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OCTOBER 27, 2021

9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Web Conference

0.4 CEUs available

Water utilities are grappling with all sorts of challenges, among them staff retirements, hiring challenges, limited financial and staffing resources, aging infrastructure, technology and security, and varying regulatory requirements. This program will provide an overview and discussion of the landscape of the current environment, best practices and examples of how partnerships work to overcome challenges, and next steps forward.


9:00                     Welcome Remarks
Ellen Nowak, Commissioner, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

9:10 – 9:50         Quality, Price, and Scale: Why Bigger is Better – How do utilities improve with scale? What organizational models can help achieve gains from scale? What are the benefits of each of the models?
Manuel Teodoro, Professor, LaFollette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison

9:50 – 10:00       Break

10:00 – 10:50     Water System Partnerships – What does the landscape look like for partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels? What are some strategies that promote water system partnerships?

Sahba Rouhani, Capacity Development Program Coordinator, Ground Water and Drinking Water Branch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5

Nicholas Bertolas, Water Supply Specialist-Advanced, Bureau of Drinking Water and Ground Water, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Carla Hagerman, National Partnerships Coordinator, Sustainable Systems Team, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

10:50 – 11:00      Break

11:00 – 11:50      What Is the Big Deal About Regionalization? EJ Water Cooperative has positively impacted rural southeast Illinois communities since it began operation in the early 1990s. In this session we will hear about how their cooperative model continues to impart numerous positive impacts on rural Illinois communities.
Bill Teichmiller, Chief Executive Officer, EJ Water Cooperative

11:50 – 12:10      Break

12:10 – 1:00       Forming Partnerships to Overcome Barriers – The water utility industry faces an unprecedented number of challenges, such as compliance, training and education, and funding, while also dealing with the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are some ways partnerships can be formed to overcome these barriers?

Lawrie Kobza, Attorney, Boardman & Clark LLP

Tad Bohannon, Chief Executive Officer, Central Arkansas Water
Joe Burns, Program Coordinator, Kentucky Rural Water Association
Justin Ladner, President, Illinois American Water

1:00 – 1:10         Break

1:10 – 2:00         Where Is the Industry Headed? – Where might the industry be in 10 years?

Denise Schmidt, Administrator, Division of Water Utility Regulation and Analysis, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Sarah Buck, Senior Director of Programs, Rural Community Assistance Partnership
Hector Cazares, Water Resource Control Engineer, Division of Drinking Water, California State Water Resources Control Board
Emily Simonson, Director, Strategic Initiatives, US Water Alliance

2:00                     Adjourn

Registered attendees will be given web conference details and access to electronic materials.

Supported by

league of wisconsin municipalities white, blue and black logo


February 12
Members-only Program: Utility Economic Overview for 2021 – Web Conference
March 3 
Public Utilities Law Update 2021 – Web Conference
March 16
Energy Storage – Web Conference
April 20, 21, 23, 28, 30
Regional Transmission Organization Fundamentals: Background, Purpose, Future – Web Conference
June 16
Overview of Hydrogen Technologies – Members-only Web Conference
September 14
Transformation of the Utility Industry – Web Conference
September 21-23, 28 & 29 and October 5-8
Energy Utility Basics – Web Conference

for 10.27.2021 Water Utilities Partnering for Success program

Cancellations made before COB 10.20.2021 will be refunded all but a $25 service fee.
No refunds will be given once the web conference credentials and/or program materials have been emailed to registrants.