State Legislative Update
2020 Legislative Session Wrap-up 
The final deadline for Governor Newsom to sign or veto all legislation sent to him in 2020 was Wednesday, September 30. There were notably fewer bills in the mix this year after the COVID pandemic forced the legislature to pare down legislative business significantly. The Governor signed 457 bills and vetoed 56 in 2020: a stark contrast to the 1169 signed and 172 vetoed in 2019. Due to the disruption in the legislative process, there were many bills pertaining to policy issues of interest to CASA that were held over for future consideration this year. Nonetheless, there were a handful of bills that were signed that are of interest, including the following:
Federal Update
Congress Passes and White House Signs Bill Avoiding Government Shutdown
Congress and the White House avoided a potential government shutdown this week, passing and enacting a Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.R. 8337) through December 11. A CR was necessary since the House and Senate were unable to pass fiscal year 2021 spending bills ahead of October 1, when the new fiscal year began. House and Senate appropriators now have approximately two months to hammer out a deal and pass fiscal year 2021 spending bills after Members return from the October recess on November 16. If the House and Senate are unable to finalize spending bills ahead of the December 11 deadline, Congress would likely pass a second CR through February or March of next year, a year-long CR that maintains funding at fiscal year 2020 levels through September of next year, or an omnibus spending bill.
COVID Relief Deal Remains Elusive
Following the collapse of pandemic assistance negotiations between House Democrats and the White House, the House passed The HEROES Act last week by a vote of 214-207. The pared-back $2.2 trillion HEROES Act would provide another round of $1,200 stimulus assistance to taxpayers, restoration of the $600 supplemental unemployment benefit through January 2021, $436 billion in assistance for state, local, and tribal governments, and $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing, and isolation measures. The bill also provides $1.5 billion to support grants to assist water and wastewater utilities to offset ratepayer revenue losses from the pandemic. To be eligible to receive grants, water and wastewater agencies would need to conduct outreach activities to ensure households are aware of assistance, charge such households not more than the amount of services offset by the received assistance, and notify a household of such assistance within 45 days of providing such assistance. A state would be required to enter into a written agreement with the utility to assist in identifying eligible households to carry out the provisions of assistance. As a condition to accept the assistance, the continuation of services would be required to be maintained during the period of the health emergency. This would include no fees for late-payments of bills applicable to the period of the emergency. 

While relief talks again reached an impasse, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) held out hope that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will return to the table to continue negotiations in light of the news of growing infections across the nation and in the White House and the growing number of layoffs and furloughs. 
Mark Your Calendar
It’s Time to Celebrate California Water Professionals Week
This week, October 3-11 we are thrilled to celebrate the fourth annual California Water Professionals Appreciation Week! During this time, we are extra thankful for all of the men and women who continue to perform essential work to protect public health and the environment, 24/7, 365. We encourage CASA member agencies to showcase the programs and (virtual) events that educate California water customers, local elected leaders, state and federal legislators and other key audiences. Sharing your agency’s activities during the week highlights the value of water and wastewater services and the important role that water professionals play in providing these services. It is also an opportunity to showcase careers in the water industry. Please share information on your website and social media accounts. For more information, visit CWEA’s California Water Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit.
Imagine a Day Without Water
On Wednesday, October 21, CASA is proud to participate in the national education campaign, Imagine a Day Without Water. We encourage our members to join us in highlighting how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. Sign up to participate and learn more about the history of this campaign, the resources available, who else is involved, and get social media templates here.
The Cost of Wipes on America’s Clean Water Utilities 
NACWA has released the long-awaited nationwide study on The Cost of Wipes on America’s Clean Water Utilities. CASA collaborated with NACWA and other water associations to produce this report which provides an estimate of the increased operating costs for utilities nationwide, with costs also estimated for each state. It is available here on CASA’s wipes webpage as well as NACWA’s new Toilets Are Not Trashcans webpage. NACWA’s new site features some great educational, legislative, and utility focused resources, we encourage you to check it out and take the 3 P Pledge when it opens. Please contact Alyssa Downs or Jessica Gauger with any questions. 
The Water Equity Network
At the end of September, the US Water Alliance announced the Water Equity Network, which aligns the resources and capacities of diverse stakeholders to advance equitable water management. The Network is composed of City Learning Teams, with representatives from local water and wastewater utilities, organizations serving vulnerable communities, environmental groups, philanthropy, and more. It is a nationwide community of practice in which participating water agencies and City Learning Teams collaborate to advance equitable water management practices at the local, state, and national levels. Learning Teams receive coaching and support from the US Water Alliance to guide them through identifying local challenges and developing policies and programs to advance water equity. Learn more here.
Member News
Deadline Extended for the Awards of Excellence
Have you heard? We have extended the deadline to apply for CASA’s 2020 Awards of Excellence to Friday, October 30, 2020. CASA seeks to recognize members who provide essential public services and go above and beyond to protect public health and the environment. All member agencies and associates are invited to submit an Award of Excellence application. Your organization works hard to do what’s right for California. Recognition from the leading clean water association honors your hard work and accomplishments. It’s a symbol of respect, credibility, and innovation. For more information about the award criteria and categories, please visit the Awards Program Webpage.
Utilities of the Future
Congratulations to the following CASA members who have been recognized by the Utility of the Future Today program which honors forward-thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities.

