March 2013

Access Water Client Newsletter: March 2013

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President’s Message

This year began with great opportunities to engage in discussions regarding global resource challenges. We started at the inaugural International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi, where we held important conversations about water and energy resource challenges in arid regions. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, we met with the world’s leaders to discuss the resource management and infrastructure needs that will result from anticipated population growth. These topics represent great opportunities, and great challenges, for the water and wastewater industry around the world.

Optimizing utility operations is a major focus in our industry, driven by the need to provide superior service at an affordable cost. As a full-service solutions provider, CH2M HILL has been blending our operation and maintenance (O&M) and consulting expertise for years to help our clients do more with less. The most recent example is the City of San Diego, California, with whom we’re pleased to be entering into a partnership for system-wide optimization.

Optimization is one of the issues we’ll explore at the Utility Management Conference, March 11–13 in Glendale, Arizona, which CH2M HILL is proud to sponsor. Our consultants will be leading workshops and presenting with our clients on utility management, asset management, automation, and knowledge management. We’ll also host a breakfast on March 12 to present results of a CH2M HILL/McGraw-Hill Construction research study, “Water Infrastructure Asset Management: Adopting Best Practices to Enable Better Investments.” We invite you to join us.

Finally, I am proud to share that for the sixth time CH2M HILL has earned a spot on FORTUNE’s coveted “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Great projects are always a top reason why employees like working for CH2M HILL, and we hope that you enjoy partnering with us and much as we do with you. As Lee McIntire, CH2M HILL Chairman and CEO, said, “This recognition is a terrific accomplishment by our employees, and it is also motivation for each of us to work even harder to deliver the best client experience and to create and foster the best work environment.”

Best Regards,
Bob Bailey
President, CH2M HILL Water Business Group

Our Industry

Asset Management Practices: Critical Challenges Are Driving Adoption in the Water Industry

As part of our commitment to advancing industry understanding of asset management and awareness of the benefits of adopting asset management practices, CH2M HILL partnered with McGraw-Hill Construction on the research study, “Water Infrastructure Asset Management: Adopting Best Practices to Enable Better Investments.” Initial results of the study were released January 17 during the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the full report will be released during the Utility Management Conference, March 10–13 in Glendale, Arizona.

If you are attending the conference, we invite you to join us for breakfast on March 12, 7 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. in Solana FG at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel to hear more about the results of the study from Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances with McGraw-Hill Construction, and Scott Haskins, CH2M HILL director, Management and Strategic Consulting.

Haskins said, “Adoption of asset management practices by utilities throughout the U.S. and other countries is saving ratepayers money, improving system reliability and reducing risk, and helping utilities increase service levels. These practices can be adopted by other infrastructure intensive organizations, such as transit departments, roads, and facility departments, as well as ports and airports.”

Bernstein said, “The study shows that once utilities adopt asset management practices, they more greatly value [the] ability to…  understand and better conduct business; 80 percent [of utilities] consider the fact that asset management allows them to better explain and defend their budgets and investment decisions to governing bodies, a valuable benefit of adopting the program. In addition, 67 percent report that asset management allows them to have a better focus on their priorities. Both of these benefits can be attributed to the greater focus on data, risk assessment, and life-cycle evaluation associated with asset management decision making.”

The study was completed in conjunction with five industry associations that reviewed the survey and distributed it to their members. The study included 451 respondents from the United States and Canada, from utilities ranging from those serving a minimum population of 3,300 to a population of over 500,000.

Read this blog from Nick Pealy, CH2M HILL senior consultant, Asset Management and Reliability Services, for more about the initial results of the study shared during the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Utility Optimization Services: Not a New Model for CH2M HILL!

