Are you ready for the Resource Revolution?

Are you ready for the Resource Revolution?

You may be aware that Earth’s resources have depleted more dramatically during our lifetime than ever. Last week, on World Wildlife Day, we were reminded of the sober reality that 50% of the wild animal population has disappeared in the last 30 years. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Another shocking statistic: the occurrence of natural disasters has tripled in the last 50 years.   Populations are growing and are exhausting an increasingly degraded climate and environment. Overburdened and obsolete infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and investment. Our economy is out of balance because many businesses have not yet recognized that sustainability is the only path to profitability.   Taken together, all of this amounts to a gathering resource crisis on a global scale. We are at the dawn of a resource revolution; like the agricultural, industrial and digital revolutions that have come before us. And you may wonder if you are “ready” for this turning point in humanity’s relationship with the environment.   On March 12, 2015 we will outline a path that will lead the way from resource crisis to resource revolution.   Join the discussion on how to secure a resourceful future for all #RRTour @open_resource and visit http://www.resourcerevolutiontour.com/en/ to the watch a live discussion at 11:30 am EST on March 12....
How does a large water utility prepare for inclement weather?

How does a large water utility prepare for inclement weather?

The United Water Blog sat down with Tom Neilan, senior director of operations for United Water New Jersey to find out.  United Water Blog:  A new winter storm that is expected to bring significant snow and severe cold is coming to the region. You provide water service for 800,000 customers in Northern New Jersey. What do you do to prepare for something like this? Tom Neilan: Well, our priority is to keep the water flowing, despite any conditions that may arise. Since the storm came onto the radar, we have been carefully monitoring the weather and taking necessary action to protect the integrity of our facilities and water supplies. Moreover, our emergency crews are aware that despite the weather, they must be available 24 hours a day to respond to any situation that may occur. United Water Blog: You said you have been taking actions to prepare – can you give us some examples of what that might look like at one of your major treatment facilities and throughout your network? Tom Neilan: We have been testing backup generators. In the event of an electricity loss, we have invested significantly in backup sources to keep the water flowing. Water storage facilities – such as reservoirs – are kept full.  And we have an extra supply of water treatment chemicals on hand. In the event of prolonged road or rail closures, water quality will not falter. As I mentioned before, our dedicated emergency personnel will be vigilant and available around the clock. United Water Blog: It sounds like you have good preparedness measures in place. But I know that mother...
Public investment – minus the politics

Public investment – minus the politics

By Bertrand Camus, United Water CEO  Forty years ago this month, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. This milestone, which helps ensure that clean, fresh water flows from every tap in America, was created by a shared sense of political vision. Today, that progress is at risk from lack of political ambition to finance infrastructure projects. Ever since November’s mid-term elections, President Obama has worked to put investment in America’s roads, bridges and water systems back on the agenda as a priority that elected officials of all stripes can naturally get behind, saying: “Both parties have been for creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure.” Visiting China, early December, he marveled at how major construction projects happen. “One thing is that if they need to build some stuff, they can build it,” he said. America can build it, too… Read the complete article on how we can accelerate investment in water infrastructure by tapping untapped funding resources on The Hill Congress Blog:...
How water and waste innovations make cities possible

How water and waste innovations make cities possible

What do toilets and iPhone’s have in common? How did water, sewer and solid waste innovations make cities possible? And why is big infrastructure essential to make cities function? If you want answers, we recommend you watch this fantastic PBS video. Part of a six part series titled “HOW WE GOT TO NOW” with Steven Johnson, “The Story of Clean” is a captivating one that traces innovations in the water, sewer and waste industry that can be credited for the making of the modern world. The narrator connects seemingly unconnected developments in high-tech, fashion, law and order and health to the so-called “heroes of clean.” Johnson also animates the story of our own United Water forefathers who took then-radical water treatment measures to eradicate cholera and typhoid in the early 1900’s. We know now that access to clean drinking water and the prevention of its contamination through waste management is the backbone for the circular economy. But it is gratifying to look at our daily work through a broad historical lens.  ...
Smarter Water Meter Data Helps to Detect More than 800 Leaks in Bayonne, NJ

Smarter Water Meter Data Helps to Detect More than 800 Leaks in Bayonne, NJ

Water is relatively inexpensive in the context of your overall household budget. On average, the cost of water is less than a penny a gallon. That makes it all too easy to waste. Right now, in your basement or in your backyard, there’s that one spigot that won’t completely shut off. And you’re paying more for water service than you have to as a result. If that sounds familiar, you don’t live in Bayonne, NJ where United Water, has installed over 10,500 new and smarter meters for 90 percent of the city’s residents and businesses. The data from the new meters enables our dedicated customer service team to show and tell homeowners and the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority (BMUA) how much water they’re using each day. With real-time data from the new advanced meters, United Water can detect water leaks and quickly inform the customer of the need to take action to prevent a bill spike or worse – property damage that may result from a broken pipe. Meter readers no longer have to walk from door to door resulting in an increased sense of security for homeowners – and we, as a company, no longer have to inconvenience homeowners who would otherwise have to wait at home for a meter-reading appointment. Indeed Bayonne residents have already benefited from the increased information about their water consumption and underground piping that the new meters provide. “We receive regular compliments from customers about the professionalism and follow-through of our employees,” said Chris Riat, United Water senior director of contract operations. “In one instance our customer service supervisor had contacted a resident...
Environmental groups hail Nassau County sewer project as a “Reason for Hope”

Environmental groups hail Nassau County sewer project as a “Reason for Hope”

Check out the latest video from the United Water Blog to learn why leading environmental groups are hailing our partnership with Nassau County as a “Reason for Hope.”  Hint: this $1.2 Billion project will deliver benefits to residents, marine life and the environment. United Water In Nassau County from United Water on Vimeo. OUR COMMITMENT TO NASSAU COUNTY: We pledge to sustainably operate and manage the Nassau County Sewage Treatment System in partnership with the County to top environmental and compliance standards and regulations. It will take some time to make all the improvements we’re planning, but in the end, we will create a state-of-the-art, resilient public service which Nassau County can rely...