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September 28, 2010

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SouthWest Water Names Floyd E. Wicks Chief Executive Officer

SouthWest Water Company announced that its new owners, investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Water Asset Management, LLC, have selected Floyd E. Wicks as chief executive officer. Wicks succeeds Mark A. Swatek, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

“Floyd Wicks has exceptional credentials in the water and wastewater industry,” said Andrew Walters, managing director of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Infrastructure Investments Group. “He brings a wealth of experience and is eminently qualified to lead SouthWest Water as the company enters the next phase of its growth and development.”

“We would also like to thank Mark Swatek for his dedicated service to SouthWest Water,” Walters added. ”Under his leadership, the company re-organized its major business divisions, implemented a consolidated financial system and improved its employee safety record. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

Commenting on his appointment, Wicks said; ”SouthWest Water is a great organization with an extremely talented and dedicated employee base. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to lead this team as we strive to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities in the water and wastewater industry.”

Wicks has more than 35 years of water and wastewater industry experience. Most recently, he served as president and chief executive officer of American States Water Company and president and chief executive officer of each of American States Water Company’s subsidiaries. During his tenure, the company increased market share, profitability and quality performance. Wicks also has served as a director on the National Association of Water Companies, the Southern California Leadership Council, Water for People, American WaterWorks Association Research Foundation, and the Advisory Board of Water Asset Management, LLC.

Wicks earned a Bachelor's of Science in civil engineering and Master's of Science in water resources engineering from Ohio State University. He is a registered professional engineer in Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.


Water is Your Business Campaign to Host Town Hall on Impact of Water Infrastructure on Business and the Economy

NAWC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Irving Chamber team to lead discussion
The Water is Your Business Campaign, a project of the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, held a town hall discussion on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. The discussion will feature members of the Irving business community and will focus on the relationship between water infrastructure, local businesses and the local economy.

“Sustainable, safe and reliable water service is the lifeblood of every community,” said Michael Deane, executive director of NAWC. “Working with and educating local business leaders is the first step to sparking a national dialogue on the value sustainable water systems have on businesses, communities and the economy.”

This is the second in a series of events that will be held across the nation to educate public leaders, businesses and citizens on the importance and value of water infrastructure to public and environmental health, and the economic vitality of their communities.

For more information please click here.
Please register online at the Irving Chamber Website.


California American Water Files Application for Removal of San Clemente Dam

California American Water filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Sept. 22, 2010, requesting permission to remove the San Clemente Dam from the Carmel River in order to resolve seismic safety concerns associated with the dam and to restore critical habitat for the steelhead trout.

"From an engineering and environmental perspective, this is a landmark project," said California American Water president Rob MacLean. "Our innovative method for dealing with the sedimentation behind the dam and the level of public-private cooperation, which has made this plan a reality, will serve as a template for the removal of other obsolete dams across the country."

California American Water is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service and the California State Coastal Conservancy to implement the dam removal project while minimizing cost to its ratepayers. California American Water has committed $49 million and the dedication of 928 acres where the dam is located as parkland. The Coastal Conservancy and NOAA have committed to raising the additional $35 million, which is needed for the removal project, through a combination of public funding and private donations.

The San Clemente Dam -- a 106-foot-high concrete-arch dam that sits 18 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean -- was built in 1921 to supply water to the Monterey Peninsula's then-burgeoning population and tourism industry. Today the reservoir is over 90 percent filled with sediment and has a limited water supply function.

In 1991 the California Department of Water Resources's Division of Safety of Dams agreed with a California American Water consultant's assertion that San Clemente Dam did not meet modern seismic-stability and flood-safety standards. The Department of Water Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers studied many ways to ameliorate the safety concerns, including strengthening the dam and removing the dam.

The January 2008 Final Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement ("EIR/EIS") regarding San Clemente Dam's stability contained an analysis of a Reroute and Removal Project, which would address the seismic and flood-safety risks associated with San Clemente Dam by permanently re-rerouting a portion of the Carmel River and removing the dam. Under this proposal, the Carmel River would be rerouted to bypass the 2.5 million cubic yards of silt that have accumulated behind the dam, thereby avoiding dredging, which has been deemed infeasible.

The primary benefits of the Reroute and Removal Project are that it improves the Carmel River environment by removing the dam, which serves as a barrier to fish passage, and satisfies government agencies' concerns that strengthening the dam, as opposed to removing it, could further threaten the South Central California Coast Steelhead and violate the federal Endangered Species Act.