As a full-service solutions provider – with management consulting, planning, engineering, and operations and maintenance under one roof – CH2M HILL is proud to lead the field in utility optimization. We help clients provide superior service at an affordable price by partnering with them to optimize energy/water/nutrient resources, reduce water loss, increase operating efficiency, enhance reliability, and mitigate risks. Our hands-on experience operating hundreds of water and wastewater systems around the world gives us unique perspective on system O&M optimization, and we’ve been blending our O&M and consulting expertise for years on behalf of our clients. Today we’re working with utilities from California to Kuwait to optimize their services, and we’re pleased to be entering into a partnership with the City of San Diego, California, for system-wide optimization. Stay tuned for more news on our utility optimization services.

CH2M HILL Joins Governing in Future Structure Initiative

As federal budget demands shift the emphasis to the states and localities for leadership around infrastructure, CH2M HILL joins Governing magazine as a founding underwriter for the publication’s new Future Structure initiative. The project officially launches a brand new leadership network to help state and local government officials build and maintain high-quality infrastructure.

“For 25 years, government leaders have depended on Governing for insight, ideas, and inspiration. There is a great need to convene leaders to collaborate around infrastructure planning. As an initiative, Future Structure will bring together Governing’s specialized resources with a cadre of private sector innovators and government executives to catalyze new best practices around alternative funding models and regional thinking for water, energy, transportation and buildings,” says Marina Leight, Governing’s associate publisher for infrastructure.

By bringing together its in-house research team, award-winning writers and event division, Governing will host a unique new platform for leaders to exchange resources and ideas.

“This is a natural partnership for CH2M HILL, as it enables us to leverage our extensive experience and resources working in the water, energy, facilities and transportation sectors with state and local government clients,” says Susan Mays, vice president for marketing and strategic initiatives. “We look forward to helping Governing showcase the critical importance of U.S. infrastructure issues, and working together with public officials to create innovative solutions to address those issues.”

The program was announced November 28 at the National League of Cities Conference in Boston.

Hats Off To. . .

Focus on Energy Management Earns Accolades for Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility

The Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility (SCRWRF) in Spokane, Washington, has earned the Washington Industrial Energy Leaders Award for its innovative energy management. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire presented the WIEL Leadership in Innovation Utility Sponsor Award to Spokane County, CH2M HILL, and Avista Utilities at an awards ceremony at the State Capital in December. The WIEL Awards identify and recognize Washington industries that demonstrate energy efficiency leadership and commitment. In particular, the Leadership in Innovation Award recognizes highly innovative energy projects, including emerging technologies, use of existing technologies in a new way, or a unique change to a process that saves significant energy.

The SCRWRF is an advanced, state-of-the-art, wastewater treatment plant which provides an initial 8 million gallons per day (mgd) of treatment capacity for a residential and commercial/industrial service area, with an ability to expand capacity in phases up to 24 mgd. The facility uses the latest in membrane filtration technology, and will achieve treatment levels for nutrients that are some of the most stringent in the nation. The plant’s sustainable design allows energy recovered through digester gas production and co-generation systems to produce electricity to help run the facility. All non-process buildings are designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver criteria. The team has estimated that total electricity usage could be reduced by up to 2.8 million kilowatt hours per year, resulting in nearly $200,000 in energy cost savings yearly.

Learn more details about the facility’s design and design-build delivery approach that provided these energy and electricity savings in this blog from Rick Smith, CH2M HILL Engineering Manager for the project.

CH2M HILL Projects Receive Business Excellence Awards for Environmental and Climate Change Innovations

CH2M HILL has received recognition for multiple of the company’s environmentally progressive projects in the annual Business Achievement Awards program sponsored by the Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) and Climate Change Business Journal (CCBJ). The 2012 EBJ and CCBJ Business Achievement Awards will be presented in a March 6 banquet in San Diego, California, during the Environmental Industry Summit, an annual 3-day event hosted by the EBJ and CCBJ.

- CH2M HILL received a Project Merit Award for Climate Change Adaptation for its role on the Smart Water Nowsm project in Charlotte, North Carolina. This dynamic water measurement and efficiency program is being implemented by Envision Charlotte, a public-private initiative linking sustainability with economic development.

