Key Initiatives Identified at Board Strategic Planning Session
The CASA Board of Directors met in late September for its annual strategic planning session to assess the association’s effectiveness and identify 2019 priority actions. Based on input from the planning session, staff developed a business plan to focus on several key initiatives:
- Explore development of a non-flushable products legislative campaign
- Implement a membership recruitment campaign for 2019
- Develop and maintain an inventory of funding opportunities as a resource for CASA members
- Review CASA’s dues structure
In addition to the detailed business plan tasks, the Board also agreed to implement short-term action items. Most notably, the Board decided to discontinue the Utility Leadership Committee and use other avenues (workgroups, summit partners, board-led initiatives) to promote the utility of the future and address emerging issues as needed.
In 2019, the Sacramento Public Policy Forum will be replaced with a targeted lobby day involving the CASA Board, State Legislative Committee and interested members. The CASA Board of Directors is scheduled to review and adopt the final business plan during the upcoming December meeting.
Members in Action: Las Virgenes’ Response to Woolsey Fire
Protecting public health and safety is at the heart of what CASA members do every day. Increasingly our members are facing disasters that threaten to destroy core infrastructure and the communities they serve.Less than one-month ago, the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District Board was forced to take decisive action to support the fire response and recovery efforts related to the Woolsey Fire that raged through Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The Board declared a state of emergency and approved a series of actions to support staff in its response and recovery to the fire. Efforts included authorizing staff to procure equipment and hire the contractors necessary to repair critical water and wastewater facilities damaged by the fire, thus granting relief to customers affected by the fire.
As the fire increased in size, the District activated its Emergency Operations Center. Staff immediately implemented the District’s Emergency Response Plan following protocols from the Standardized Emergency Management System. Several of the District’s major facilities suffered damages and power outages that affected the entire service area. However, staff was able to use backup power and portable emergency generators to keep critical pumps running using CalWarn (a mutual assistance program designed to assist water agencies during emergencies). The fire struck close to home for the District when one member of the Las Virgenes Board lost his home in the fire.
Following similar tragedies such as last year’s fires in Santa Rosa and in Montecito, the experience at Las Virgenes and elsewhere serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared for emergency situations and the value of decisive action at the local level. We want to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of Las Virgenes and all the other CASA members who have dealt with these situations in recent years.
Inland Empire Utilities Agency Selected as a 2018 Cool Planet Award Recipient
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency was recently recognized as a 2018 Cool Planet Award Recipient. The award celebrates Southern California Edison business customers that incorporate sustainable practices into their long-term plans while demonstrating exemplary leadership.
The Agency has made significant strides to reduce its dependence on the electrical power grid by investing in renewable energy programs. In an effort to diversify and maximize renewable energy generation, the Agency installed 3.5 megawatts (MW) of solar power in 2008 and a 1 MW wind turbine in 2011. Combined, these projects have provided more than 50 percent of peak energy demand agency wide. In addition, the Agency has 4.1 MW of battery storage. Congratulations on a job well done.
Make an Impact in 2018: Year-end Giving to the CASA Education Foundation
With year-end just around the corner, we ask you to consider a contribution to the CASA Education Foundation (Pledge Form). Your contribution will help forge a new future of young water professionals aiming for a career in the clean water community. The Foundation helps ensure clean water for Californians by awarding scholarships to promising students on a path to serving the environmental community. The Foundation relies 100 percent on individual and organizational donations and is an essential investment in the next generation of environmental professionals.