Words On Water #108: Susan Moisio on Climate Change Impacts on Sanitary Sewers

September 20, 2019

Susan Moisio is Global Solutions Director for Conveyance and Storage for Jacobs. In this episode Susan discusses how sanitary sewers, particularly in coastal areas, are impacted by infiltration from increased rainfall, sea level rise, and higher groundwater tables from climate change. She explains how the impacts are assessed by reviewing the historical record, analyzing the current sewer system, and consulting with climate scientists. Susan says sanitary sewers can be rehabbed to increase resilience to climate change but a lack of financial resources for such projects is the greatest challenge.

This episode is brought to you by Jacobs.

Episode #108
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #106: Kevin Marsh on Forecasting Flows with Machine Learning

September 17, 2019

Kevin Marsh is the President of FlowWorks. In this episode, Kevin discusses the growing role of machine learning in flow forecasting, which involves using historical data and weather models to forecast the impacts of wet weather on water infrastructure. He says that advance notice allows utilities to plan and the public to be alerted about events like combined sewer overflows, and that forecasting will become far more common with the increase in data, internet connectivity, and cloud computing. Kevin discusses how changing weather and climate uncertainty are causing utilities to want to better understand how systems are affected by rain events.

This episode is brought to you by FlowWorks.

Episode #106
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #100: A Father and Son Conversation About Water

September 3, 2019

Noah Loop is the 11-year-old son of Travis Loop, host of the Words On Water Podcast. In this episode, father and son talk about why water is important, favorite activities when living by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, and GenX pollution in the drinking water in their community of Wilmington, N.C. Noah and Travis also talk about marine biology, plastic pollution, and climate change.

Episode #100
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #95: Adam Lovell on Water Utilities in Australia

July 1, 2019

Adam Lovell is Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia. In this episode Adam provides an overview of the water utility sector in Australia and issues such as urbanization, extreme drought, water reuse, and energy neutrality. He also explains the water sector’s focus on customer value, affordability, stormwater, and community livability. Adam discusses the special collaborative relationship that Australia has with the United States and United Kingdom.

Episode #95
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #86: Indra Maharjan on Energy and Innovation in Ontario

April 23, 2019

Indra Maharjan is the Director of Innovation, Technology and Alternate Delivery at the Ontario Clean Water Agency in Canada. In this episode Indra explains how new technology, right-sizing equipment, conservation programs, and behavior change have increased energy efficiency at water facilities. He also discusses differences in the water sector between Canada and the U.S., including the size and ownership of systems as well as government-led efforts to address climate change. Indra also talks about starting his career in water in Nepal, where even as a part of management he was involved in the groundwork of operating traditional systems.

Episode #86
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #83: Marcus Quigley on Advancing Stormwater Management

March 20, 2019

Marcus Quigley is a senior advisor for Opti. In this episode, Marcus discusses how stormwater is an important area for both water quality and water quantity, and how the challenge is amplified by aging infrastructure and continued development. He explains that local elected officials are motivated by the many community benefits of managing stormwater. Marcus also talks about the role of technology such as cloud computing and wireless communications in improving stormwater management and adapting to climate change.

Episode #83
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #82: Jenelle Watson on Going Net-Zero in Melbourne

March 11, 2019

Jenelle Watson is the Manager of Treatment and Resources at Melbourne Water in Australia. In this episode Jenelle explains how Melbourne Water is working to meet its obligation to be net-zero by 2030. She says the utility is identifying ways to eliminate demand and increase energy efficiency, while also advancing a series of renewable energy projects including solar, mini-hydros, and biogas. Jenelle also discusses how Melbourne Water must build resilience to sea level rise, which will inundate its largest treatment plant.

Episode #82
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #81: Cam Davis on Elected Office and the Great Lakes

March 4, 2019

Cameron Davis is Vice President at GEI Consultants and a Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water District of Greater Chicago. He was formerly the Senior Advisor for the Great Lakes for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. In this episode, Cam talks about the experience of running for an elected office, the role of a water commissioner, and his focus on the issues of infrastructure, equity, and climate change. He also discusses the need to care for the Great Lakes, including through collaboration with Canada and by dealing with nutrient pollution, invasive species, and habitat loss.