- The City of San Francisco Urban Wind Map project, which enables residents to enter their address and instantly learn if their home or business has good wind energy potential, received a Project Merit Award for Wind Power. CH2M HILL developed the innovative map-integrating 3-D models for every building in San Francisco, with computational fluid dynamics to characterize wind flows through the city’s downtown core and residential neighborhoods.

- For expanding into a new international service area of managing, monitoring and reducing threats from biological warfare materials and indigenous diseases, the firm was awarded a Business Achievement Award for International Expansion.

- CH2M HILL received a Project Merit Award in Remediation for its work for the Australian Department of Defense managing the safe destruction of 145 World War II mustard gas projectiles at a former military depot in Columboola, Australia.

In addition, CH2M HILL helped develop the Local Water Tool (LWT) for the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the organization recognized with a Business Achievement Award for Social Contribution. The LWT helps companies and organizations identify the external impacts, business risks, and opportunities related to water use and discharge at a specific site or operation.

CH2M HILL’s Phil Benson Earns Black Engineer of the Year Award

Phil Benson, vice president and operations director for the CH2M HILL Water Business Group’s Industrial, Energy and Mining Platform, was presented with the Black Engineer of the Year Awards’ (BEYA) Visionary Award on February 9 during the BEYA Science Technology, Engineer and Math Global Competitiveness Conference, held in Washington, DC. Benson was recognized with the BEYA Visionary Award for his ability to see the world in a brand new light and to have the energy and persistence to push forward until others see it, too. Benson is a highly regarded and valued leader, not only in his role as operations director but also as a member of the Workforce and Diversity Subcommittee to the CH2M HILL Board of Directors, influencing employee diversity policy at the highest management levels of the firm. Phil has more than 25 years of progressive line management, project management and leadership, and technical delivery leadership across a variety of industrial, utility, and government client sectors.

“The BEYA Visionary Award is a tremendous honor to me,” said Benson. “The BEYA organization strives to help minorities and women excel in the fields of engineering and technology. I have found at CH2M HILL both an expectation for my own excellence and a commitment to help others excel. To have those traits honored by BEYA is truly a lifetime achievement for me.”

Structural design engineer Keith Coleman, in CH2M HILL’s Government Facilities and Infrastructure Business Group, was also recognized with a BEYA Most Promising Engineer Award.

Cool Projects

Tunnel Breakthrough Celebrated on Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company’s Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Program

Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) is the service provider for sewerage services and owns and operates the sewerage network and treatment plants throughout the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. To meet growing sewerage infrastructure demands, ADSSC has developed a comprehensive plan to accommodate the projected sewage flows far into the future. The cornerstone of the plan is the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Program (STEP), for which CH2M HILL is the program manager and Impregilo S.p.A. is one of the deep tunnel contractors. On December 18, a ceremony was held to celebrate a tunneling milestone on the project—the fifth tunnel boring machine (TBM) breakthrough on the deepest section of the 25-mile-long (41-kilometer) STEP deep sewer tunnel. A “breakthrough” signals the completion of tunnel excavation between two deep shafts. The breakthrough marked the completion of over 15 miles (25 kilometers) of mined tunnel.

Check out the video below to see some footage of the TBM breaking through!

ADSSC, CH2M HILL and Impregilo S.p.A. staff members were joined by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan to witness the TBM breaking through after 6 months of mining a 2.6-mile (4.3-kilometer) section of the tunnel beneath the Abu Dhabi desert, at depths of around 260 feet (80 meters). The TBM typically progressed at rates of 650 feet (200 meters) per week to install the 20-foot (6–meter) internal diameter pre0cast segmental lining. Over 70 skilled tunnel workers were employed on the TBM drive.

The AED5.7-billion STEP is one of the longest gravity-driven sewerage tunnels in the world. STEP features three key components: 25 miles (41 kilometers) of deep sewer tunnel, 27 miles (43 kilometers( of smaller diameter link sewers, and a pumping station adjacent to the Al Wathba Independent Sewerage Treatment Plants. When completed, STEP will be recognized as an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solution to meet the long-term wastewater collection and conveyance needs of Abu Dhabi Island and mainland. The system is designed for an ultimate capacity of 450 mgd (1.7 million cubic meters) of wastewater per day by 2030.

