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

Inspiring Women in Water

March 8, 2019

To mark International Women’s Day 2019, here are 15 podcast episodes from the past year that feature influential and inspiring women in water.

Eleanor Allen on Water for People
Eleanor explains the organization’s model of water for Everyone Forever, which has to date provided service to 3.3 million people. 

Jenelle Armstrong on Leadership, Women in Water, and Veterans
Jenelle talks about how her time at the U.S. Naval Academy shaped her views on leadership and prepared her to be a woman in the male-dominated water industry. 

Cathy Bailey on Lead in Drinking Water
Cathy discusses her rise from a chemist working nights to the first woman and African-American to lead the utility in its 200-year history.

Ingrid Bella on BAYWORK
Ingrid discusses the origins of BAYWORK, its focus on showcasing water sector jobs to students and educators, and the many resources available to help utilities address workforce challenges.

Haley Falconer on Sustainability in Boise
Haley discusses managing environmental services for one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and how water fits in the portfolio with energy, waste, and air quality.

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.

Abigail Gardner on Public Opinion Poll Results
Abigail talks about the results of a public opinion poll that found 88 percent of voters support increasing federal investment to rebuild America’s water infrastructure and how that support cuts across age, gender, political party, and geography. 

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. 

Marleah LaBelle on Alaska Native Villages
Marleah discusses the challenges with drinking water and sanitation in Alaska Native villages, which includes about 3,000 households with no service.

Karen Pallansch on the Utility of the Future
Karen talks about the Utility of the Future concept and how wastewater treatment plants are transforming into water resource recovery facilities. 

Melissa Pomales on Puerto Rico’s Recovery from Hurricane Maria
Melissa tells her personal and professional stories of the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on her home island. 

Kishia Powell on Atlanta’s Community Investments
Kishia discusses Atlanta’s extensive use of green infrastructure, including using it to create public spaces such as the Historic Fourth Ward Park and to educate citizens on water management.

Angeliki Rigos on Scientists as Advocates and Leaders
Angeliki says more scientists should be active advocates for sustainability and that she encourages women scientists to become leaders in society.

Britt Sheinbaum on Conflict and Resolution
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.

Kathryn Sorenson on Water in Phoenix
Kathryn discusses how the utility collects, distributes, and treats water in the desert home of the fifth-most populated city in the United States.

Words On Water #79: John Van Nostrand on Flow Metering

February 20, 2019

John Van Nostrand is the South and Municipal Manager for FLEXIM. In this episode, John explains the role and importance of flow metering for water utilities in collections, treatment, and distribution. He discusses the problem of water loss and leaks, and how flow meters can be used to monitor the integrity of a system. John talks about the problem of aging infrastructure and improperly installed meters, as well as how improvements in technology allow for tracking of extremely low flows, particularly during off-peak times for utilities.

This episode is brought to you by FLEXIM.

Episode #79
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #77: Adam Davis on Public Opinion on Water Services

February 11, 2019

Adam Davis is Senior Counsel at DHM Research. In this episode Adam discusses results of a national opinion survey conducted with Blue Drop that found one-third of people do not know the source of their drinking water and two-thirds do not know the destination of their wastewater after it is cleaned. He also shares that 50 percent aren’t familiar with the quality of their drinking water and three-quarters don’t know about water infrastructure projects in their community. Adam explains how a lack of public awareness can lead to other types of infrastructure and services being prioritized for investment before water. He says it is important for utilities to poll locally, engage customers, use focus groups, and partner with other organizations as a way to build relationships.

Episode #77
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #70: Gilbert Trejo on Direct Potable Reuse in El Paso, Texas

January 2, 2019

Gilbert Trejo is the Chief Technical Officer for El Paso Water. In this episode, Gilbert discusses the utility’s direct potable reuse project that will put wastewater effluent through several types of advanced treatment and then distribute it directly into the drinking water system. He explains this project is part of El Paso’s long-running emphasis on diversifying its water resources portfolio. Gilbert said a survey of customers found that 85 percent said they would drink this water. He also talks about the process of working with state regulators, a visit by CNN and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and how the use of “toilet to tap” is an opportunity to educate.

Episode #70
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #67: Jenelle Armstrong on Leadership, Women in Water, and Veterans

December 3, 2018

Jenelle Armstrong is the Utility Division Manager of The Thrasher Group. In this episode, Jenelle talks about how her time at the U.S. Naval Academy shaped her views on leadership and prepared her to be a woman in the male-dominated water industry. She also explains why military veterans make outstanding employees and are a great fit for the water sector, particularly because of their skill set, problem-solving ability, and public service mindset. Jenelle discusses the experience of living through the 2014 drinking water crisis in Charleston, West Virginia and what led her to create the hashtag #WipesClogPipes.

Episode #
Hosted by Travis Loop

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 #64: Eleanor Allen on Water for People

November 19, 2018

Eleanor Allen is the CEO of Water For People. In this episode, Eleanor explains the organization’s model of water for Everyone Forever, which has to date provided service to 3.3 million people. She also discusses the nonprofit’s unique niche among global water charities, including how they bring together entrepreneurs, community members, and local governments to build and deliver water and sanitation services. Donations to Water For People help in these efforts.

Episode #64
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 #61: Ronit Erlitzki and Richard Cavagnaro on this Exciting Time in Water

October 29, 2018

Ronit Erlitzki is the Director of Business Development and Innovation and Richard Cavagnaro is the Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at AdEdge Water Technologies. In this episode, Ronit and Richard discuss how the state of science and technology make it an exciting time to work in water and how scientists and engineers are actually creative people. They talk about several hot issues including emerging contaminants such as PFOA and PFOS, the evolution of desalination, transferring technology to the market, and showcasing water careers to the next generation.

