DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Water Research Foundation (WRF), a leading sponsor of research supporting the water community, will host a four-part Webcast series in July to address sustainable drought management and communications that can be applied to a variety of needs and conditions local utilities may face. The Webcast series, which is free and open to the public, was designed to serve as a forum for utilities to share best practices and lessons learned through past experiences.
The current drought in California will serve as a live case study for each segment of the Webcast series as experts walk through insights and provide guidance relevant to any utilities experiencing drought or utilities who want to be prepared for potential drought in their regions.
As of June 23, 2015, drought conditions across the United States categorized from moderate to exceptional by the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) are impacting 81.3 million people in the U.S., specifically 79.1 million people in the lower 48 states.
“It’s very important that the Water Research Foundation continue to not only provide utilities with valuable research to assist them, but also create opportunities for utilities to hear from their peers on the issues and best practices impacting their communities,” said Rob Renner, Executive Director of WRF. “Our goal with this Webcast series is to help utilities best manage current or potential drought scenarios and arm them with the information and guidance they need to effectively inform their communities about these matters as they take place.”
The Webcasts will address a variety of issues and scenarios utilities may face, including: turf replacement program best practices, calculating drought management costs versus benefits, maintaining financial stability, and how to communicate conservation protocols with community members effectively. Additional details about all four Webcasts, including dates and presenters follows.
Webcast 1: Turf
Date: Thursday, July 9, 2015
Time: 2‒3:30 pm ET
Overview: Turf replacement programs are usually a component of larger conservation programs; however, the development and implementation of a successful turf replacement program can and does have significant impacts on residential demand reductions. This Webcast will highlight the turf replacement programs developed by three utilities. The presenters will outline their utility’s program, how barriers were overcome, and offer guidance to those who want to implement turf replacement programs.
Presenters: Kent Sovocool, Southern Nevada Water Authority; Bill McDonnell, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Carlos Michelon, San Diego County Water Authority
Webcast 2: Using
Cost-Benefit Analyses to Compare Drought Management Practices
Date: Thursday, July 16, 2015
Time: 3‒4 pm ET
Overview: Utilities need reliable data on the potential impacts and costs associated with drought versus mitigation strategies. This Webcast will cover the results of project #4546, “Drought Management Under a Changing Climate: Using Cost-Benefit Analyses to Assist Drinking Water Utilities,” which reviewed how a cost-benefit analysis may be used in drought planning and the issues and challenges that drinking water utilities face in implementing drought management practices. This project was funded under the NOAA Climate Program Office, Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP): Coping with Drought with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
Presenters: Richard Krop, The Cadmus Group, Inc.; Nupur Hiremath, The Cadmus Group, Inc.; Luis Generoso, City of San Diego Public Utilities Department
Webcast 3: Financial
Resiliency During Droughts
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Time: 3‒4 pm ET
Overview: Utilities need to maintain their financial stability during droughts and be well-prepared for future drought-related events. This Webcast will answer the following fundamental questions related to financial resiliency and drought: 1. What is the financial cost of a drought? 2. How should the financial cost of the drought be recovered? Which approach is best suitable for our community? 3. Who should cut back their water use and by how much? 4. What is the impact to my customers due to the restriction in water use and the associated drought pricing? 5. How can water rates help you achieve your goals?
Presenter: Sanjay Gaur, Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc.; Robert Shaver, Alameda County Water District
Webcast 4: Customer
Communications During Drought
Date: Thursday, July 30, 2015
Time: 2‒3:30 pm ET
Overview: Conservation communications to customers is a dynamic process. This Webcast will highlight the communication programs used by three utilities with a focus on barriers to implementing effective programs, solutions to working through those barriers and recommendations and best practices to employ for all drought-related communications efforts.
Presenters: Jessie Saich, El Dorado Irrigation District; Luis Generoso, City of San Diego Public Utilities Department; Jeff Tejral, Denver Water
All four Webcasts will be recorded by WRF and available for viewing via WRF's website within 48 hours after each live event.
For more information about WRF projects, Webcasts and other topic-specific resources, please visit www.waterrf.org.
About the Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation is an internationally recognized leader in sponsoring research that supports the water community in holistically and cooperatively managing water from all sources to meet social, environmental, and economic needs. WRF’s research provides reliable and relevant solutions to the most critical challenges facing the water community today and into the future. Founded in 1966, WRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has sponsored nearly 1,500 research projects valued at $500 million, and serves more than 1,000 subscribing organizations. For more information, go to www.WaterRF.org.