The massive WEFTEC conference in Chicago in early October will give our industry a chance to again consider how we are communicating with the people we serve. I have written before on the twin realities that while we serve our communities beautifully – delivering a life-giving resource at a remarkably low price every minute of every day – our customers, often lulled into complacency by the sheer scale of our success, knows little of our work or about our enterprises. WEF’s Water is Worth It campaign, and AWWA’s parallel Only Tap Water Delivers campaign are solid efforts at responding to the second reality (customer appreciation) to help support the first (continued operational success).
|Photo Courtesy of WEFTEC|
How Well Do You Know Your H20? – EPA Blog “It’s Our Environment”Second, we believe that our industry must be innovative in all that we do – demonstrating to our customers that we are making every dollar go farther and deliver even better results. We have had remarkable success on the technological front, and I provide some examples of the coverage we have received below. I will be writing shortly about how we plan to expand our successful model to
spur innovation to everything we do at DC Water.
Building Green, Saving Green – people + progress magazine
DC Water leads the way in thermal hydrolysis – WEF World Water
Third, we want to highlight the importance of our huge capital projects – which are absorbing most of the hikes in ratepayer costs, and which to this point are largely invisible. As a result, we have named our underground tunneling machine “Lady Bird,” and she has her own twitter account which keeps followers informed about her critical work underground.
People Dig Tunnel Boring Machines That Tweet – Engineering News-Record
Finally, and perhaps most important, we are encouraging some long overdue attention to the core work of DC Water and the people who do it. The size and scale of the systems that deliver the water, and retrieve it once it’s used, is remarkable. The skill and commitment of the people who work to keep the system working is unknown but vital to all of us. These are some of my favorite stories: