The Undergraduate/Graduate Student Paper Competition is intended to promote the education of undergraduate / graduate students in water pollution control, water quality problems, water-related concerns, hazardous wastes or related areas. It also is intended to provide an opportunity for national recognition of participating students.

Papers are due March 23, 2012.  Applications instructions.

Contact: Amanda Schmidt, SYPC Vice Chair

WEF announced on February 10 the release of the 22nd Edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Published jointly by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Standard Methods reflects the latest developments in water analysis. One significant change in this edition is an emphasis on quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) practices. Both EPA and the Standard Methods Committee feel strongly that QA/QC is necessary to ensure that each method produces accurate results. In total, more than 40 percent of the book is new or updated.

Since the first edition in 1905, Standard Methods has represented the best current practice of American water analysts, covering all aspects of water and wastewater analysis techniques. In 1899, APHA appointed a Standard Methods of Water Analysis committee that was charged with extending standard procedures to all methods involved in the analysis of water. The committee’s report constituted the first edition of the book. Ordering Information: “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 22nd edition,” ISBN #978-087553-0130, Non-member price: $295 (WEF member price: $195) plus shipping and handling. To order, call toll free 1-800-666-0206, e-mail or click here.

WEF hosted a workforce meeting at its office in Alexandria, VA on February 16 that included utility leaders/general managers, human resources and training personnel, operators and other “on the ground” professionals representing the water, wastewater and stormwater sectors. EPA requested that WEF convene a meeting of water professionals to discuss workforce issues in the sector. This meeting was held  in response to President Obama’s recent State of the Union Address to commit to “train 2 million Americans with skills that lead directly to a job.”  The forum allowed invitees  an opportunity to share efforts they have in place to address water workforce issues along with anecdotal information on their experiences (working with displaced workers, developing internships and apprenticeship programs).  Attendees also learned of various EPA efforts, including partnering with WEF and AWWA on Work for Water and working on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Veteran Affairs. A couple of grant opportunities are in the works related to training and technical assistance for water operators. Jeff Eger, WEF Executive Director and Nancy Stoner, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water led the discussions.

To view the WEF position statement on Wastewater Systems Operations Professionals Certification and Training (Updated May 7, 2011), click here

As part of the Administration’s FY 2013 Budget released on February 13, President Obama proposed creating an independent National Infrastructure Bank [NIB] led by infrastructure and financial experts.  The NIB would fund large-scale ($100 million minimum) transportation, water, and energy infrastructure projects. Projects would need to demonstrate a clear public benefit, meet economic, technical and environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream. The NIB would issue loans and loan guarantees to eligible projects that could be extended up to 35 years and would finance no more than 50 percent of the total costs of any project. The remaining costs would have to be covered by State, local or private co-investors.  Loans would be offered with the same interest rate as similar U.S. Treasury securities.

Check out the video for an overview.