of Wisconsin Utilities:Dave Vaclavik, Central Brown County Water AuthorityMike Rau, Water Consultant,Dave Lawrence, WRWA 


Nilaksh Kothari, Manitowoc Public Utilities

What are the challenges for enhancing cooperation in Wisconsin?  Does Wisconsin’s regulatory framework discourage cooperation? This session will explore the challenges and approaches for specific utilities in Wisconsin and will highlight the benefits and drawback of various approaches.  Each panelist will provide a 10-15 minute overview of how regionalization has been used to overcome specific barriers in their situation, and what the outcomes were.   The session will then be open to questions from the audience
12:00 Lunch & Networking
12:45 The Regulatory Perspective:PSC Chair Phil Montgomery Overview of the economic importance of water to Wisconsin  economy and jobs, and utility industry trends and challenges.
1:00 Paul Foran, Former Illinois Commissioner Responses to managing rising costs from across the nation with different business models.
1:45 Robert P. Ryall, Principal, B&V Management Consulting The Changing U.S. Water Industry

  • Industry Challenges
  • The Rising Cost of Water
  • Where Will the Money Come From?
  • Industry Solutions
  • The Trend of Regionalization
  • Is Private Investment Coming to Water?
  • Kira Loehr, Citizens Utility Board
  •   Lawrie Kobza, Boardman & Clark LLP.
  •   Jeff Ripp, PSCW
  •   Dave Lawrence, WRWA
  •   Mike Rau, Water Consultant
  •   Jill Jonas, WDNR
  • Wrap Up & Discussion – Responding to the Day—Wisconsin Response Panelists will have an opportunity to briefly summarize their thoughts and include discussions on how to deal with changing regulatory and financial demands that are coming in the next few years.  Then, the session will be opened up for questions from the audience.
4:00 Adjourn Save the Date!

  • Next Water Session:  Water and Electricity, Spring 2014.

Operations costs

Low head hydro

 Registration Site:

Posted in Program Archives, programs.