Veolia Water North America Releases White Paper Detailing New Measurement Tool for Ensuring Sustainability

Veolia Water North America has published a white paper titled "The Water Impact Index and the First Carbon-Water Analysis of a Major Metropolitan Water Cycle," which details a new methodology for measuring the impact of human activity on water resources and establishing the positive and negative implications of how water resources are managed. In an effort to increase water awareness and support more informed, sustainable decision making, the company announced the paper's publication during the International Water Association's (IWA) World Water Congress and Exhibition.

The paper describes the growing concern over water scarcity, as projected population and economic growth levels over the next three decades will put significant stress on local water resources around the planet. It details Veolia Water's Water Impact Index, which expands on existing volume-based water measurement tools by incorporating multiple factors, including consumption, resource stress and water quality. The paper also describes how the Water Impact Index, the first indicator of its kind, was utilized in a company study that is believed to be the first simultaneous analysis of water and carbon on a major metropolitan area's water cycle.

"Public authorities, citizens and industries must all work together to ensure the sustainable future of our local water resources," said Laurent Auguste, president and CEO of Veolia Water Americas. "Richer and more robust data is required for building the necessary solutions, and this white paper shares how a better understanding of water resources and human activities can help offset our collective environmental impact."

Veolia Water is a sponsor of the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition. The event is a unique opportunity for the community of world-leading water professionals to meet, exchange ideas and debate the key issues underlying water science and management.

The paper can be found on the company's home page.


Illinois American Water Partners with City of Grafton to Provide Water Service to Grafton Residents

On Sept. 3, 2010, Illinois American Water began its partnership with the City of Grafton to provide water service to Grafton residents. While the City of Grafton continues to own and operate its water distribution system, under the new agreement the city will purchase water on a wholesale basis from Illinois American Water’s Alton District before distributing water to Grafton residents.

Previously, Grafton’s water system was a well system, which at times faced quality issues. Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson hailed the new partnership,

“We are thrilled to be hooked up to Illinois American Water," Thompson said. "Residents are assured of not only a reliable water supply, but one of high quality.”

According to Mike Lawhon, operations superintendent for Illinois American Water’s Alton District, the project was necessary due to the condition of the previous Grafton water system.

“The Grafton system was in need of significant upgrades to meet future demand and comply with water quality standards," Lawhon said. "This project will ensure the residents receive reliable water service.”

According to the EPA, the nation’s water utilities will need to make more than $335 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 20 years to ensure public health. These investments include replacing thousands of miles of pipe and making upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets.


Pennsylvania American Water to Install $3.9 Million Storage Tank in Elizabeth

Pennsylvania American Water announced the construction of a new water storage tank located off of Swiss Lane in Elizabeth Township, with an estimated cost of $3.9 million. The above-ground storage tank has 1.25 million gallons of water storage capacity, replacing two tanks located at Youghiogheny Country Club and Route 48.

“The new tank will provide quality, reliable water service and fire protection to more than 21,000
customers in our Mon Valley District,” said Dave Gumbert, Pennsylvania American Water's Southwest Districts field operations manager. “This investment will help to maximize storage capacity and allow us the option of increasing water pressure.”

The tank is scheduled to be placed into service at the end of November. Site restoration work will be completed in the Spring of 2011, and the two existing tanks will be dismantled and removed by the end of 2011.


New Jersey American Water Partners with Rutgers and Cape May Board of Agriculture on Rain Barrel Workshops

Local and regional leaders gathered recently in Ocean City, Md., to roll up their sleeves and build rain barrels. The exercise was designed to give the attendees a taste of the community workshop conducted by the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension of Cape May County and the Cape May County Board of Agriculture. The workshop focused on water conservation and the benefits of rain barrels, and was made possible by a grant from New Jersey American Water.

“Rain barrels offer us both the opportunity to do something practical for the environment while serving as tools to educate the community about water conservation,” said Jenny Carleo, agricultural agent from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County. “We appreciate the generous grant from New Jersey American Water that made this program possible.”

The project uses rain barrels to promote simple best-management practices for homeowners to reduce storm water runoff and conserve water by up to 44,000 gallons over a six-month period. At an earlier workshop, approximately 40 area homeowners built and installed rain barrels.

“New Jersey American Water is committed to helping our customers find ways to save water through conservation, and at the same time reduce their water bills,” said John Bigelow, president of New Jersey American Water. “Workshops like these are great ways to do just that.”

The grant is part of New Jersey American Water’s Environmental Grant Program. This year alone, the company awarded nearly $17,000 in support of innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore and protect watersheds and community water supplies.


