Recap of Connect at Breakfast - "Liquid Assets" - October 22

by Eric Schneider | Oct 31, 2014
Our Connect at Breakfast on October 22nd featured a lively discussion on how public policy impacts water and waste infrastructure investment. This seminar was the second half of our Liquid Assets series, sponsored by Metro Water Infrastructure Partnership and URS Corporation, on the importance of water and wastewater infrastructure on the region's economic vitality and quality of life. Our speakers were Jennifer Obertino, Vice President and Operations Manager, URS Corporation, Tom Ratzki, Vice President, Water, Black & Veatch, Robert Kenney, Chairman, Missouri Public Service Commission, Karen Flournoy, Director, Water, U.S. EPA Region 7 and Frank Kartmann, President, Missouri American Water (for photos of this event go to the St. Louis Regional Chamber's Facebook page).

(from left to right) Karen Flournoy, U.S. EPA, Robert Kenney, Missouri Public Service Commission, Frank Kartmann, Missouri American Water, Tom Ratzki, Black and Veatch and Jennifer Obertino, URS Corporation

Key takeaways from the session:

- Water and wastewater infrastructure is truly a below ground issue for the public; utilities must educate their stakeholders on the value of water and wastewater infrastructure and the cost of providing safe and reliable service.
- Billions of dollars of water and wastewater infrastructure investment are needed in our region to maintain the current level of quality and reliability.
- Declining or slow population growth, loss of industrial customers, conservation and efficiency negatively impacts revenue for water and wastewater systems, inhibiting their ability to make infrastructure investments.
- The regulatory framework must be properly aligned for all stakeholders to incent infrastructure investment and customer behavior. Rates need to match the value of service provided.
- Weather variation between frequent and heavier wet weather events and droughts have strained water and wastewater systems.

To view the Black and Veatch report on the U.S. Water System go to

Thank you to our sponsors Metro Water Infrastructure Partnership and URS Corporation for a great Liquid Assets seminar. Additional support for the seminar was provided by American Water, Black and Veatch, and CH2MHill.

tags: connect at breakfast | public policy