CASA News
Join Us in August as CASA’s Annual Conference Goes Virtual
The current pandemic has changed so much about how we live, work, and gather together. While we were looking forward to seeing you all in person this August in Squaw Creek, these new realities have forced us to transition our in-person 2020 Annual Conference to a virtual event. This decision was a difficult one, but our move to a virtual event is meant to prioritize the health and safety of our attendees, speakers, and staff, and to ensure that our clean water community avoids the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

While the landscape of the Annual Conference may have changed, we remain committed to providing an exceptional event of the high caliber our members have come to expect. CASA staff have been hard at work conceptualizing and envisioning the layout of this new format to best suit our members’ needs, and to transform our in-person conference to an even larger virtual one. Save the dates of August 12-14 for our virtual event and keep an eye out for future communications about speakers, topics and other details as we move forward.

While we truly wish we were able to see you all in person a few months from now, a virtual event presents many new opportunities to provide the same level of engagement, learning opportunities, and connection in a way that keeps everyone safe.
Communications Survey
Communications experts, we need your input! Please be on the lookout for a survey that will be emailed out to the membership in mid-June. The objective of this survey to provide CASA with valuable information on how we can best support your agencies. Effective communication builds awareness and trust with constituents, supports our shared mission to protect public health and the environment, and provides unified messaging about the wastewater sector. If you would kindly take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete the brief survey, your input will help CASA to determine priorities moving forward. Thank you in advance for your participation!
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 in the Danish Water Sector
While the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries around the world in different ways, there are many similarities in how the water and wastewater sectors have approached their core mission of protecting public health and the environment in this time of crisis. As we have seen the wastewater sector respond to COVID-19 in a proactive and concerted way here in California and across the United States, we couldn't help but wonder how others around the globe are faring. To shed light on this, CASA connected with Jacob Vind of the Danish Water Technology Alliance, a long-time CASA member and friend who was able to provide some insight into how the water sector in Denmark is dealing with the pandemic.

According to Jacob and his team, many transitions taking place in Denmark during this time are comparable to what we have experienced here: personnel safety, contingency planning, customer support via electronics and increased use of automated technology. One critical resilience measure that stands out in Denmark is the use of automation, a tool that has kept Danish employees safe in times like these. As agencies find ways to rotate staffing, authorize increased utilization of remote work, and try to maintain social distancing and workplace safety, increased reliance on automation and technology has been both a necessity and an opportunity. According to Jacob, the “Danish water sector has been one of the global pioneers in automation. The automation process has been ongoing since the 1990’s and was born out of a need to improve operational performance under a very stringent regulatory environment with high demands on discharge, and resource efficiency and recovery.”
Updates to CASA COVID-19 Webpage
As new information is released and obtained, CASA continues to update our COVID-19 webpage . Some recent additions include:
 

We are also continuing our efforts to explore the value of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) and the role wastewater agencies can play in assisting public health officials identify infection trends and potential “hot spots” as the pandemic continue.
State Legislative Update
On May 14 Governor Newsom released his May Revision of the 2020-21 Budget.  The “May Revise” traditionally is released a month after the income tax deadlines and reflects changes to revenues and any additional adjustments to existing funding based on newly identified needs. This year, however, the May Revision was a total overhaul of the January budget proposal. In a stark contrast to the fiscal climate in January, when the state was managing a $7 billion budget surplus, the economic forecast in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic projects a $54 billion budget shortfall, which must be addressed in a balanced budget to be approved by June 15. Accordingly, the budget process will be unique this year, and the Governor has proposed a variety of maneuvers to close the gap and balance the budget, including:
Federal Update
Earlier this month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works . The purpose of the hearing was to review the Agency's activities during the COVID-19 crisis and provide committee members the opportunity to question the Administrator on issues beyond the crisis. Highlights from the hearing related to water resources issues include:
Member News
Innovative Recycling Plan Wins Award
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has won an Engineering News-Record award for a recycled water project in partnership with Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LASCD). “MWD piloting a bold new initiative to produce an additional regional water source through its Regional Recycled Water Program, which aims to take treated sanitation water and purify it to produce high-quality drinking water. The program includes the use of an advanced water-purification system that would be the first of its kind in the U.S.” Follow this link to read the full article on ENR.com .
Congratulations CAPIO Finalists
Congratulations to these CASA members and associates on their hard work and recognition in the 2020 CAPIO Epic Awards finalists category.
  • Sacramento Area Sewer District Writing; First-Ever FOG Newsletter Marketing and Promotional; First-Ever FOG Newsletter
  • Eastern Municipal Water District Video Production; Patrick the Poo
  • Central San Social Media Campaign; Wipes Clog Pipes; Photography; Heavy Lifters; Newsletter or Magazine; Pipeline Newsletter
  • City of Folsom Newsletter or Magazine; City News Newsletters
  • City of Oceanside and NV5 Communications or Marketing Plans/Campaigns Consultant-Supported; Pure Water Oceanside Community Relations, Education and Perception Change
  • Rancho Water Internal Communications; Rancho Water’s Water Buzz Employee News
  • Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Dollar Stretcher; EVMWD & RCWD Waterwise Living 1, 2, 3 Campaign
  • Western Municipal Water District Communications or Marketing Plans/Campaigns Consultant-Supported; North Well Outreach Campaign
  • Regional San and Sacramento Area Sewer District Communications or Marketing Plans/Campaigns Consultant-Supported; Elementary Schools Outreach Campaign

To see the full list of finalists, follow this link .
Webinars
USEPA
Today, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, from 11:00am to 12:00pm (PT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) will host a webinar: Research on SARS-CoV-2 in the Environment. EPA scientists are building on a foundation of world-class research by applying their knowledge to reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This webinar will highlight research EPA is working on with CDC, including Environmental Cleanup and Disinfection, Wastewater Virus Detection, and Salivary Antibody Assay Development. Register here .
NACWA
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, from 11:00am to 12:30pm (PT) the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) will host the last segment of the four-part complimentary Resilience Webinar Series: Managing Challenges Through Resilience Thinking . Register today to learn about the role that water agencies play in improving community resiliency, explore how water agencies have adapted to the challenges and uncertainties faced due to the impacts of climate change and how they can mitigate the impacts of their own operations.
Core Consulting
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 8:30am, Core Consulting is leading an informational webinar about Appreciative Inquiry (AI) . AI is a framework used primarily for strategic planning, but can be applied much more broadly as an organizational transformation tool and has a powerful and timely application to this COVID-19 experience. Learn more about the webinar topic and register here .
Upcoming Events
August 12-14, 2020
CASA Annual Conference, VIRTUAL