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🗳️ "How the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Views Upcoming Issues"

The Water Values Podcast

Photo by Philipp Katzenberger / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Dave McGimpsey
Guest: Alan Roberson | Executive Director | Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)
Category: 🗳️ Policy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[13:31] “ASDWA is the […] acronym for the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and that really is who we represent. We've got 57 members, all 50 states, five territories, the Navajo Nation and the District of Columbia. We're the voice of those state and territorial programs here in DC. We […] have three major purposes […]. One is that we look around at what's going on in the DC area, the news and curate the news, and then translate it and send out the most relevant news to our members. […] And then they reverse we take that information from the States, and then feed that into EPA, feed that into staff on the Hill when they're debating drinking water issues, and then also work with other federal agencies like USDA, USGS, CDC, other federal agencies that we collaborate with. […] The last one is really optimizing the opportunities […] to learn from each other.”

[18:03] “We've got four [priorities] for 2022. The first is the money. The infrastructure bill funding and ensuring that the states understand what's expected of them and how the money is going to flow through the states to the systems. Second is lead. Lead and copper rule revisions, and […] lead and copper rule improvements. PFAS [and] funding for both of those. […] And the last […] new wrinkle that we're grappling with is cybersecurity.”

[30:27] “When you get down to the bottom line, cybersecurity is the responsibility of the water system. […] But yet the states’ role is oversight and compliance. So compliance is not really on the table for cybersecurity, because there's not a regulation or standard, but oversight. And if there's a problem at a system, ransomware, whatever it might be, the state is going to get a phone call. So the struggle is really trying to figure out […] what is the appropriate state's role. […] One of the other issues we run into is that there will be alerts com[ing] out of the federal government, […] known as CISA, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Administration. [It’s] good information, but it's written at a very detailed, kind of technical jargon level. And so we're trying to figure out a way we can translate that so that our states can talk to their systems and […] be aware of this potential vulnerability.”

[33:25] “The big systems, the very large cities [are] well funded, well capitalized, they’ll have pretty good cybersecurity. […] The small towns that are the issue. […] It'd be nice if everyone had two factor authentication, just like when you log into the bank. […] I'd like to think that everybody that has remote access has that, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case out there.

[38:38] “I think we're at a once in a lifetime opportunity in drinking water. We've got all these challenging issues in front of us, but at the same time, we have a lot of money coming at us. And I think that to me, given that I've worked in the field for over 30 years, is what keeps me personally interested. And I hope that I can be a player or have a role in ensuring that that our members and the water systems are able to meet this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 43 min | 🗓️ 01/04/2022
✅ Time saved: 41 min

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