2017 Regional/Water District Issues Forum

April 11-12, 2017
Washington DC

Click Here to Register

This forum is designed to specifically address Rural Water Association Member Regional and District Types of System issues.  Attendees will receive a personal briefing from the new administration leadership, key congressional staff and agency management.  This is the opportune time to influence the new administration on rural water issues, especially as it relates to our regional and district operations that are atypical in governance, management and finance than large metropolitan systems.


101 Constitution Ave NW
9th Floor Rotunda
Washington DC 20001


Click Here to Register


  • $325.00 – Current WaterPro Online Community Member Price
  • $375.00 – WaterPro Online Community Membership Included
  • $400.00 – Event Registration Only

What is the WaterPro Online Community?

The WaterPro Online Community will allow you to network with utility personnel, access training on new technology and regulations and discuss utility-specific topics with your peers. Click here to learn more!

Nearby  Hotels:

Hotels near the Water District Forum venue are filling up. NRWA recommends using an on-line booking site, such as trivago to find the best pricing and availability.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

7:30am – 8:00am – Registration (coffee & continental breakfast)

8:15am – 8:30am – Welcome and Introductions

  • Steve Fletcher, NRWA President

8:30am – 10:00am – Infrastructure Funding in 2017
Funding under the Trump Administration and understanding the new Administration’s focus is critical to planning for the future.  This session provides the attendee with anticipated projections, priorities for limited funding and creative thinking in acquiring affordable financing for building, upgrading and the expansion of service areas.

  • Rural Utilities Service – Water and Environmental Programs
    • Kellie Kubena, Acting Assistant Administrator
    • Kent Evans, Director, Water Programs
    • Scott Barringer, Deputy Assistant Administrator
  • EPA- Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program
    • Dr. Andrew Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
    • TBD
  • Co-Bank
    • Christopher Shaffner, Sector Vice President, Water and Community Facilities Banking

10:30am – 11:45am – Appropriations Outlook
Regardless of the Administration’s priorities, funding is applied by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. This session provides a personal briefing on the thought process within the appropriations process as to what will be funded, at which amount, and for what purpose as it relates to rural water.

  • Fitz Elder, Senate Appropriations Committee Deputy Staff Director

11:45am – 1:00pm – Catered Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm – 1926(b) Service Area Protection Legal Review
As court battles continue, protection from service area encroachment is a primary concern for the sustainability of rural water districts. Mr. Herring has specialized in 1926 (b) legal battles for many years. This session will provide attendees with the latest issues, court decisions, and steps to prevent a costly legal battle.

  • Jim Herring, Attorney at Law

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Regulatory Outlook for 2017
Is rolling back water regulations a reality? What will the impact be? Where does the new lead and copper regulation stand? What is on the regulatory agenda for the near future?

  • Dr. Peter Grevatt, Director, EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water

3:30pm – 4:30pm – The Next Farm Bill
The Farm Bill reauthorization directly impacts the main source of funding for the Rural Utilities Service. This briefing will provide attendees with the initiatives being considered as this process takes over the next year. These provisions can establish the parameters to benefit or hinder rural district funding and operations. Kevin Baily is one of the key staff in crafting the next Farm Bill and Keith Heard has played an integral role in passing the last five Farm Bill reauthorizations.

  • Darin Guries, senior professional staff member US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
  • Keith Heard, former Chief of Staff to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS)

4:30pm – 5:00pm – “Drinking Water Affordability Act” Briefing
Is the congress starting to look at affordability in the regulatory process?

  • Jason Isakovic, Legislative Director, Representative Latta (R-OH)


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

8:00am – 8:30am – NRWA Products and Services Portfolio

  • Sam Wade, CEO, NRWA
  • Matt Holmes, Deputy CEO, NRWA

8:30am – 9:30am – EPA Administration Vision
There is no doubt that the direction of EPA will change under the Trump Administration. Hear first-hand from the EPA Administrator’s Office their vision of EPA and how this focus will relate to water and wastewater systems.

  • Administration Officials TBD

9:30am – 11:00am – Evolving Cyber Security Threats to Utilities: Resolutions and Protections
An increasing threat to systems of all sizes but in particular larger types of operations is cyber intrusion that can impact the systems operation and networks. There are threats that water systems need to be aware of and implement preventative measures to protect the assets of the utility. Information systems for billing, maintenance, and web locations are as valuable, if not more, than any piece of equipment. While many threats are classified, this session will brief attendees as much as possible without violating the classified information requirement.

  • Michael Marlow, Automaton Federation, Managing Director
  • Eric Goldstein, DHS
  • Adam Sedgewick, NIST
  • Steve Mustard, Automation Federation

11:00am – 12:00pm – Rural Water Focus and Discussion: NRWA DC Office
A review of key legislative initiatives, prospects for progress and positioning for success.

  • Bill Simpson, Director of Legislative Affairs
  • Keith Heard, Washington Representative
  • Mike Keegan, Senior Policy Analyst
  • Michael Preston, Legislative and Policy Analyst