Access Water Client Newsletter: March 2011
President’s Message – Celebrating World Water Day, March 22
Since 1993, March 22 has been designated by the United Nations as World Water Day, a day designed to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. At CH2M HILL we are committed to being an advocate for making clean water and sanitation available to people in every corner of the world, but executing projects to improve quality of life is only part of CH2M HILL’s commitment. The other part, not seen in technical reports or engineering drawings, takes shape in the hands and hearts of our employees who volunteer time, donate funds, and contribute in-kind gifts to support worthy causes that promote the provision of clean and safe water for every individual on planet Earth.
In developing countries, 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without adequate sanitation. Many people in the developed world do not know this, which is why this year in celebration of World Water Day CH2M HILL is going viral to build awareness of water issues and the need for a new urban water paradigm. Through a social media campaign, we are asking our network of friends and employees to learn more about water issues and promote World Water Day to their own networks by updating their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn status. Click here to learn more about our World Water Day efforts.
As water professionals, we continually look to protect and enhance economic and societal vitality and preserve environmental resources for future generations. Water awareness education can help us protect and preserve a vital natural resource.
President, CH2M HILL Water Business Group
Hats Off To. . .
Inaugural U.S. Water Prize Winners Announced
Congratulations to the five winners of Clean Water America Alliance 2011 U.S. Water Prize! The Clean Water America Alliance created and administers the U.S. Water Prize to recognize achievement and inspire action for water sustainability. U.S. Water Prize winners by alphabetical order are the City of Los Angeles, Milwaukee Water Council, National Great Rivers Research & Education Center, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pacific Institute. CH2M HILL is a proud sponsor of the inaugural 2011 award.
For more information about the winners, check out the Clean Water America Alliance website.
Saving Rain Today for a Greener Tomorrow
Onondaga County’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Green Infrastructure Program, known locally as the Save the Rain campaign, has won a 2010 Project Merit Award from the Environmental Business Journal. The award will be presented this March. This innovative project will increase CSO capture from 85 percent to 95 percent and will beautify and green many areas of Onondaga County.
“The environmental leadership that County Executive Mahoney has provided since her first day in office is nothing short of remarkable,” says CH2M HILL Program Manager Matthew Marko. “The desired outcome is to implement a balanced green-gray CSO control program that reduces overflows to the lake and its tributaries to achieve water quality standards, improve the environmental aesthetics and public benefits through implementation of greener technologies, and reduce projected long-term capital and operation and maintenance costs. We are well on our way to accomplishing all of this. It is a truly great project that will benefit Onondaga County for generations to come.”
For her leadership on the CSO program, County Executive Joanne Mahoney was awarded the New York Water Environment Association Frank E. Van Lare Award. The award is given to elected officials who have made substantial and meaningful contributions to advancing effective water quality environment programs. Congratulations Onondaga County and County Executive Mahoney!
CH2M HILL’s Ron Williams Named 2010 Outstanding Engineer
CH2M HILL wastewater treatment engineer Ron Williams has been named the 2010 Outstanding Engineer of the Year by the Greater Phoenix Area Engineering Community as part of the Greater Phoenix Area Engineers Week annual celebrations. Members of the local engineering community nominate Outstanding Engineering Award candidates based on their contributions to the profession and to public welfare, their professional integrity and ethics, and their statewide professional reputation.
Williams was nominated for the award by the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, where he is currently serving as the project design manager for the Department’s $277 million upgrade and expansion of the Ina Road Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
CH2M HILL Named 100 Best Companies to Work For
CH2M HILL has been named a 2011 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®. This is the fifth time CH2M HILL has earned a place on the coveted list. To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work For, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct an extensive employee survey. This year 311 companies participated in the survey. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the employee survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, internal communications, training, recognition programs, and diversity efforts.
CH2M HILL is also one of 12 companies profiled in “The Great Workplace: How to Build It, How to Keep It, and Why It Matters.” Drawing on 25 years of research by the Great Place to Work Institute—that annually surveys 2 million people and 6,000 companies—co-authors Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin explain the business value of creating great workplaces. According to Burchell and Robin, CH2M HILL’s values, collaborative work approach, and employee ownership culture differentiate it from the other organizations highlighted in the book.
