The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) and the Office of Water Programs (OWP) provide a variety of training options for the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater industries.
Getting Started with QGIS: A Webinar Recording
Geographic information Systems (GIS) are essential for water utility management applications, but they can be expensive.
This webinar introduces QGIS, a free, open-source software that utilities can use for mapping and analysis with GIS. The webinar covers how data is organized in QGIS, how to import information from spreadsheets and other common sources, and several relevant tools in QGIS for utility management.
This webinar was offered by the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN), an organization creating innovative solutions to the how-to-pay question of environmental protection and improvement, on August 5, 2020.
Water Industry Technical, Managerial, and Financial (TMF) Forums
The EFC at Sacramento State hosts and supports forums and workshops on topics of technical, managerial, and financial aspects for various sectors of the water industry, including drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, watershed planning, and flood control.
In January 2020, the EFC co-hosted the 2020 Hawaii Water Infrastructure Funding and Financing Forum with EPA Region 9 and the Hawaii State Department of Health. The forum brought together state, local, and federal practitioners from the drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and watershed-planning disciplines to learn about and discuss various opportunities for project funding, including grants and loans, with a One Water perspective. The presentations are now available and the recordings are now available.
As part of this forum, the EFC at Sacramento State developed, with support from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill EFC, a summary table of state, federal, and other local funding, financing, and TMF support opportunities for Hawaii water-related systems. The EFC also conducts TMF forums specifically for stormwater programs. Visit our past forums webpage to see descriptions, presentations, and videos of past stormwater TMF forums.
Workforce Development Training
A skilled workforce is the core of effective water operations. The R9 EFC, together with partners from the EFC Network (EFCN), develops and provides programs and resources for improving competency in current and potential future water utility staff.
In November 2019, the R9 EFC and the EFCN held two webinars focused on workforce development for small water systems. Small water systems often hire new operators who must learn a variety of workplace competencies and technical skills. A credentialing process built on standards-based competencies can prepare new operators to meet the demands of small water systems. The first webinar, Ready to Work: Creating a Competency-Based Credential for the Water Sector, provided a framework for developing a Water Workforce Readiness credential to prepare high-school students for work in the water industry. The Department of Labor Competency Model was a particular highlight. The second webinar, Creating a Water Workforce Pre-Apprenticeship, outlined steps to build a pathway to apprenticeship through a skills-based pre-apprenticeship program.
OWP Training for Drinking Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Practitioners
The EFC resides within Sacramento State's Office of Water Programs (OWP). OWP's training group develops and implements programs and publishes training materials for operators, managers, and inspectors in the water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management industries. All training is offered as distance learning, using correspondence, video, or computer-based formats with opportunities to earn continuing education and contact hours for operators, supervisors, managers, and administrators.