ARTICLES BY KEVIN WESTERLING

  • Water Events Falling Victim To COVID-19

    As the world hunkers down in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), it is no surprise — and indeed vital for the cause — to see events and gatherings of all types get postponed or canceled. The water/wastewater industry is adhering to our collective social-distancing duty by calling off or rescheduling the following conferences, expositions, and meetings.

  • Artificial Intelligence Predicts – And Saves – Your Water Future

    The digital transformation of water and wastewater utilities may be early-stage, but it is making tremendous impact where applied, and most organizations already have the data at their disposal to improve their local water conditions.

  • West World: Lessons In Future-Focused Utility Management

    California always seems on the precipice, for better or worse. It can symbolize hope and prosperity — from the fortune seekers of the gold rush to today’s would-be Hollywood stars, it’s the place where a brighter future awaits (or, at least, where the sun always shines). Or, it can portend certain doom — a state on fire, both literally and figuratively, where (over)population and natural disasters eventually coalesce into catastrophe.

  • Rights Of Nature: What’s In A Name?

    Lake Erie was recently denied "human" rights, but the Rights of Nature movement still has potential.

  • 2020 Vision For Water: Better Days Ahead

    The past year was another trying one for the water industry. With the long tail of the Flint lead crisis carrying into 2019 (and 2020, with Lead and Copper Rule revisions still pending), even more contamination headlines were made with the discovery of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — dubbed “forever chemicals” — in various hotspots across the nation. It even spawned a big-budget movie at year’s end. But 2020, I trust, will be different.

  • EPA Reveals The Key To Clean Water

    Water and wastewater treatment plant operators may not always love regulators, but they should love what the U.S. EPA water chief had to say about them. Speaking at the “BusinessH20 Water Innovation Summit” in September, the EPA’s assistant administrator for water, Dave Ross, referred to those who clean our country’s drinking water and wastewater as “silent, everyday unsung heroes.” While not as celebrated as others who dedicate themselves to public service, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers, they are every bit as essential — if not more so.

  • AWWA’s Rebel With A Cause

    Presidents and CEOs aren’t typically the types who get the “cool” label, or at least not in the James Dean sense. But when you rise through the ranks of your industry, challenge the status quo, protect everyday citizens, and ride a motorcycle, you have earned the distinction. This brief Q&A gives insight into the history, motivations, and aspirations of current AWWA President Jim Williams — a lifelong champion of the water industry … and a darn cool guy.

  • Separate Ways: Examining The Stormwater Needs Gap

    The Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Stormwater Institute (SWI) reports on challenges and the annual funding gap for the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) sector.

  • Mating And Consolidating

    It can be hard to go it alone, especially when times get tough. Many utilities are seeking support, as they deal with failing infrastructure, escalating contamination threats, extreme weather, and a retiring, difficult-to-replace workforce. These challenges could be overcome with a full set of resources — money, people, equipment, expertise — but many utilities, especially small-community systems, are not so complete.

  • Don’t Let A Water Crisis Boil Over

    No utility wants to issue a Boil Water Notice, but if it does happen, it’s important to get it right. Even if your utility has had a long, unblemished record of delivering high-quality water, a mishandled contamination event will leave a bad taste in your customers’ mouths (so to speak).

  • Fixin’ To Solve Resiliency: Texas, Burns & McDonnell Tackle Infrastructure And Sustainability Issues

    Texas is sizable enough to be a large country on its own, with an economy to match, and is also proudly unique. But when it comes to water issues, the Lone Star State shares a lot in common with the rest of America: overwhelmed and vulnerable infrastructure, threats to water quality and security, and competition for resources.

  • Changing Thoughts On Climate

    I have a confession to make. Although I’m an empathetic person in general, I have found it hard to worry very much about the state of the world once I’m no longer part of it.

  • The Final Straw Against Water Pollution

    If I were asked to describe the makeup of the Water Online and Water Innovations audience, I could say it’s a mix of engineers and operators focusing on clean and/or wastewater processes within municipal or industrial settings. But that wouldn’t tell the whole story, because you are much more than that — you are caretakers of our planet’s most valuable resource.

  • The True Meaning Of 'Value Of Water' Awareness

    Observations from a conversation with Water Environment Federation (WEF) President Jenny Hartfelder

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Kevin Westerling

Kevin Westerling has served as the editor of Water Online, the Internet's premier source for water and wastewater solutions, since 2008. Kevin's education includes a bachelor's degree in English Literature, a minor in Journalism, and certification as a Web Content Developer. He can be reached at editor@wateronline.com.