Bill Bellamy, CH2M HILL Fellow and Senior Vice President of Water Technologies, and CH2M HILL employee of 27 years, shares why he thinks working for the “CH2M HILL family” is great and what keeps him coming back to the office with the same passion as when he started.
CH2M HILL has also been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the 2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Out of a record number of nominations, CH2M HILL secured a hard-earned spot on the list by going the extra mile and implementing business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry.
“Doing our work ethically and treating our clients, colleagues, and communities we serve with civility and respect is core to the way we live and do work,” says Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL chairman and CEO. “This recognition is an honor and testament to the dedication of our 23,000 global employees to conduct business in the most ethical manner.”
Sharing Innovative Financial Management through Public Works Article Series
Since 2009, Mike Matichich has been writing an article series for Public Works magazine that showcases the creative responses local agencies are using to weather the financial storm. His article series has illustrated a range of strategies that municipalities and utilities are using to minimize the hit to their bottom lines, everything from creating a new dedicated fee structure, ensuring important programs move forward (such as a stormwater utility fee in Richmond, VA), increased activity pursuing grants and other outside funding when there is a reasonable prospect for success (Johnson County, KS, and Austin, TX), and finding revenue through enhancing a product portfolio (Inland Empire Utilities Agency, CA).
“With the substantial help of CH2M HILL’s project managers and other key staff members for the featured projects, we’ve had the opportunity to share important success stories with Public Works’ readers,” says Matichich. His latest article is about Clean Water Services, a water resource management utility in Oregon. “They developed freeware that transportation, facilities, and virtually any other infrastructure operation can use.”
Engineering a Brighter Future
CH2M HILL staff once again embraced the celebration of Engineers Week, held this year from February 20-26. The educational outreach program is celebrated annually during the third week of February to increase awareness and understanding of engineering and the role engineers play in society. The program also encourages K-12 students to consider engineering careers.
Around the globe, CH2M HILL staff reached out in their communities to foster children’s interest in engineering. Jacque Rast, President of CH2M HILL’s Facilities and Infrastructure Division, conducted a series of interviews around the country to promote careers in engineering.
Other outreach efforts included:
Staff visited more than 20 local schools and give presentations to kids from second grade through high school, leading them in hands-on activities that included water filtration and bridge building.
Employees in New Orleans and Baton Rouge visited local classrooms, giving engineering presentations and leading students in hands-on activities.
CH2M HILL engineers and architects visited six metro-area classrooms (grades 4-12) with presentations and hands-on activities. The Portland office also held its annual Engineering Week Open House for engineering students from Portland State University and the University of Portland.
CH2M HILL in the Forefront of Contaminant Warning System Development and Implementation
The CH2M HILL Utility Management Solutions team is in its fifth year of a groundbreaking project developing the first multi-component Contaminant Warning System (CWS) program for Greater Cincinnati Water Works. The goal of the project is to create a state-of-the-art CWS that will detect, assess, and respond to potential water contamination events through the use of strategically placed water quality monitoring stations. These stations constantly feed water quality information into a data warehousing application that analyzes the data and other critical data streams (e.g., customer complaint information and field operations activities) and then indicates possible contamination in the system.
The CWS technologies being used in Cincinnati will serve as a model for water distribution system monitoring, operational procedures, and protocols in water systems nationwide. The results of this project will help improve the industry’s ability to effectively identify and respond to water quality contamination events. The CWS can help safeguard public water systems from terrorist attacks, pollutants, natural impurities, and other threats. Our work on the Cincinnati project includes pioneering efforts to develop a business case evaluation that documents the benefits and costs associated with implementing a CWS.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded CWS grants to four cities under the Water Security Initiative and CH2M HILL is delivering the pilots for each of them. The scope of these grants include online water quality monitoring, sampling and analysis, enhanced security monitoring, tracking consumer complaints, surveillance, public health surveillance, system integration, event detection, and consequence management planning.
Coincidently, the four pilot program cities also happened to be the host cities for recent major sporting events: the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in New York City, the 2010 Major League Baseball League Championships in Philadelphia, the 2010 World Series in San Francisco, and the 2011 Super Bowl in Arlington/Dallas. Millions of eyes were on these sporting events, but billions of data points were analyzed to ensure a secure water supply.
Stay tuned to Access Water Blog for innovation and insight on all things water, all year long.