Water, the main challenge of the 21st century – Time to act!

Water, the main challenge of the 21st century – Time to act!

As a world citizen, you hear words like drought, global warming, planet expiration date, sustainable development often… You want to… Act but you don’t know where to start? Be involved without drastically change your lifestyle? Be a part of the Resource Revolution but not spend a month’s salary in water-saving devices? Good news: you can! And we are here to help you. For 10 years now, United Water has published Conservation Guides providing indoor and outdoor water saving tips, presenting what we do as a water services provider to protect one of the most precious resources on earth. Decreasing water availability is a global and serious issue that concerns every one of us, not only individuals but also industries, governments and companies. That’s why this summer, we launched a social media conservation campaign #TipsToSaveWater. Our goal is to provide easy, inexpensive and original water saving tips. Along the way, we discovered the website, “Water – Use it Wisely”. This website provides tips and devices to help you in your water saving quest. It also has an educational and creative section dedicated to children. What better way to raise your kids’ awareness than play a game? Feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to discover our tips published every Thursday all summer long. And, if you have  your own ways to save water, please share them in the comment sections below. About Water – Use it Wisely This communication campaign was launched 15 years ago. Since then, it has become a major campaign with more than 250 public and private water companies nationwide. The goal is to help people learn how to save water.   Find below all the tips we’ve...
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...
A public-private partnership allows a small borough in New Jersey to regionalize its water services

A public-private partnership allows a small borough in New Jersey to regionalize its water services

Public-private partnerships can be a great tool for cities, towns and boroughs of all sizes to manage tight budgets while providing expertly managed municipal services to residents.  On Thursday, August 1, United Water signed a contract with the Borough of Allendale to operate and maintain its water system and provide clean and safe water to 2,300 households. Allendale will continue to own the water system and set rates for its residents but the Borough will benefit from United Water New Jersey’s regional expertise and resources in water services, customer service, billing and meter reading. “We are excited to begin this public-private partnership,” said Mayor Vince Barra. “It is a win-win solution for our residents and the Borough. Allendale gains the expertise and resources of United Water and at the same time we save a considerable amount in our water budget.” The five-year, $590,000-per-year deal will save the Borough about $193,000 annually, which will go towards infrastructure improvements and stabilizing water rates. This contract comes at a time when the deteriorating condition of the nation’s water infrastructure has generated a lot of attention. Competing needs for other municipal services, such as roads, fire departments, police and schools have stretched the finances in many American towns beyond their limits. This, coupled with dwindling federal support of water infrastructure funding, has led to a decades-long decline in the nation’s water infrastructure.  In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will take more than $600 billion during the next two decades to bring pipes and treatment facilities nationwide back to standard. “Maintaining clean, sustainable water supplies is the single most important contributor...

Four reasons why public-private partnerships may be a lifeline for struggling cities

This past week The New York Times published an article entitled, “Public-Private Partnerships Could Be a Lifeline for Cities.” The author, Kent Rowey frames his argument in support of public-private partnerships with an example from the crippling financial state of Detroit. Apparently, the Motor City is considering dire revenue raising options such as selling its collection of classic cars and permanent art collection. Detroit recently filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history. Rowey argues that the solvency solution need not be so permanent or culturally punishing as selling Detroit’s Mustangs and Monet masterpieces. Instead, he suggests exploring public-private partnerships for municipal services in which a private equity investor would make an up-front payment to run a public service or utility.  In return, the private companies gain a concession to run a long-term contract. Rowey cites United Water’s own partnership with the City of Bayonne, New Jersey as an exemplary public-private partnership. In 2012, Bayonne contracted a 40-year concession for its water and waste system through a partnership with KKR and United Water that abides by a strict scheduled rate protocol and other tight regulations. Employees have since benefited from increased training and enhanced safety conditions and the City has benefited from an upgrade in its debt rating by Moody’s. United Water will also invest at least $20 million in the City’s infrastructure in the first 5 years. Similarly, Rowey cites Chicago’s $1 billion dollar, 75-year contract with a private company to operate its 36,000 parking meters that began in 2008. Chicago’s parking meter system is now considered to be one of the best in the world....