Water For People (www.waterforpeople.org) is challenging everyone who is interested in improving global sanitation to break the silence and get people thinking and talking about toilets. The “Support a Movement” sanitation video competition sponsored by Image Brew, LLC (www.imagebrew.com) will bring the unmentionable details of sanitation into the spotlight to highlight its importance and raise awareness for the billions of people who don’t have access to adequate toilets.

Water For People’s mission seeks to end the world’s drinking water and sanitation crises in developing countries by collaborating with in-country governments, communities, and other local partners to ensure that people have a safe and sanitary place to “go.” More than merely building latrines, Water For People is changing the sanitation sector by transforming typical charity and humanitarian development practices to ensure that the beneficiaries of assistance have access to improved sanitation not only today but as well as years into the future.

In celebration of World Toilet Day, November 19, 2010, Water For People and Image Brew, LLC want people to lift the lid on ideas about sanitation and increase understanding of this life-threatening topic to bring long-term change and help end this global crisis.

To enter, contestants simply create a video, mashup, or slideshow about one of the following:

• A toilet failure. A time you or someone you know needed a toilet but one wasn’t available. Maybe the toilet was full, too far away, or too dirty to use. What happened? What would have helped the situation?
• A toilet success. Remember a time the facilities (at home or during a trip) exceeded your expectations? What made it memorable? What can we learn from this success?
• A toilet innovation. Do you have a great idea that would help increase access to toilets in developing countries? Maybe it’s a business concept, an invention, or a way to raise awareness about the consequences of inadequate sanitation?

Winners will be announced December 14, 2010, and three people will be awarded $500 each for their efforts. Additionally, Image Brew, LLC will also donate another $500 on behalf of each winner to Water For People.

For “Support a Movement” details and entry rules, visit www.waterforpeople.org/contest.

Jeanette Brown, 2010–2011 WEF President.

Jeanette Brown, 2010–2011 WEF President.

As I begin my year with the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), I realize that it is truly an honor to be president of this great organization.

But along with that honor comes responsibility and challenge. I am assuming the presidency of WEF at a very pivotal time in history for both the organization and us as water professionals. We have to think differently from how we did before the recession. We need to be creative with financial resources that, at times, are not sufficient. We all are faced with doing more with less. Utilities throughout the United States have sustained severe budget cuts, yet we must operate and maintain our treatment plants, repair and rehabilitate our infrastructure, face work-force issues, deal with increasingly stringent permit requirements, manage stormwater, prepare for climate change, and ensure sustainable practices to have the resources needed for future generations. [Read more]

The EcoCloud project will help locate more large businesses, paricularly high-tech businesses, which can use recycled wastewater in cooling towers, landscape and other purple pipe applications. The Bay Area uses only 10% of the 90 million gallons of reclaimed wastewater produced each day according to Eric Rosenblum, a division manager with South Bay Water Recycling.

According to American Water Intelligence

“I think of it as a match.com for water recycling,” said Craig Criddle, a Stanford University environmental engineering professor, who volunteers for the project. “It’s a chance to make sure that the markets are aligned with a supply of recycled water.”

According to Marianna Grossman, Executive Director of Sustainable Silicon Valley: “We’re really interested in creating a scalable, replicable solution, and once we make it work in our region we’re hoping to find a way for other communities to join in and create their own solutions. We want to turn waste into something of value, and also create community among people to try and solve these problems together.”

The EcoCloud project is expected to launch on Dec. 6th at an SSV event. Learn more at www.sustainablesv.org

To prepare for an updated system launch, all order processing within the WEF database, online reports, and the “Shop WEF” section of the WEF website will be unavailable from Monday, November 1, 2010 – Thursday, November 18, 2010.   During this time, to place an order or to modify a customer record, individuals may call our Customer Service team at  1-800-666-0206 (toll-free) or 1-571-830-1545 (outside of the US and Canada) for immediate assistance.  Requests can also be submitted via email to: csc@wef.org. Membership renewals will be checked by staff, which means that process time may be slower than usual.

EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation has received a request to hold a public meeting on Friday, October 29 to discuss its October 14, 2010 Federal Register proposed rulemaking for sewage sludge incinerators (SSIs). The meeting will be held at EPA’s Campus located at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive in Research Triangle Park, NC in room C111A starting at 9:00 am EDT. Contact Ms. Joan Rogers at (919) 541-4487 to request to speak at the public hearing. The comment period will be extended from November 14 to November 29. WEF plans to submit comments on the proposed rulemaking.