WG3 October 13th Minutes

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Water Infrastructure Finance Commission

Working Group Three

Innovative water systems, technologies, and infrastructure

DRAFT minutes: October 13, 2010 at 1 pm Room 348 State House

In a meeting duly posted, Working Group Three (innovative water systems, technologies, and infrastructure) convened at approximately one pm in Room 348 of the State House.

Members Attending:  Ned Bartlett, Chair;   Rep Dykema, Tom Walsh,  Becky Smith, Martin Pillsbury

Also attending:  Leah Robins, Sally Schnitzer, Brendan Jarboe

Due to the timing of the Group One meeting after the Boston Hearing of the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, some members were unable to be present for the entire meeting.

The group spent some time sorting out potential overlaps between Group One and Group Three.   It was agreed that the topic of storm water infrastructure cost differences would be taken up in some detail at Working Group One.

Group Three will consider the list of six items developed at the September 13 meeting.  These are:

1.       Watershed Management Approach.  The planning and management of water infrastructure should be done on a watershed basis, rather than along political boundaries.

2.       Decentralized Infrastructure with Centralized Management. In order to increase economies, decentralized infrastructure should be managed centrally managed on a regional/watershed basis.

3.       Risk Management.  Greater adoption of innovative technologies require managing regulatory compliance and third party litigation to eliminate economic risk to the regulated community in the instance of failure.

4.       Economic Value of Innovative or “Green Technologies”. While environmental and public health benefits are very important, the economics of a transition to innovative or “green technologies” will result in widespread adoption if it can be demonstrated that these technologies are cheaper and more resilient.

5.       Systematic Approach to Demonstration Projects.  That this Committee, through the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, seek a short term plan (3-5 years) for grant monies (possibly from SRF) to establish a series of demonstration projects to test various technologies for application more broadly based on positive results.

6.       Challenges of Home Rule. This Committee recognizes that Massachusetts Home Rule, and potentially other Commonwealth laws, impede the above goals.

Rep Dykema proposed that we take the first topic to the full commission with a couple of speakers at an upcoming meeting, as it seems to be of interest to and pertinent to some of the other groups, as well.  But the topic would remain in Group Three for the purposes the report.

Ideas for speakers:  Rich Clyman, Lyn Welsh, Bob Durand,

After some discussion, it was agreed that Group Three look at the following topics with some speakers and/or discussion:

  • Energy (smart grid, Mike Debarara DEP survey of 15 treatment plants, green communities)
  • Decentralized and innovative treatment plants (Cape Cod, Camp Dresser McGee)
  • Water reuse (Intel, Hudson ma. Wrentham Mall, DEP person, financial analysis

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