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2017 Rapid Assessment for Local Leaders

Rapid Assessment for Local Leaders

1. We would like to ease community concerns about the taste, appearance, smell or chemicals in the water. 
That's great! We're glad your customers don't have any concerns!
Community members often would like to know more about the chemicals used to treat water. This is an opportunity to work with them to share information. Jump to resources for understanding chemicals in treated water. 
2. We would like to educate our community on the risks of drinking untreated water. 
Maybe you've already educated your community about the risks of untreated water. You are already one step ahead. 
Drinking untreated water has a number of health risks that are important for the community to consider. Jump to resources on  risks of drinking untreated water. 
3. We want to help the community trust the treated water.
Your customers may already trust and use the treated water - Good on you!
A community that trusts its water system will be more likely to use safe treated water, which has important benefits to health. Jump to resources to promoting trust in treated water.
4. We want to improve our community's water/sewer revenues. 
Community finances do well when customers pay regularly. The rates for your community must be doing great. 
It can be difficult to identify exactly why customers aren't paying their bills, take the time to investigate the cause either through general conversations, or a more comprehensive and structured community assessment. Jump to resources for improving water and wastewater bill payment. 
5. We would like to make water/sewer service more affordable to our community members.
We're glad to know that customers in your community have affordable water and sewer!
Affordability is a common obstacle faced by small communities running their own water systems. Jump to resources for rate setting, making water affordable, and customer assistance.  
6. We want to better understand or clarify the roles of the water system owner, manager, and operator. 
Amazing! The roles and responsibilities for your employees must be as crystal clear as your water!
Utility systems typically function at their best when all stakeholders including board members, owners, managers, operators, and even customers, have clearly defined roles. Jump to resources on understanding owner, manager, and operator roles.
7. We want to establish or refine our model for water system management.
Like the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
There are multiple approaches to managing community water systems, the model that best serves your Tribe will be determined by a variety of factors. Jump to resources for water system management models. 
8. We would like help developing or improving the ordinances and resolutions that govern our water system.
There are some things in life that don't need to change. Two day weekends, your grandmother's fry bread recipe, utility ordinances and resolutions. 
Ordinances and resolutions provide the foundation of the laws and opinions of your utility. Jump to resources for governing water systems - ordinances and resolutions. 
9. We want to develop a long-term plan for water system sustainability. 
Perhaps you have already developed a long-term plan for water sustainability. 
We can ensure our water is available for future generations by developing a long-term plan for sustainability. Jump to resources for developing a long-term plan for water system sustainability. 
10. We would like to engage our community members, water utility staff, and/or fellow leaders on difficult water issues. 
We're glad to know that community members feel comfortable talking with you about anything! Including difficult water issues.
Many issues regarding your water system can become serious when there is difficulty talking about them with other stakeholders, and therefore they continue to cause problems. Jump to resources for engaging others on the topic of water.
11. We would like to attend training in utility management.
Knowledge is power and you are all knowing!
Relevant and effective management training can offer career development opportunities and lead to the adoption of innovative strategies for your utility. Jump to resources for operator training and certification opportunities. 
12. We would like to celebrate our community's water culture.
Recognizing and celebrating traditions can be incorporated into nearly every part of daily life. Including water. We are happy to know your community already knows the culture and traditions of your people. 
From ceremony to subsistence to recreation, water is part of our tradition. Celebrating our water culture can help bring our community together. Jump to resources for water is life. 
13. We would like to recognize the hard work of our water/wastewater treatment plant operators and staff. 
Happy employees mean happy customers. We're pleased they're pleased. 
Water treatment plant operators and staff have a tremendous responsibility to provide safe and accessible water to their communities. Take the time to acknowledge their hard work, it will help the staff value and respect their responsibilities. Jump to resources for recognizing water utility staff.
14. There is not enough funding available for us to properly operate and maintain the water/sewer system. 
Incredible! Your system must run like a well-oiled machine! 
It is critical that your utility secure funding to operate your system in a safe and consistent manner. Jump to resources on utility budgets and rate setting
15. We want to begin producing or improve our Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs).
Chances are that you are already creating consumer confidence reports? Nice!
The more that customers know about the treated water, the easier it will be for them to trust it and feel confident drinking it. A CCR is a Commonly Required Report that can detail its information. Jump to resources to improve customer confidence reports. 
16. We are experiencing high turnover of operators or other utility staff.
Water plant operators and utility staff are vital for the performance and well-being of a community's water and waste water utilities. We hope that there are positive working relationships with the community and their operators and utility staff!
Water staff face a wide-range of daily challenges, and these parts of the job often lead to staff turnover, which is costly for the utility. Jump to resources to retaining qualified water treatment plant staff.
17. We would like to develop or improve our Emergency Response Plan
It sounds like you already have a useful Emergency Response Plan in place, way to be prepared!
Effective planning will help your utility perform at its best, even under the worst circumstances. Jump to resources for developing an Emergency Response Plan.