Category: General Information (page 1 of 23)

Exploring a Regional Watershed Authority for Jordan Lake

Tori is a fellow in the 2018 Leaders in Environment and Finance (LEAF) program. As part of this fellowship, Tori spent summer 2018 at Triangle J Council of Governments, where helped investigate the administrative and financial aspects of alternative nutrient pollution management models and the legal barriers to implementation faced.

Despite disagreement over how nutrient pollution should be managed in the Jordan Lake watershed, stakeholders tend to agree on one thing: the Jordan Lake Nutrient Management Strategy, commonly known as the Jordan Lake Rules, have room for improvement. Many institutions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors are working to figure out how to mitigate further degradation of water quality in Jordan Lake, in part by looking into alternative financial and governance options for a better regulatory framework. One of these institutions, Triangle J Council of Governments, has examined the framework of a regional watershed authority. Continue reading

Where the ARC meets the EFC: Program Evaluation

A Program Evaluation of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects, FY2009-FY2016

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson stood in Martin County, Kentucky and declared “an unconditional war on poverty in America.” As part of this initiative, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was created: a congressionally appropriated commission that invests in economic development projects in Appalachia, an area of the country that was lagging behind in public health, infant mortality, education, and income level. Fast forward to today, and Appalachia still struggles with job loss and economic downturn. Many counties in central Appalachia built economies around coal mining, and as America’s energy profile shifts away from coal and towards other options, coal towns often need help investing in local infrastructure to improve quality of life and promote economic development. Continue reading

This Week in Water Affordability News (and Perspectives)

Interested in the challenge of protecting public and environmental health without losing sight of the burden those goals may place on some segments of our society?  The affordability challenge sits at the intersection of efforts to assure adequate investment in critical public health infrastructure with social and equity concerns and three recent pieces that came across my virtual desk over the last few weeks illustrate different perspectives related to the same challenge.

Continue reading

Reclaiming Our Water: A Partnership

How the Use of Reclaimed Water Can Help Conserve Millions of Gallons of Water Every Year.

Post by Ryan Rinehart

Ryan is a fellow in the 2018 Leaders in Environment and Finance (LEAF) program. As part of this fellowship, Ryan spent summer 2018 assisting UNC Energy Services in evaluating irrigation supply options to expand the reclaimed water mains at UNC-Chapel Hill to help reduce the school’s potable water intake and reduce expenditure on utility services.

It’s no news to readers of the Environmental Finance Blog that clean water is a precious, finite resource. During the years 2001-2002 and 2007-2008, North Carolina experienced the worst droughts ever recorded in state history.  After the severe drought in 2001-2002, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill partnered with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) to evaluate the feasibility of using reclaimed water at UNC-Chapel Hill, resulting in a partnership to build a reclaimed water system.

The reclaimed water treatment facility is located at the OWASA wastewater treatment plant, and a pipeline to campus allows the University to reduce the use of potable water for non-potable uses, and leave more potable water for human consumption. But what  is reclaimed water and how can it benefit a community? Continue reading

Financial Resiliency and Future Plans

What could make the difference between a utility making it through an event like Hurricane Florence with relatively few impacts, and one that has major, lasting problems?

Imagine two utilities, just over the county line from one another, with the same assets that are exactly the same age, located at the same elevations. Will their ability to provide service after a storm be exactly the same? What type of things might they do before the storm hits to improve the outcome? Continue reading

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