OCTOBER 27, 2021
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
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
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
Registered attendees will be given web conference details and access to electronic materials.