The mission of the Kansas Rural Water Association is:
Provide education and leadership necessary to enhance the effectiveness of Kansas' water and wastewater utilities.
The Kansas Rural Water Association was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1966.
Cities, Rural Water Systems, Others + KRWA = Results that make the difference!
Water is the essential ingredient for every Kansan's life. And for 53 years, the Kansas Rural Water Association has been dedicated to helping public water systems provide the quality and quantity of water needed by their customers and their communities. Since 1993, KRWA has also been providing technical assistance to wastewater utilities.
KRWA offers cities, rural water districts and investor-owned utilities these benefits:
- common sense technical and management know-how; KRWA staff have nearly 500 years of experience
- up-to-date training and seminars - presented by people who work in the industry
- referrals to agencies, organizations and industry professionals
- timely advice on public policy issues
- needed information and publications for boards/councils, managers, operators, administrators, field staff and others
- the Midwest's most respected water/wastewater industry conference
- partnerships with state organizations so more small systems get help
Helping cities and rural water districts
KRWA provides assistance that systems need. When someone calls KRWA, someone answers. Help is on the way ASAP with leak detection, smoking of a sanitary sewer, water or sewer rate studies or policy questions on regulations. In 1998, the Association began providing services to water utilities on source water and wellhead protection. In 1999, KRWA contracted with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to provide assistance to systems using surface water treatment and to systems with compliance problems. In 2001, KRWA began an initiative to help utilities implement GPS mapping.
In 2001, KRWA began providing assistance to KAN STEP projects. Funded through the Kansas Dept. of Commerce & Housing, KAN STEP projects involve local volunteers to construct the project. KAN STEP provides funding for design/engineering, machine rental, and purchase of materials. KRWA provides assistance with the construction. On water projects for example, KRWA trains workers, helps make the installations, flush and pressure test, disinfects, and submit water quality samples. KRWA offers expertise. The Association brings no-nonsense, in-the-trenches experience. Membership support by utilities and associates helps provide services that are vital to the financial and political success of many water and wastewater utilities in Kansas.
Results through training
Busy people need practical, hands-on instruction that solves problems. From 1976 to January 25, 2019, KRWA sponsored or conducted 2,756 training sessions attended by 178,175 operators, managers, board members and agency representatives. KRWA's annual conference is one of the largest water and wastewater conference in mid-America.
Results through technical assistance
When a water or wastewater system has a problem or a question, they need solutions. KRWA's staffers put on their boots and get in the trenches. KRWA helps with all aspects of water and wastewater utility operation and management, such as:
- Leak detection, water loss reduction
- Energy reduction
- Water or sewer rate studies
- Sewer system smoking
- Policy issues, regulations
- Compliance issues
- Financing and support for funding programs
- Water rights
- Assistance with and/or preparation of Consumer Confidence Reports
- GPS mapping
You name it and KRWA can either do it or refer you to someone who can. The bottom line is to make sure systems understand their options for getting the best possible project at the most reasonable price.
Results through technology
Today's small systems must work smarter. KRWA brings the latest technology to cities and rural water districts through:
- Training sessions and conference topics on the latest in utility technology, regulations, management, operations and finance
- An annual spring conference filled with exhibitors displaying the latest in products and services
- Development of websites for cities and rural water districts
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Results through information
KRWA's nationally recognized publications provide the news and advice systems need and can use. The Kansas Lifeline, KRWA's news magazine and other technical resource bulletins, provide timely information for the water and wastewater industry. Other publications (available through the General Store) include:
- The Water Board Bible (newly updated in September 2016)
- Practical Personnel Management
- Customers and You
- Financial Accounting for Small Water Utilities
- Getting Results from Your Experts: Engineers, Attorneys & More
- Developers, Coming Your Way Fast!
- The Operator's Handbook: Facts, Figures & More
Results through partnerships
KRWA is honored to work with water-related state agencies, notably the Public Water Supply Outreach program sponsored by and partly funded through the Kansas Water Plan. This program emphasizes water loss detection and correction, energy reduction, improved electrical maintenance and assistance with water quality issues.
In 1996, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, KRWA and the Kansas Rural Water Finance Authority worked in partnership to ensure that the new Public Water Supply Loan Program would be accessible to small systems. The Rural Water Financne Authority was under contract to provide financial analysis to all SRF applicants and to monitor financial statements of non-rated borrowers and cities in need of reporting assistance from 1997 to July 2017 when KDHE decided to have their own staff provide these services.
Results through legislative action
When KRWA has called for member participation, Kansas' RWDs and cities have responded. Letters, calls and faxes to Topeka and Washington have made KRWA a major participant in crucial legislative activities. An affiliate of the National Rural Water Association, KRWA has been heavily involved in issues such as:
- Federal and state water/wastewater regulations
- Efforts to reauthorize the Safe Drinking Water Act
- Pursued sales tax exemptions for public water systems for five years, resulting in passage of SB 332 in 2001
Results through insurance and financing
KRWA endorses a Group Safety Plan through EMC Insurance Companies for property and casualty insurance; directors and officers insurance is also available. Dividends of more than $6,000,000 have been returned to systems from 1994 to 2018. Dividends are paid based on premiums, losses and expenses averaged for a three-year period.
KRWA also endorses the Kansas Rural Water Finance Authority (KRWFA). The Authority, a non-profit corporation created in 1988, has provided more than $100 million in financing to rural water districts and small cities in Kansas. KRWFA also provides assistance to the Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund that is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
How KRWA has helped water and wastewater systems:
- Completed 2,029 water loss surveys, reducing annual water losses by 6.787 billion gallons for an annual cost savings of $15,845 million
- Conducted 416 operations reviews for annual savings of $788,052 and 6.387 million kWh
- Remapped all 289 rural water district boundaries
- Provided GPS mapping services for more than 270 cities and rural water districts
- Smoke tested 212 wastewater systems and measured sludge for 221 communities
- Negotiated lab fees to reduce costs for drinking water quality tests
- Helped construct 87 water systems, community centers, fire stations and other community facilities through the "self-help" KAN STEP program
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