Collaborators Release Tools for Effective Utility Management

Six associations representing the U.S. water and wastewater sector, in collaboration with EPA, have released a series of tools designed to help water and wastewater utilities advance effective management practices to achieve long-term sustainability. The tools are based on the "10 Attributes of Effectively Managed Utilities and five Keys to Management Success" first identified in a report released by the group in May 2007.

Since the release of the Findings and Recommendations for a Water Utility Sector Management Strategy report last year, the Effective Utility Management Collaborating Associations -- the American Public Works Association (APWA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and EPA -- have been working together to develop tools aimed at helping utilities assess their current operations and adopt best management strategies for improvement.

"These tools were developed by utility mangers for utility managers," said WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera. "The Water Environment Federation is very gratified to have been part of this important effort."

Of the collaboration between the associations, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Ben Grumbles commented that he considers it "to be one of the agency's most important accomplishments under our Sustainable Water Infrastructure Initiative" and "appreciates the water associations and utility advisers for their continuing leadership."

The tools now available include the Effective Utility Management Primer for Water and Wastewater Utilities that is designed to help water and wastewater utility managers make practical, systematic changes to achieve excellence in utility performance. It was produced by water and wastewater utility leaders who also developed a series of suggested Utility Performance Measures focused on the Attributes to help utilities establish a performance baseline and begin to measure their progress. Finally, the group is releasing an online Resource Toolbox that contains links to key resources and tools. The new primer can be downloaded at no charge from each of the associations’ Web sites, or at www.watereum.org.

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