CASA Winter Conference: Registration Closes Soon!
Join us next week during CASA’s Annual Winter Conference for a special session on the recently released documentary, Brave Blue World featuring lead researcher and content creator, Aoife Kelleher. Aoife joined BlueTech Research as a Water Technology Research Analyst and has a diverse background in field, laboratory and data-based research as well as energy, botany and soil science. She graduated with a BSc in Environmental Science from Trinity College, Dublin, and in her current role is currently focused on researching resource recovery, energy, sanitation and one water technologies. This is a session you won’t want to miss!
Executive and Legislative Keynote Speakers to Review 2021 Priorities
CASA is pleased to announce that the Governor’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Christine Hironaka, will be joining us on Wednesday morning to discuss the Administration’s policy priorities in 2021. Senator Ben Allen, the Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee is also confirmed to speak and will provide insight into the Legislature’s environmental priorities in the 2021 Legislative Session. This will be an informative and relevant conversation about where the state is headed and what to expect in the coming year.  
Registration will close this Friday. Secure your spot today!
Set for January 27-28, 2021, CASA’s Winter Conference is sure to be one for the books. The program developed around a theme of “Moving Forward”, will feature an impressive line-up of speakers and opportunities to connect with your peers, all while participating from the comfort of your home or office. We are bringing back the ever popular small-group roundtable sessions (with two sessions this time!), an incredible keynote speaker on the future of work, and a full suite of Committee Meetings, all live and interactive. Register here, we hope to “see” you next week!
State Legislative Update
Governor Releases 2021-22 State Budget
On Friday January 8, 2021, Governor Newsom unveiled his proposed 2021-2022 Budget. The $227 billion budget plan is focused on COVID relief. More than $14 billion has been allocated to support small businesses, support for families most affected by the pandemic, and the safe reopening of schools. Income tax revenues exceeded expectations and the budget projects a surplus of $15 billion, however future shortfalls are expected. Governor Newsom urged the legislature to continue to focus on COVID relief efforts when they reconvene. The Assembly and Senate Budget subcommittees will deliberate the Budget plan through May, when the Governor will release his revised budget (May Revise) that reflects any revenue changes. The final Budget must be adopted by June 15th. A summary of the Budget can be found here.
Of particular interest to CASA members are the following Budget allocations:
Federal Update
President-Elect Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package Plan
President-Elect Joe Biden has unveiled his incoming Administration’s plan to deliver $1.9 trillion in funding to address the COVID-19 crisis that still rages across the country. Entitled the "American Rescue Plan," it is the first step in the overall two-step plan the Administration has to tackle the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic. The second step of the plan has yet to be detailed to the public. This first step builds upon the last COVID-19 relief package Congress passed in December 2020, by providing further funding to support vaccine roll-out efforts, direct relief to families and frontline workers, expand health care, expand and extend unemployment insurance, and support struggling communities across the nation. The American Rescue Plan will be transmitted to Congress, where lawmakers will use the plan as a guide for developing the next federal COVID-19 relief package. Importantly for the water sector, the plan includes $5 billion in assistance to support the hardest-hit households' to pay their home energy and water services costs. A fact sheet on the American Rescue Plan can be accessed here, however, key highlights from the plan are summarized below. 
Member News
FY 2020 WIFIA Selection
Congratulations to the numerous CASA members who were selected to receive 2020 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans. The WIFIA program accelerates investment in our nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects. Over 30 California projects were selected including projects from the following CASA members:
In Case You Missed It
Letter to the Editor
CASA was part of a recent letter to the editor in response to an article published in the Science of the Total Environment, Pandemic Danger to the Deep: The Risk of Marine Mammals Contracting SARS-CoV-2, alleging danger to marine mammals from SARS-CoV-2 released to marine environments from wastewater. CASA’s Greg Kester in partnership with other associations, universities, and agencies worked to put together a rebuttal letter which was recently published, after peer review, in the Science of the Total Environment. Many thanks to Rasha Maal-Bared (EPCOR) for her leadership in drafting the rebuttal and to all of the co-authors (all listed in the letter). Please contact Greg Kester with any questions or comments.
Committee Seeks Suggestions for Potential CASA Board Members
The CASA nominating committee, chaired by past president Bill Long, will convene in early spring to consider CASA Board of Directors candidates for the August 2021 ballot. The committee will be recommending candidates for four of the twelve elected seats. The Board of Directors is the governing body responsible for policy decisions and oversight of CASA’s Executive Director. Board members are expected to: 
  • Attend all CASA conferences and the Washington D.C. policy forum 
  • Participate in monthly board conference/zoom calls and future in-person meetings 
  • Attend an annual strategic planning session for the association
  • Assist in member recruitment and retention 
  • Represent CASA at events and meetings as requested by the President 
CASA attempts to include geographic diversity as well as a balance of agency managers and elected officials on our Board. This year we anticipate the need for a Northern California elected official. Ideal candidates will be familiar with CASA as an organization and preferably will have served on or actively participated in CASA workgroups, committees and events.  
If you know someone who would be a valuable board member, please send a brief email to with their name, agency and a few sentences about his or her qualifications. Please send your recommendation by March 15, 2021.
Jan. 27-28, 2021
CASA represents more than 125 local public agencies engaged in the collection, treatment and recycling of Wastewater and biosolids to protect public health and the environment. Our mission is to provide trusted information and advocacy on behalf of California clean water agencies, and to be a leader in sustainability and utilization of renewable resources.