01
AUG
0

Looking at the way we currently plan our cities’ future development, do you wonder if the Planning Department and Water Utilities are on the same page for creating water resilient cities? Urban water systems keep our cities healthy, safe, and livable. But too often our water systems exemplify the linear “take-make-waste” paradigm common to modern cities.  In the past, this linear approach was acceptable, affordable, even best practice.

 

For years, many forward thinking practitioners and scholars have been calling for an integration of land use planning and water management and there are instances where coordination already occurs.  Despite the examples, integration remains uncommon. In terms of innovation theory, the integration of land use planning and water management has been initiated by innovators and used by early adopters, but integration has not “jumped the chasm” to be mainstreamed by practicing professionals. Until that happens, many innovative water solutions will remain more of an exception than the rule.

 

How can we as APWA professionals interact with Planning and Water Utilities to initiate actions for planners and water professionals to work early on in the process to develop resilient, water sensitive and vibrant communities?  Water, wastewater, and stormwater professionals can weigh in on this issue, by Aug 5, 2016 and have a chance to win a mini–iPad by taking a 20-30 minute survey about ways to improve the state of collaboration between these sectors. The survey is conducted by the University of Arizona and sponsored by the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WERF) and the Water Research Foundation. Please use this link:

https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe1/form/SV_e51cWZ33FeYmay1

 

Michael Simpson

Public Works LA

Principal Environmental Engineer


08
AUG
0

As we continue to pursue water sustainability in our municipalities, the overarching question remains the same: do we continue with our current wastewater treatment practices or is it time to turn to new on-site technology? The City of Los Angeles is home to the largest centralized water reclamation/treatment system in the west coast consisting of 6,700 miles of sewer lines and four treatment plants. Currently, the City operates at approximately 60% of the treatment plants capacity.  With water conservation policies, municipalities all over California are dealing with the effects of low-flows in sewer pipes such as odor, grease accumulation, and conveyance material degradation. Decentralization of wastewater treatment would lead to wastewater being locally managed and treated (on-site). With new wastewater treatment technologies on the market, a push to implement local treatment sites has generated interest. However, this brings up additional challenges in operation and maintenance responsibilities, water quality monitoring, and solids disposal, which would add additional strain to the centralized system. Given that the City of Los Angeles has invested in a multibillion dollar infrastructure to treat wastewater centrally, should a movement towards on-site water treatment continue in urban cities?  Give us your thoughts on this issue and let us know what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of these two opposing philosophies.

 

Michael Simpson

Public Works LA

Principal Environmental Engineer


12
AUG
0

More governments are using a Pay for Success (PFS) model to provide funding to improve social conditions. First, the vast majority of social spending in America is done by government and philanthropy and is comparatively tiny for just about any issue you can think of — poverty, education, recidivism, homelessness, wellness, etc.  The information revolution is finally reaching government, giving us a low-cost way to see if people’s lives are improved by the programs that governments fund. PFS is about reallocating utility dollars away from services that don’t work and toward those that actually do bring about improvement in people’s lives. So one way to think about PFS is to ask the question “Is there an outcome and performance feedback loop connected to the money?”  PFS is not about the finance or capital market.  It is about “reallocating utility dollars.” Do you think utilities should use the PFS model when delivering funding to external organizations involved in social enhancements program?

 

Michael Simpson

Public Works LA

Principal Environmental Engineer