Learn more details about the STEP tunneling and breakthrough celebration, and hear thoughts from ADSSC Program Management Department Manager Shahzad H. Orakzai.

Developing Capabilities for Alternate Water Sources through Recycle and Reuse of Treated Wastewater in Bangalore, India

Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and Temasek Foundation, Singapore have announced a new initiative to help the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) in India develop and implement alternate water sources through recycle and reuse of treated wastewater, as well as create a public outreach campaign to raise awareness and acceptance of recycle and reuse of wastewater. With a keen interest in understanding Singapore’s experience in the recycle and reuse of wastewater, SCE is the lead agency bringing together a team of Singapore advisors from PUB and CH2M HILL to deliver the 12-month program.

The City of Bangalore has an estimated population of 8 million and is one of the fastest growing cities in India. The demand for water in Bangalore is rising due to this growing population and industrial/commercial needs, at the same time the new sources for raw water are drying up. The BWSSB, under the Karnakata State Government, India, was formed to provide for the drinking water and sewerage disposal needs of the city.

“Singapore has become a world leader in recycle and reuse of treated wastewater and with procurements of such plants on a public-private partnership basis. Singapore has also managed to build acceptance of recycled water by various stakeholders including people, industries, and the leaders through its structured public education program. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board will greatly benefit from the international expertise of Singapore in this regard,” said Vinod Singh, CH2M HILL vice president, Water Business Development and Technology Director for Asia, and WBG geographic manager for India.

Our Community

First-of-its-Kind University Program Launched to Promote Water Reuse

CH2M HILL WaterMatch has collaborated with Net Impact to launch the new WaterMatch Makers University Program. This first-of-its-kind program channels the energy and creative thinking of students around the world onto water issues in their local communities. The students use social networking to connect people and promote water reuse. Students from around the globe are signing up to help build the WaterMatch database and gain real-world learning experiences that support local community and economic development while protecting the environment.

CH2M HILL launched the grassroots, goodwill initiative WaterMatch as a unique social network to connect water users with water generators to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural in 2011. Recognizing the importance of water reuse, and the low rates of implementation around the world, corporations, organizations, and universities are partnering with WaterMatch to promote reuse and sustainable water management through a variety of actions. With more than 300 volunteer-led chapters worldwide, Net Impact is connecting the WaterMatch Makers University Program with a vibrant network of universities and students to promote water reuse and take action on local water issues.

“This program is a great fit for our Net Impact campus chapters. It will provide our student leaders with the opportunity to build crucial skills, learn about water sustainability issues, and make a tangible impact in their community,” said Liz Maw, CEO of Net Impact, the premier global nonprofit that supports a new generation of leaders working for a more sustainable world.

The WaterMatch website has over 21,000 new water resources mapped in 42 countries and is growing daily.

Is your city’s wastewater treatment plant on the Matching Map? Let us know if it isn’t.

Give a Bit and Get a Bit…The Benefits of Volunteering in and Promoting the Water Industry

Every day many of our colleagues donate time volunteering to organizations for a number of reasons: to help improve the lives of others, to see change in policies and practices in areas they are passionate about, to foster the growth and development of people in our industry, and to promote the water industry to the broader community. However, every day, many more do not volunteer. In the 21st century we seem to be even busier than ever before, so why would we donate our precious time and volunteer? Well, if the reasons above aren’t enough, it turns out volunteering is as good for your career as it is to those you help. Kate Simmonds, 2012 Australian Water Association Young Water Professional of the Year for the state of Victoria, shares her personal experience of how getting involved in the industry, and volunteering her time, has paid back in droves.

Stay tuned to Access Water Blog for innovation and insight on all things water, all year long.