From the Call Center to the CEO
Everyone recognizes the Water Research Foundation tagline, “Advancing the Science of
Water.” The Foundation logo, once a microscope and now a water molecule, illustrates
our dedication to being the world’s leading research organization in providing high-quality, safe drinking water. With so many advancements over the years in water quality
spearheaded by Foundation research, we have the results that prove this commitment.
However, the Foundation is about much more than funding research for scientists in
lab coats. We’ve funded hundreds of research projects by and for civil engineers on
maintaining, improving, and replacing vital infrastructure. We created a comprehensive Website to provide information to our
subscribers and the public on the numerous effects climate change has on the water supply. We’ve even funded projects on
helping utilities develop state-of-the-art call centers for communicating directly with customers.
The two feature articles in this issue of Drinking Water Research demonstrate how the Foundation also can directly assist
another division of utility personnel—management. The first article, “Foundation Research Supports Effective Utility
Management Attributes,” demonstrates how the wide portfolio of research funded by the Foundation over the years
supports 10 key attributes of effectively managed water utilities. The article also describes an ongoing Foundation project,
“Performance Benchmarking for Effectively Managed Water Utilities,” which will support water and wastewater utility
managers in developing and achieving these 10 attributes.
The second feature, “Water Utility Challenges in Meeting Revenue Gaps,” describes a recent workshop held by the
Foundation to discuss strategies to bridge the revenue gaps facing many of the nation’s utilities. The topics discussed and
the deliverables produced from this workshop identify and build upon the strategies of managers who have made real-time
decisions to ensure the financial stability of their utilities.
The Foundation has completed dozens of other projects on topics that can help utility managers. And moving forward, we
will begin offering our subscribers privileged access to “Executive Toolboxes” that will provide a suite of tools geared towards
managers. These efforts demonstrate our commitment to producing results for all utility staff: from the call center employee
to the water quality specialist, to the utility CEO.
Roy L. Wolfe, PhD
Chair, Board of Trustees
Robert C. Renner, PE, DEE