Presenter discussed signs that your utility system is in trouble; what your financial statements can tell you about your utility system, and rate structuring.
Presenter discussed the funding available for water infrastructure projects.
Presenters provided a view into water and wastewater asset management for the small system using the EPA-developed CUPSS software program linked to digital imagery and financial analysis. We will cover identification of assets, data gathering techniques, condition assessment, and the risk assessment needed to develop a useful Asset Management Plan. The link of inventoried assets to GIS (Spatial Data Imagery) and to budgeting and rate setting opens up opportunities for small systems to visually understand the location and condition of their inventory and provides a meaningful communication tool for working with local elected boards which ultimately make budget priority decisions for these systems.
Dr. Spruill's consulting company, GMA, completed an investigation of geologic and hydrostatic data for Onslow County to provide an improved understanding of the aquifers beneath Onslow County and to facilitate their sustainable use and wise management. This presentation discussed the findings of that investigation.
The Coastal Plain comprises more than 40% of the land area of North Carolina. Much of this region is underlain by a surficial aquifer system that ranges from approximately 1-61 m in thickness. The water table is generally shallow (within 5 m of the surface) throughout the region, therefore the surficial aquifer is sensitive to land-use change. Water quality changes in the surficial aquifer can affect surface water quality in the region because rivers and wetlands in the Coastal Plain are often nourished by groundwater discharge from the surficial aquifer. This talk documented case studies that illustrate how water quality in shallow groundwater systems and adjacent surface water bodies can be affected by wastewater disposal in Coastal Plain settings.
Saltwater has migrated inland into freshwater aquifers that supply hundreds of private and public wells in the New Hanover County area, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. Water levels in some areas of the aquifers from which residents, businesses and industries in the county draw their drinking water have also dropped several feet below sea level, according to the recently released study initiated by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. Attendees heared first-hand about this problem from the Engineering Manager of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.
There is no doubt that the future financial requirements needed to meet the water and wastewater infrastructure needs in North Carolina are extensive. One of the alternatives for municipal systems is the professionally operated private utility companies. Good private utilities recognize that one model does not fit all. Private companies bring their own funding, have the incentive to make prudent investments in necessary infrastructure and spread the risk over a state-wide base.
Hydrologic models simulate the flow of all waters in a river basin, taking into account surface and ground waters, transfers into and out of the basin, other withdrawals, and other data on the flow of water. These calculations can predict which surface water systems will experience future shortages, both during droughts and normal flow times.