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Imagine a Day Without Water: Op-Ed Template

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Imagine a Day Without Water: Commit to a sustainable water future for all.

This year, our country faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this emergency, water and wastewater systems kept the water flowing in homes, hospitals, and essential businesses. This crisis demonstrated the critical role that water and wastewater systems play in their communities, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, and making a healthy economy possible. It is easy to imagine how much worse the pandemic would have been without widespread access to water infrastructure. Without reliable drinking water and sanitation, Americans would be unable to stay safe and limit the spread. In communities with inadequate water and wastewater infrastructure, the public health consequences have been dire. 

Today, we Imagine a Day Without Water. It’s a day to pause and notice the way that water systems impact our lives and communities, and commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come. What would your day be like if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, or if you flushed the toilet and wastewater didn’t go anywhere? What would happen to restaurants, hospitals, firefighters, farms, breweries, or the hundreds of industries that depend on water?

Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. Washing our hands regularly is one of the most important steps to take to limit the spread of coronavirus, and we usually don’t stop to think about the impressive infrastructure and treatment required to make sure the water comes out when you open the tap, or safely returns water to the environment from your sink. But the truth is, our water and wastewater systems are getting older -- some were installed a century ago -- and everyone should be concerned with the vulnerability of those systems.

While we continue to enjoy high quality and reliable water service now, maintaining that level of service is going to be harder and harder as America’s water infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Meanwhile, new threats from record rainfalls, flooding, toxic algae, drought and wildfires threaten our critical water systems. There are even communities, especially in many rural places across the country, that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place.

As we look at ways to help lift our economy out of the recession, investing in water infrastructure is a winning solution. Investing in water creates cascading economic benefits, strengthening American competitiveness, raising GDP, creating jobs and increasing wages. Investing in water provides a path to economic recovery. Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to get educated about our local water systems and raise awareness with our elected leaders. We need leadership at every level to work together to ensure a reliable water future for generations to come. Investing in water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.

Tags:  COVID-19  IDWW  Water 

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26th Annual IAMU Water & Wastewater Operator's Training Workshop - November 2020

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The 26th Annual Water and Wastewater Operator’s Training Workshop will be presented as a series of one-day online courses in the month of November.
 
Each day will provide both basic and advanced topics focused on:
 
Water Treatment – November 10
Water Distribution – November 17
Wastewater – November 24

Water and wastewater professionals wanting practical information to help them do their jobs should plan to participate in these courses.

Pricing
 
$25 per day for IAMU Members; $50 per day for Non-Members

CEUs Available
 
Five (5) CEU hours are available for each day.

Registration Information
 
You may register for each day at the links below.  *Please note:  if you are attending more than one day, you will have to register for each session respectively.
 
Water Treatment – November 10 Registration
Water Distribution – November 17 Registration
Wastewater – November 24 Registration

*The conference link will ONLY be sent to the registered attendee’s email address.*

Questions?
 
Contact Steve Marsh at smarsh@iamu.org or (800) 810-4268.

Tags:  CEUs  Water  Water Workshop  Webinar 

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Save the Date – Legislative Reception & Energy Conference

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Mark your calendar for February 24, 2021 when IAMU will hold our legislative reception at the Iowa Hall of Pride.

Following the reception on February 25-26, 2021 the Annual IAMU Energy Conference will be held at Prairie Meadows Events and Conference Center.

More information will be available in the coming weeks.

See you there!

Tags:  Energy Conference  Hall of Pride  Legislative Reception 

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Communication Corner: A look at how to connect with your customers and other stakeholders

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, October 20, 2020
A plain language primer – making sure everyone understands your communications
 
You might have heard of or come across the term plain language. It’s talked about more and more these days. Some people think plain language is dumbing down information, but it’s not. It’s using words and structure that lead to effective communications so just about anyone can understand, process, and apply the information being delivered. Isn’t that what we all want?
 
According to PlainLanguage.gov, “No one technique defines plain language. Rather, plain language is defined by results — it is easy to read, understand and use.”
 
With that said, let’s take a look at some common language and design techniques that can help achieve the results.
  • and other pronouns — Using pronouns pulls your audience into the communications and makes it more meaningful. Use you for the reader, I when writing question headings from the reader’s viewpoint, and we for your organization.
  • Active voice — Using active voice clarifies who is doing what. On the other hand, passive voice obscures it. What’s more, active voice is generally shorter, as well as clearer. Active sentences are structured with the actor first (as the subject), then the verb, then the object of the action. (e.g., Write or say, “The storm knocked out the power,” instead of “The power was knocked out by the storm.”)
  • Short sentences and paragraphs — Using short sentences, paragraphs, and sections helps your audience get through your material. People get lost in long, dense text with few headings.
  • Common, everyday words — You don’t impress people by using big words; you just confuse them. Why include utilize or leverage when use will do? Also, stay away from jargon, foreign terms, Latin terms, and legal terms. For a handy list of simple words to use instead of more complex words or wordy phrases, click here.
  • Easy-to-read design features — Think headers, pulled quotes, bulleted lists, and tables. You’ll be adding more white space to your communications, making it more appealing to your audience. Don’t forget to switch up the font color, too. But, don’t go overboard. Stick with one accent font.
If you try these writing and design techniques in your communications, you may just make your messages easy to process and understand, and that’s a good thing.
 
P.S. Just in case you don’t believe us when it comes to the power of plain language, here is what a few others had to say about it:
  • “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well. Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone. Everything should be as simple as it can be, yet no simpler.” — Albert Einstein
  • “The shorter and the plainer the better.” — Beatrix Potter
  • “The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity.” — Robert Stuberg
  • “Use the smallest word that does the job.” — E.B. White

Tags:  Communication Corner 

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5 Tips to Staying Cybersecure on Social Media

Posted By IAMU, Monday, October 19, 2020

Social media can be a great tool for business owners, but it also presents possible cybersecurity threats you might not think about. Below are 5 helpful tips to staying cybersecure while using social media for your business to implement during Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Pate
Iowa Secretary of State


5 TIPS TO STAYING CYBERSECURE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

With every social media account you sign up for, picture you post, & status you update, you are sharing information about yourself with the world. Take these simple steps to connect with confidence & safely navigate the social media world.

1. NEVER CLICK & TELL
Seemingly random details are all a criminal needs to know to target you, your loved ones, & your physical belongings. Keep personal information such as your full name, address, birthday, or even vacation plans off the Internet. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are, & where you aren't, at any given time.

2. REPORT SUSPICIOUS OR HARASSING ACTIVITY
Work with your social media platform to report & possibly block harassing users. Report an incident if you've been a victim of a cybercrime. Local & national authorities are ready to help you.

3. THERE IS NO 'DELETE' BUTTON
Just because you delete a post or picture from your profile seconds after posting, chances are someone still saw it.

4. UPDATE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS
Set the privacy & security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Disable geotagging, which allows anyone to see where you are, & where you aren't, at any given time.

5. CONNECT ONLY WITH PEOPLE YOU TRUST
While some social networks might seem safer for connecting because of the limited personal information shared through them, keep your connections to people you know & trust.

These tips and tricks to help secure your business from cyber threats while on social media are provided by CISA.

For more information about how you can Do Your Part to #BeCyberSmart, visit www.cisa.gov/ncsam

Tags:  Cyber Security  Social Media 

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