Recognized for the first time:
City of Oceanside
Eastern Municipal Water District
Irvine Ranch Water District
Moulton Niguel Water District
Silicon Valley Clean Water 
West Basin Municipal Water District

Recognized for a second year (but for a new area of performance):
City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department 
City of LA Sanitation and Environment 

Recognized for a third year (but for a new area of performance):
Delta Diablo
Orange County Sanitation District
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
In Case You Missed It
Sewershed Protection Article in Science
The latest issue of Science features an article which highlights the intersection of urban reuse projects and industrial discharges to renew the call for protection of sewersheds. You may review the article online here, but a key takeaway is, “Regulations for sewershed protection must take into account the potential risks that chemicals in the sewershed pose to public health, as well as the cost and effectiveness of existing technologies to purify wastewater to drinking water standards. In sewersheds with higher risk of drinking water contamination due to large volumes of industrial chemical discharges to a sewershed relative to the volume of municipal wastewater, sewershed protection regulations might prohibit potable water reuse or require more extensive treatment and monitoring.” Please reach out to Jared Voskuhl if you’re interested in dialoguing about the article!
HHS Seeks An Early Warning System
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking bids from contractors that can carry out a plan to test up to 30% of the country’s wastewater to act as an “early warning system” for coronavirus outbreaks. The HHS-backed initiative will begin by assembling a network of about 100 wastewater treatment plants across 42 states to establish wastewater coronavirus surveillance. View the full article here.
Women in Water & Power: Working on the Frontlines
On Tuesday, October 6th at 11:00am, CWEA is hosting a webinar: Women in Water & Power: Working on the Frontlines. The one-hour webinar discussion will feature four woman who work on the frontlines of California water. The webinar is free, and everyone is welcome. This is also a great opportunity for those who are considering a career in the industry! Are the water and power sectors welcoming and supportive of women? Are there opportunities to advance? How do I get into these careers, and where do I start? Is it safe? Do you get dirty? Register for this special event and find out! This webinar is also part of a series to celebrate California Water Professionals Week 2020 (#ThankWaterPros) and is supported by ACWA, AWWEE, BAYWORK, CA-NV AWWA, CWEA and CASA. Check out the panelists and learn more here! 
Wastewater Consolidation and Funding Webinar
Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 9:30am to 11:30am the Central Valley Clean Water Association is hosting a webinar: Wastewater Consolidation and Funding Webinar. In 2018, Governor Brown signed SB 1215 into law, establishing funding and the regulatory framework for a statewide program to facilitate the consolidation of inadequate onsite sewage treatment systems with existing sewer systems. During this webinar, you will hear about this program, funding opportunities and case studies. Register here.
Veterans in Water: Continue Serving Your Community
On Thursday, October 8th at 11:00am, CWEA is hosting a webinar: Veterans in Water: Continue Serving Your Community. The one-hour webinar will feature four veterans who work on the frontlines of California water. This is a great opportunity for those who are considering a career in the industry! How do you get started on a career in water/wastewater? Is there synergy between the military and water sector? What is the municipal/civil service hiring process like? What resources should the water sector build to make transitioning easier for veterans? Check out the panelists and learn more here!
Microplastics Health Effects Webinar Series
The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) is hosting a five session webinar series every Monday from October 19 to November 16, during which microplastics experts from around the world will summarize current knowledge and discuss the latest findings regarding microplastics toxicity. Representatives from the State Water Resources Control Board and the Ocean Protection Council will also share their perspectives about how such science will be used in meeting the legislative mandates. This webinar series is open to the public, with the intent of informing the community (e.g., scientists, environmental managers, stakeholders) about the latest scientific developments regarding the potential health effects of microplastics. Learn more and register here.
CAAWEF Webinar
On October 22, 2020, CASA is pleased to be sponsoring an event as part of the California African American Water Education Foundation (CAAWEF) webinar series that will focus on strategic communications from wastewater agencies to diverse communities and ways to broaden POTW messaging. Keep an eye out for a link to the virtual event which will be livestreamed via YouTube(@CAAWEF_), Facebook(@CAAWEF), and through the CAAWEF webpage.
Join us as we continue our COVID-19 webinar series on October 27, 2020 at 11:00. For the last six months, CASA and CWEA have hosted a series of joint webinars focusing primarily on COVID-19 related issues. We will continue that series through the end of the year, focusing on wastewater based epidemiology developments and other relevant COVID-19 research and initiatives. 
CASA/CWEA Planning for Fiscal Recovery - Postponed
Keep an eye out for the new date set for November and join CASA for a joint webinar with CWEA on “Planning for Fiscal Recovery - Perspectives for Agency Executives, CFOs and Board Members.” As sanitation agencies continue to adjust to uncertain economic conditions, they must balance the needs of their constituents and the operations of their systems. Should I raise rates or rely on my reserves? Can I give customer rebates and what are the impacts? Can I continue to build my capital program? How do I communicate with my customers? Come hear from industry experts as they discuss financial planning, capital funding and customer impacts.
Virtual Funding Fair
The California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) is pleased to invite you to attend a free virtual funding fair on October 22, 2020. The funding fair will provide the opportunity to learn more about available grant, loan and bond financing options for infrastructure projects from federal, state, and local agencies. Representatives from water industry professionals, public works, local governments, and California Native American Tribes should attend. This includes city managers and planners, economic development and engineering professionals, officials from privately owned facilities, water and irrigation district managers, financial advisors, and project consultants. For more information about CFCCC, please visit the website at
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