Newsletter #163 for May 3, 2016
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Happy Drinking Water Week!

It's National Drinking Water Week—a great time to promote the value of safe drinking water and emphasize the critical role your system plays in protecting public health.

Not sure what to do to mark the occasion? The American Water Works Association has the answers. Their communication toolkit includes log art, web banners, press release templates for each day, children's activity pages, and more. Click here to download the complete suite of English and Spanish resources. You can also join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #DrinkingWaterWeek16. 

And be sure to share your celebration ideas, successes, and lessons learned our Small Communities #TalkAboutWater LinkedIn group. Your experiences this year could help others garner greater community buy-in during future events. Simply visit the group page and click "Ask to join." 

EPA To Develop New Action Plan for Drinking Water

Last week, U.S. EPA announced plans to "develop and implement a national action plan to address the critical drinking water challenges and opportunities before us." The process—including conversations with states, small and large utility groups, and NGOs—will take place over the next few months. A report set to be released at the end of the year will lay out a strategic agenda and prioritize next steps. 

Click here for an overview of the action plan from our friends at ASDWA.

Volunteers Needed for AWWA ACE 2016

There's still time to sign up to volunteer for the AWWA Annual Conference & Exposition June 19-22 in Chicago. Full-day volunteers will receive complementary conference registration and access to the exhibit hall. This is a perfect opportunity to offset the cost of racking up numerous CEUs in one week, especially if you would otherwise not be able to attend ACE! Schedule your volunteering on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday and you'll also be wide open to attend the Smaller Utilities Program on Wednesday. 

Click here for more information and to volunteer.

Recently at

Engaging Customers in a Digital World
Learn tips and tricks for building a successful social media strategy. 

Emergency Planning Goes Digital
There are a suite of computer and mobile tools that can help utilities plan smarter and faster. In this post, we share just a few examples. 

Public Advisories: They're Not Just for Emergencies
Utilities can use public advisories to garner community buy-in and raise awareness of the value of water.

Tools to Help Utilities Get the Word Out Fast
This post includes information on some paid and free platforms that can help utilities get their messages out quickly and efficiently. 

ILWARN Offers Emergency Assistance for Small Systems
ILWARN is reaching out to let small systems know what resources and help are available to them.

Free Webinar

Board Basics: Rate Setting
Tuesday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific
Hosted by Rural Community Assistance Corporation 

This workshop will show board members, managers and operators how to establish fair rates based on a budget with true costs. Participants will learn and understand where to acquire budgeting tools and templates, how to prepare a budget, how to adhere to Proposition 218 when applicable, how to convince the public when rate adjustments are needed, and how to establish a rate structure based on the true cost of producing and delivering water.

Click here for more information.
Want to find additional training opportunities for operators,
including events in your area?
Search the Training Calendar

Free Resource

Communicating the Value of Drinking Water Services 
National Association of Clean Water Agencies

This 32-page handbook describes successful public outreach campaigns, products, and activities conducted by utilities and industry organizations to promote the value of water. This includes brief profiles of the various campaigns and activities, along with images of the materials created, links, and contact information. The public engagement activities section covers public events and interaction as well as the use of social media and mobile apps. 

Click here to view.
Have a different question?
You can find thousands of helpful resources in our database.
Search the Document Database

Featured Video: Whaddya Know About H2O?

This 29-part video series from the American Water Works Association is a great way to teach children about everything from the water cycle to stormwater runoff to drinking water treatment. Each video is just a minute, making them perfect to share online or play during community events. And what better time to do so than during National Drinking Water Week? 

Click here to watch the full series.
Have a great video? We're dedicated to bringing you helpful, entertaining, or inspiring videos to you. If your organization has a relevant video to share, let us know!

Share This

The newly redesigned is a great resource to learn all about #water. #DrinkingWaterWeek16 #DrinkTap


Share This offers useful of interesting information that can be shared with the public and other stakeholders.

Reading Selections

Clean Water Crisis Threatens U.S.
This feature story breaks down some of the largest water supply, quality, and infrastructure challenges facing the nation. 

Stop Blaming Waste Water Retention Basins for Water Warnings, Experts Say
Michigan officials and researchers spent Earth Day dispelling misunderstandings about the role of basin discharges during heavy storms in river water quality.  

USDA Rural Development Announces $4 Million White Stone Wastewater Project 
Wastewater infrastructure funding in White Stone, Virginia, population under 400, will replace 175 drainfields in varying stages of effectiveness and reduce nitrogen loading to the Chesapeake Bay. 

Etsy Urges More Federal Funds for Drinking Water Protection
Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Etsy is calling on the federal government to provide more financial resources to help states protect public drinking water. 

Fort Pierre Honored for Clean Drinking Water
The small town of Fort Pierre, South Dakota was awarded a Drinking Water Certificate of Achievement from the state Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. 
Did you miss our last newsletter? Click here to view the archive.

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