Words On Water #114: Valerie Lucas on Connecting With the Public and the Rise of Women in Water

November 13, 2019

Valerie Lucas is the Executive Director of the Clean Water Professionals of Kentucky & Tennessee. In this episode Valerie explains why the organization changed its name to better communicate with the public about the water sector’s work. She talks about collaborating with the Louisville water utilities and four breweries to create their version of Pure Water Brew called Next Round. Valerie also discusses how she has seen the role of women in water change during her career and why it is important to increase the number of women in the industry.

Episode #114
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #104: Preview of WEFTEC 2019

September 13, 2019

WEFTEC 2019, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, will be held September 21-25 in Chicago. This episode provides a preview of content in the program topic areas of research, utility management, future issues, and municipal design, including suggestions for highly recommended sessions to attend.

Episode #104
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #99: Dr. Sally Brown on Communicating About Biosolids

August 5, 2019

Dr. Sally Brown is a Research Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. In this episode, Sally says biosolids are a science communication tool for the public, particularly as learning about the benefits help them get over the yuck factor. She also discusses innovative ways to use biosolids, including in urban stormwater management and growing cannabis. Sally says decades of research have shown biosolids to be safe and the sector must talk about the low level of risk from contaminants including PFAS compared to other household sources.

Episode #99
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #98: Greg Quist on Sewers, Smartphones, Satellites, and Southern California

July 31, 2019

Greg Quist is CEO of SmartCover Systems, on the Board of Directors of the Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, and Chair of the Urban Water Institute. In this episode Greg discusses real-time monitoring of sewers and the role of smartphones and satellites in water management. He talks about founding a number of water companies and his frustration with the sector’s slow adoption of technology. Greg also shares his views on water in Southern California, including the changes he has seen and optimism for solutions.

Episode #98
Hosted by Travis Loop

Words On Water #91: Jim Cooper on Demystifying Intelligent Water

June 3, 2019

Jim Cooper is Intelligent Water Lead at Arcadis. In this episode Jim discusses a new report done in collaboration with Bluefield Research on how artificial intelligence and predictive analytics can help address two human-centric challenges facing the water sector: affordability and resilience. He explains the concept of collective intelligence, which is “people plus technology,” and how a digital future can empower employees, not replace them. Jim says the sector is at a tipping point where early adopters of intelligent water are reaping multifaceted benefits. 

This episode is brought to you by Arcadis

Episode #91
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 #75: Mark Schleifstein on Environmental Reporting and Louisiana Water Issues

February 1, 2019

Mark Schleifstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and for NOLA.com. In this episode Mark explains why he has stayed in environmental reporting for 35 years, how major cuts to newsrooms have impacted journalism, and what types of water stories resonate with the public. He talks about several high-profile issues he has covered including the loss of wetlands along Louisiana’s coast, health of the Mississippi River, dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, impacts of the BP oil spill, and Hurricane Katrina. Mark also discusses the infrastructure challenges in New Orleans and provides advice for water utilities on working with the media.

Episode #75
Hosted by Travis Loop