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REGIONAL COLLABORATION – UTILITIES WORKING TOGETHER TO TACKLE TODAYS CHALLENGES Michael J. Wallis.

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Presentation on theme: "REGIONAL COLLABORATION – UTILITIES WORKING TOGETHER TO TACKLE TODAYS CHALLENGES Michael J. Wallis."— Presentation transcript:

1 REGIONAL COLLABORATION – UTILITIES WORKING TOGETHER TO TACKLE TODAYS CHALLENGES Michael J. Wallis

2 Todays Topics Overview of Bay Area utilities What is regional collaboration? WRF project on collaboration Bay Area collaboration

3 Overview of Bay Area Over 60 water/wastewater utilities 9 counties; > 6.7 million population Range from small community service districts to large multi-service utilities Water supply ranges from local groundwater to imported Sierra water

4 Overview of Bay Area Santa Clara Valley WD Contra Costa WD East Bay MUD San Francisco PUC

5 What is Regional Collaboration? Agencies achieve more consistent, reliable, and efficient water service from working together across a regional area. Current perspective:

6 WRF Project Objectives: - Explore models of regional cooperation - Identify key areas for cooperation - Develop regional initiatives - Develop a template for other utilities Bay Area Water Utilities Operations Collaborative: Model for Inter-regional Utility Cooperation

7 Generic Collaboration Model Select Collaborative Model Define Shared Interests Consider Regional Drivers Meet With Potential Collaborators Implement ID & Document Governance, Process, & Metrics Linear process Requires leadership Sustainable collaborations demonstrate results Periodic revitalization needed

8 WRF Project: Bay Area Model Workforce WG EmergencyResponseWG Asset Management WG Water Quality WG Future WGs Agreement of General Principles for Collaboration Signed by Ops Managers General Principles Endorsed by Steering Committee Annual Work plan Annual Progress Report Plans & Resource Commitments Developed by Working Groups & Approved by Steering Committee Summary of Deliverables Developed by Working Groups Steering Committee (SC) EBMUDSCVWDSFPUCCCWD Chair

9 WRF Project: Lessons Learned Collaboration can leverage resources Collaborations should be sensitive to territory Establishing trust is key Management champions needed Effective collaborations consider focus, formality & finance Must have shared vision and agreed upon governance Large collaborations can move slowly Formal or informal reporting should be maintained and evaluated periodically

10 Conclusions Utilities have many common topics and challenges Collaboration can improve service reliability and save cost

11 Bay Area Collaboration Operates under a charter Key areas of collaboration - Workforce development - Emergency response - Water quality - Asset management

12 Identified 5 mission critical jobs Mechanic Electrician Instrument Technician Water Treatment Operator Wastewater Treatment Operator Labor Forecast Conducted survey of 6 counties Response from 45 utilities 1,575 staff with 40% eligible to retire in 5 yrs Workforce Planning

13 Reduced cost of training Technology/Sharing Outreach to attract staff Website – Outreach materials – videos and pamphlets Cooperation with community colleges Developed programs for electricians, plumbers, mechanics Formed Baywork:

14 Emergency Exercises Conduct table top exercises involving a major earthquake Cooperation of emergency operations teams from each agency

15 Emergency Exercises Developed a multiyear plan including: Workshops, training, exercises Developed plan to identify and share resources

16 Water Quality Formalized workgroup Input on legislation and regulation Share information and technical resources Research cost-sharing Invasive species Research prioritization

17 Asset Management Formalized workgroup Launched detailed benchmarking study Maintenance practices Contracting out Maintenance and capital planning Share best practices

18 SCADA Workshop Developed intertie agreements Other Outcomes of Collaboration

19 System Interties =Interties SFPUC/EBMUD Intertie Completed in mgd capacity Treated water intertie SFPUC/EBMUD EBMUD/CCWD Intertie Completed in mgd capacity Raw water intertie EBMUD/CCWD SCVWD/SFPUC Intertie Completed in mgd capacity Treated water intertie SCVWD/SFPUC

20 Bay Area Collaboration Conclusions Shared best practices yields efficiencies Improved emergency preparedness and response Leverage resources Effective workforce planning


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