Episode #81
Hosted by Travis Loop

The Most Popular Episodes of 2018

Water is a popular conversation topic. That’s why the Water Environment Federation produces the Words On Water podcast. In 2018, there were 54 episodes released, featuring a diverse list of guests and covering a wide range of issues. Instead of picking favorites for an end-of-year list, we looked at the statistics to see which episodes were the most popular with listeners. Here they are, in no particular order.

Art Umble on the Circular Economy

Art explains the concept of the circular economy, including its origins in the 1960s and how it has evolved over the years. He discusses the level of support for a circular economy in the water sector and in industry, businesses, and government. Art also talks about the idea of biomimicry, which involves using nature as the model for designs and systems.

Sidney Innerebner on Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals

Sidney discusses how the new Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals provide a one-stop shop for operators to gain the information needed to do their jobs. She talks about how the book features an array of pictures, graphics, terminology, and practice questions for certification exams. 

Manon Fisher on Addressing Climate Change with Biosolids

Manon discusses the role of biosolids in addressing climate change — including through carbon sequestration – and in building environmental literacy in a community. She also talks about the path ahead for SFPUC to transition to the highest class of biosolids.

John Willis on Biogas and Biosolids

John discusses the generation of biogas by the water sector and the opportunity to increase production, particularly for vehicle fuel. He also talks about the value of biosolids and importance of regular dialogue with the media and public.

Al Cho on Smart Water Systems

Al discusses the use of smart technologies in monitoring, assessing, and decision-making for water infrastructure. He also explains the new Intelligent Water Systems Challenge and offers his thoughts on remote sensing, automation, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Jennifer Walsh on Being a Millennial in the Water Sector

Jennifer explains why young people should consider a career in the water sector, how involvement in organizations like the Water Environment Federation provides vital professional development, the strengths of millennials that employers should utilize, and her experience working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the UNLEASH program.

Carla Reid on Going From “CE to CEO”

Carla discusses her journey “from CE to CEO.” She also talks about what leadership means to her, the rise of women in the water workforce, the importance of mentorship, and introducing young people to water careers.

Words On Water #66: Las Virgenes MWD’s Response to the Woolsey Fire

November 27, 2018

Dave Pedersen is the General Manager of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District in Calabasas, California. In this episode, Dave and his colleagues tell the dramatic story of how the utility responded in the face of the Woolsey Fire, which scorched two-thirds of its service area. He explains how Las Virgenes MWD activated its emergency operations center, maintained power, tracked water levels, and kept in communication with firefighters in order to protect infrastructure and provide vital water for combating the wildfire. Dave shares how firefighters protected the utility’s headquarters from the encroaching blaze and how air drops kept the water reclamation facility safe. He also talks about the human impact, as employees saw the community burning, and the long road to recovery.

Episode #66
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #63: Art Umble on the Circular Economy

November 13, 2018

Dr. Art Umble leads the Global Wastewater Practice for Stantec Consulting. In this episode, Art explains the concept of the circular economy, including its origins in the 1960s and how it has evolved over the years. He discusses the level of support for a circular economy in the water sector and in industry, businesses, and government. Art also talks about the idea of biomimicry, which involves using nature as the model for designs and systems.

Episode #63
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #62: Marleah LaBelle on Alaska Native Villages

November 5, 2018

Marleah LaBelle is a project manager with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. In this episode, Marleah discusses the challenges with drinking water and sanitation in Alaska Native villages, which includes about 3,000 households with no service. She describes the central place of water in the Alaska Native culture, including for subsistence living, and an initiative to use art to strengthen awareness of water issues. Marleah also explains how climate change is impacting Alaska Native villages, even forcing relocation.

Episode #62
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #52: Paul Bowen on Water Management by World’s Largest Beverage Company

September 12, 2018

Paul Bowen is Water and Wastewater Technology Manager for the Coca-Cola North American Supply Chain and former President of the Board of Trustees of the Water Environment Federation. In this episode, Paul explains the increased focus on water sustainability at Coca-Cola over the past 15 years, which was spurred by an examination of water risk in the 200 countries it operates. He talks about the importance of relationships with water utilities, the wastewater requirements for bottlers, and the opportunity to reuse treated water for non-potable operations. Paul also reflects on the value of volunteering with WEF and his tenure on the Board.