This episode is brought to you by AdEdge Water Technologies.

Episode #61
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #59: Ghassan Korban on the Work Ahead in New Orleans

October 15, 2018

Ghassan Korban is the new Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. In this episode, Ghassan discusses the work needed to improve water infrastructure in New Orleans, which he says includes reinvesting to create a system for the next 50 to 100 years, particularly to deal with flooding. He acknowledges the unique nature of New Orleans’ infrastructure and the special spotlight on the city. Ghassan also talks about the benefits of green infrastructure, the challenge of shaping a workforce, and creating a better image for the utility.

Episode #59
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #53: Mike Matichich on Making Progress on Affordability

September 17, 2018

Mike Matichich leads the financial services consulting team for Jacobs. In this episode, Mike explains how the increasing attention to affordability of water rates stems from the pinch created by necessary investments in infrastructure and rising costs for households. He says it is more important than ever for utilities to create customer assistance programs and to turn research on affordability into action. Mike also discusses how lessons can be learned at looking at state-by-state variability, approaches in public versus private water systems, and in how places like Australia, Canada, and Europe address affordability issues.

Episode #53
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 #50: Kishia Powell on Atlanta’s Community Investments

September 4, 2018

Kishia Powell is the Commissioner of the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. In this episode, Kishia talks about the utility’s new $1 billion, five-year capital improvement plan. She discusses Atlanta’s extensive use of green infrastructure, including using it to create public spaces such as the Historic Fourth Ward Park and to educate citizens on water management. Kishia also explains the importance of community involvement in the planning process and how the utility is focused on equity across neighborhoods.

Episode #50
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #48: Manny Teodoro on Affordability of Rates

August 20, 2018

Manny Teodoro is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University. In this episode, Manny discusses the issue of affordability of water, including how water can be simultaneously underpriced and unaffordable. He talks about why the water sector must address the affordability issue now. Manny also explains why the median household income isn’t an accurate measure for determining affordability and offers more effective ways to calculate costs for working class households.

Episode #48
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #47: Cathy Bailey on Lead in Drinking Water

August 13, 2018

Cathy Bailey is the Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works. In this episode, Cathy discusses her rise from a chemist working nights to the first woman and African-American to lead the utility in its 200-year history. She also talks about the fight against lead in drinking water – Cincinnati’s program has received national attention and is based on extensive education and a proactive effort to remove lead service lines. Cathy stresses how it is the right thing to do for the community and to start kids off on the right path.

Episode #47
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #44: Tim Thomure on Reclaiming and Reusing Water in the Desert

July 23, 2018

Tim Thomure is the Director of Tucson Water in Arizona. In this episode, Tim discusses how a heavy focus on reclaiming and reusing water in the desert has enabled Tucson and Pima County to transition off groundwater and recharge the aquifer. He also talks about the work to develop a regulatory framework for direct potable reuse in Arizona so communities will have the option if necessary. Additionally, Tim explains the growth of green infrastructure in Tucson as a way to capture precious rainfall and reduce the heat island effect.

Episode #44
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #43: Mike McGill on Crisis Communications and Emerging Contaminants

July 16, 2018

Mike McGill is the President of WaterPIO. In this episode, Mike discusses the presence of the chemical GenX in the Cape Fear River and drinking water of Wilmington, N.C. He also talks about how utilities should approach crisis communications, particularly for emerging contaminants like PFOA, PFAS, and GenX. Mike explains the importance of regular, proactive communications from utilities to customers and the media, and how that approach provides benefits in emergency situations.

Episode #43
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #40: The Water Decision for Lebron James

June 29, 2018

Lebron James is a free agent and choosing where to play basketball next season. What if he factored the city’s water utilities and water bodies into the decision? In this episode, we discuss a few of the attributes and programs of the five cities that sports experts predict as the most likely destinations for Lebron – Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, and Boston. Disclaimer: Lebron is unfortunately not a guest on this episode.

Episode #40
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 #36: Kathryn Sorenson on Water in Phoenix

June 4, 2018

Kathryn Sorenson is the Director of Phoenix Water Services. In this episode, Kathryn discusses how the utility collects, distributes, and treats water in the desert home of the fifth-most populated city in the United States. She also talks about how Phoenix has decreased water consumption and replenished vital groundwater, the continuation of ancient Native American practices for moving water via canals, the oasis known as the Tres Rios wetlands, and a new biogas project that means all resources are recovered at the city’s largest treatment plant.

Episode #36
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #35: Dr. Bruce Rittmann on Microbial Communities

May 28, 2018

Dr. Bruce Rittmann is the director of the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. He was named the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for revolutionizing water and wastewater treatment. In this episode, Bruce discusses how his first job at a wastewater plant shaped his career, the cutting-edge use of microbial communities to convert pollutants into resources, and how mathematical modeling can improve the treatment process.

Episode #35
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #34: Adam Krantz on Advocacy and Policy

May 21, 2018

Adam Krantz is the CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. In this episode, Adam talks about the complementary roles of the various water associations, including NACWA. He also assesses the current political will by elected officials to act on water issues and discusses paying for clean water, advancing smarter regulations, promoting innovation, and modernizing the Clean Water Act.

Episode #34
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #31: Abigail Gardner on Public Opinion Poll Results

April 23, 2018

Abigail Gardner is the communications adviser for the Value of Water Campaign and U.S. Water Alliance. In this episode, Abigail talks about the results of a new public opinion poll that found 88 percent of voters support increasing federal investment to rebuild America’s water infrastructure and how that support cuts across age, gender, political party, and geography. She also discusses how results have changed over time, findings on drinking water behavior, and the public’s priorities for wastewater utilities.

Episode #31
Hosted by Travis Loop