Scholarships Available for Utility Staff to Visit Utilities with Innovations of Interest
Scholarships are available for utility personnel to visit other utilities with innovations of interest. The exchange, supported by WRF, WEF, and NACWA, provides an effective way for utilities to learn about, gain confidence in, and adopt new technologies and approaches more quickly.
As water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) are transforming themselves into utilities of the future and becoming drivers of resource recovery, economic growth, and improved environmental performance, the implementation of innovative technologies, processes, and approaches is essential. These scholarships enable staff to visit and see innovations in action at peer facilities.
Utility representatives interested in investigating a new technology or learning about an innovative approach at another facility are encouraged to submit an application. If selected, the sponsoring organizations will provide travel support for the personnel to visit the utility that is implementing the technology or innovation of interest. In 2018, the LIFT SEE IT scholarship helped fund 28 staff members from 10 utilities to travel and see technologies in person. The scholarships are administered through the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT), and are known as the Scholarship Exchange Experience for Innovation & Technology (SEE IT). Candidates may apply to visit innovations that include new technologies and processes, but also novel approaches to service, operations, and finance. LIFT SEE IT is part of a broader clean water sector effort to help provide the tools and resources necessary to help utilities transform their facilities into leading actors in the world of wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and water reuse.
“This trip was a great experience, I am very thankful to the LIFT SEE IT Committee for selecting MMSD as a recipient of the funding. Because of the experience on this scholarship trip, I feel confident that our utility can move forward in this project, and with that, move one step closer towards becoming a Utility of the Future,” said Catherine Harris, Pollution Prevention Specialist at the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD).
LIFT has identified 12 Technology Focus Areas as priorities, although applicants are not necessarily limited to these topics. Scholarship recipients will be required to record and share their experiences with peer utilities and others. The LIFT SEE IT Application is available on www.werf.org/lift. Applications are due December 14, 2018.