Episode #52
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #51: Preview of WEFTEC 2018

September 7, 2018

WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, is the largest annual water quality event in the world. This year it will be held September 29 to October 3 in New Orleans. In this episode, WEF staff provide a preview of WEFTEC, including highlights of the conference program, the new additions to the exhibit floor, what to expect at the opening session, and how to use the app to navigate the event.

Episode #51
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #45: Manon Fisher on Addressing Climate Change with Biosolids

July 30, 2018

Manon Fisher is a resource recovery specialist with the San Francisco Public Utility Commission. In this episode, Manon discusses the role of biosolids in addressing climate change — including through carbon sequestration – and in building environmental literacy in a community. She also talks about the path ahead for SFPUC to transition to the highest class of biosolids.

Episode #45
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #42: John Willis on Biogas and Biosolids

July 9, 2018

John Willis is Vice President of Wastewater Solutions at Brown and Caldwell. In this episode, John discusses the generation of biogas by the water sector and the opportunity to increase production, particularly for vehicle fuel. He also talks about the value of biosolids and importance of regular dialogue with the media and public. John additionally explains the enormous potential of anaerobic primary treatment to drive water utilities to net zero, an innovative process inspired by work by the Gates Foundation in the developing world.

Episode #42
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #41: Britt Sheinbaum on Conflict and Resolution

July 2, 2018

Britt Sheinbaum is a water conflict specialist and Head of the East Coast Technology Approval Group for Isle Utilities. In this episode, Britt discusses her view that water conflict is an opportunity for cooperation, the role of water scarcity in tensions in places like Syria, and the remarkable cooperation found along transboundary waters. She also talks about adaptability, shared goals, and tools as the keys in conflict resolution.

Episode #41
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #39: Jeff Prevatt on the Future of Direct Potable Reuse

June 25, 2018

Jeff Prevatt is the Deputy Director of Treatment, Research, and Innovation for Water Reclamation in Pima County, Arizona. In this episode, Jeff shares his perspective on the future of direct potable reuse of water, explains how the AZ Pure Water Brew Challenge used beer to raise public awareness, and talks about the innovative research underway at the new WEST Center, a facility opened in partnership with the University of Arizona and Dow.

Episode #39
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #37: Ned Beecher on the Benefits of Biosolids

June 11, 2018

Ned Beecher is the Executive Director of the North East Biosolids & Residuals Association. In this episode, Ned discusses the many benefits of biosolids, including diverting waste from landfills, improving agricultural production, restoring land damaged by mining and fires, and remediating Superfund sites. He also talks about safety issues around emerging contaminants and the role of biosolids in addressing climate change.

Episode #37
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #27: Robert Puente on Conservation and Competition in South Texas

March 25, 2018

Robert Puente is the President and CEO of the San Antonio Water System. In this episode, Robert explains how San Antonio gained its reputation for water efficiency and conservation, including how they keep the famous River Walk flowing and why they have an 11-foot model of a low-flow toilet. He also discusses the competition for water resources in Texas, which has led the city to keep a close eye on aquifers and build a desalination plant.

Episode #27
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #25: Melissa Pomales on Puerto Rico’s Recovery from Hurricane Maria

March 12, 2018

Melissa Pomales is based in Puerto Rico as a Water Program Management Leader for Arcadis. In this episode, Melissa tells her personal and professional stories of the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on her home island. She talks about the estimated $700 million in damage to water infrastructure, the opportunity – and necessity – for Puerto Rico to rebuild in a resilient manner, and how climate change is fueling sea level rise, coastal erosion, and stronger storms.

Episode #25
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #22: Eliza Roberts on the Food-Water Nexus

February 20, 2018

Eliza Roberts manages the agricultural water stewardship program at Ceres. In this episode, Eliza talks about the food-water nexus and how food sector companies are evaluating their water risk, improving water management practices, and reducing the impact of agriculture on water resources. She also discusses how investors are examining the performance of food companies in managing water resources and considering climate change risks.

Episode #22
Hosted by Travis Loop