In this week's newsletter, we reported about a new law in Missouri that requires training for public water supply board members before they can get paid or reimbursed. SmallWaterSupply.org loves seeing states think creatively about providing effective incentive systems to make training a reality.

Why are we concerned about getting board members trained? These critical players in each water system have a lot of decision making power, but often lack the education they need to make sound choices In a 2006 article from NESC's On Tap magazine, Jerry Biberstine, an engineer with the National Rural Water Association, said it well:

"If, indeed, board members are too busy, too cost conscious, or too important to learn how to be proper guardians of their water system, then they shouldn’t be on the board in the first place. Their role as board members is to make important decisions about the future of the water system based on their knowledge of pertinent issues, and that means learning all they can about water systems and everything that goes into providing safe drinking water to their customers."

Resources for Board Member Training

As states increasingly do require board members to obtain training (read more on five different state models), there are more resources available to support their continuing education efforts.

Small Utility Board Training - Videos, animations and interactive documents provide new board members with valuable tools and experience to hit the ground running from the Montana Water Center. This course contains over three hours of total training time.

Water Board Training Manual - Videos and comprehensive written materials designed to educate and serve as a resource for board members of public water associations and municipal water supplies from Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Guidebook to Financial Leadership for Water Utility Boards - An extensive set of resources focused on the business basics board members need to know. These materials are based on a previous customized training program from the UNC Environmental Finance Center.

Stuff We Love is posted on Fridays and includes favorite documents, links and other resources for small water and wastewater systems. We'll find the cream of the crop so you don't have to.

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