Arizona American Water Names New Finance Director

Arizona American Water announced that Greg Barber has been appointed to the position of Finance Director for the company. Barber is a CPA with years of experience in capital transactions, SEC reporting, accounting, budgeting, forecasting, cash management, and internal controls.

“We are pleased to have someone with Greg’s level of experience and dedication join our team,” said Paul Townsley, president of Arizona American Water. “Customers may not be aware of the important role our Finance and Rates Department performs in helping us provide the most cost-effective service possible. Greg will help us continue to provide excellent value to customers while helping improve our financial performance.”

Barber brings more than 20 years of financial experience to the position. Most recently, Barber was treasurer and consultant for Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., developing Sarbanes-Oxley processes, financial filings and managing day-to-day accounting and reporting. Prior to this, Barber served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Global Water Resources. In this role, Barber was directly responsible for consolidation and presentation of financial statements, accounting, customer service, and information technology. He successfully completed nearly $40 million of revenue bond issuances in 2008 and 2009.

Barber’s experience also includes a stint as vice president and chief accounting officer of
Rural/Metro Corporation and Giant Industries, and as vice president of Ever-Ready Oil Co.,

Barber earned his degree from the University of New Mexico in accounting and financial

Barber will be based at the company’s Phoenix office, and will also oversee finance and
rates functions for New Mexico and Hawaii.


Linda Bridwell Named Director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance for Kentucky American

Kentucky American Water has named Linda Bridwell director of water quality and environmental compliance, effective Oct. 4. In her new role, Bridwell will provide strategic oversight and direction of company activities to ensure compliance with all federal and state environmental regulations related to its water and waste water operations. She will also be responsible for enhancing the company’s environmental and conservation-related initiatives.

Bridwell has served in a number of engineering and planning roles in her more than 20 years with the company, most recently as manager of water supply, where she oversaw construction and startup of the company’s $164 million water supply project currently being completed to address Central Kentucky’s water supply deficit. The project includes a new, 20-million-gallon-per-day water treatment plant on the Kentucky River in Owen County, and a 31-mile water transmission main to bring the water to Central Kentucky.

Bridwell, a native of Lexington, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky, and a Master’s degree in business administration from Xavier
University. Earlier this year, Business Lexington named Bridwell one of Central Kentucky’s Leading businesswomen.


New Water Treatment Plant on Schedule to Deliver Water by World Equestrian Games

Kentucky American Water is on schedule to deliver water from its new water treatment plant in time for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The facility is currently in start-up mode, which involves a variety of tests being conducted to ensure that all plant components – from water treatment to pumps and motors to computer automation – are all working as designed to efficiently deliver high-quality water.

“After 20 years of discussion on our region’s water supply needs, and more than two years of
construction, it’s rewarding to be in the final stages of testing this much-needed facility,” said
Nick Rowe, Kentucky American Water's president. “When we proposed this project a few years ago, we assured our customers, the business community and our regulators that the plant would be producing quality tap water for our customers by the start of the games, and we will deliver on that promise. This is a tremendously exciting time for everyone who has been a part of this long-awaited project. Most importantly, this is great news for our Central Kentucky customers.”

The new plant is part of a $164 million project to address Central Kentucky’s water supply deficit and ensure ample water supply for the region, even during times of drought, for at least the next 20 to 30 years. The other components include a booster pump station in Franklin County and a 31-mile underground water transmission main to bring the treated water from the new plant into the company’s existing Central Kentucky distribution system. The new treatment plant, which treats water from Pool 3 of the Kentucky River, is designed for easy expansion to accommodate regional partners. The company also has two water treatment plants in Fayette County and one in Owenton.

A formal dedication ceremony and an open house at the new plant will be held later this fall.


American Water Awarded Second Contract to Build New Wastewater Treatment Plant in Islip, New York

American Water announced that its subsidiary, Applied Water Management, has been awarded a $4.5 million contract from Home Properties, Inc., to build a wastewater treatment plant in Islip, New York. This is the second contract awarded to the company by Home Properties in the last two months. The plant will treat 152,250 gallons a day and serve approximately 1,700 people.

Applied Water Management already serves as the contracted operator for the community's existing wastewater treatment plant, as well as four other plants in Long Island, for Home Properties. The company designed the new plant, successfully bid on the construction, and will continue its operations contract.

In July 2010, Home Properties awarded a similar contract to Applied Water Management for another plant in Islip that is also currently operated by the company.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Home Properties, and to be able to provide this solution to help meet the needs of this community," said Donald Shields, vice president and director of technical services for Applied Water Management.