Updated Water Management Plan to Help Utilities Meet Infrastructure Challenges

An updated Effective Utility Management Primer being offered by a 10-partner coalition may hold the key to sustainable water sector organization in the 21st century.

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Nearly a decade after an agreement among six water trade organizations and the EPA that pledged to develop a water sector utility management strategy, an expanded 10-partner coalition has come together to update the Effective Utility Management (EUM) Framework and Primer. EUM provides water leaders with a common sense, replicable and proactive way to meet a broad range of complex challenges facing the drinking and wastewater sectors today. Based around a framework of the Ten Attributes of an Effectively Managed Utility and Five Keys to Management Success, the updated Primer will help water utilities meet the challenges of aging infrastructure, rapidly evolving technology, enhanced customer expectations, rising costs and affordability, and ongoing regulatory requirements. It also comes with an expanded implementation guide that walks sector leaders through the creation of a unique improvement plan.

EUM is the foundation of work across the entire water sector to protect and sustain our nation’s water infrastructure. The Primer is something all utilities, regardless of capacity, can use to move toward sustainable operations, according to the collaborating associations working with the EPA on the initiative.

The expanded 10-organization coalition represents public and private sector utilities and state agencies that provide water and wastewater services to 90 percent of the population in the United States. The representatives providing leadership for the updated Primer include experts from utilities and state agencies in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Colorado, California, Georgia, New Mexico, Arizona and Massachusetts.

John Sullivan of Boston Water and Sewer Commission, winner of the 2015 AMWA Platinum Award for Utility Excellence says the expanded implementation of the Primer will help BWSC maintain its nationally recognized efforts. “But more importantly, it will help other facilities of all sizes jump in to make a plan that fits their individual needs.”

Diane Taniguchi-Dennis of Clean Water Services added that EUM is an enduring foundation for utility leaders to craft a pathway to deliver value to communities and the water environment. “It will help water utilities shift from reacting to daily priorities to proactive planning for the future,” she says. “We as utility leaders truly appreciate the leadership shown from EPA and the other collaborating organizations on this important initiative.”

The updated Effective Utility Management Primer is available online at http://www.watereum.org.


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