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Notes from the Groundwater Guy by Thomas E. Ballard, P.G., C.H.G. Southeast Hydrogeology, PLLC It’s not Business as Normal! Even if at the time of this column being published, quar- antine restrictions are being loosened, it is likely the unprecedented shutdown of the nation’s economy is going to have lingering effects on all our businesses for some time to come - and may change some of the ways we do things forever. It is mighty scary stuff, for sure. Budgets are being cut all over, and it even affects those of us in the water supply sector. The American Water Works Association estimates water utilities with take an economic hit of over $30 billion, with these utilities having to scale back projects by as much as $5 billion on an annualized basis. This does not bode well for businesses supporting this sector of the economy. The good news is, water utilities are an essential service and must continue to operate. This means projects will continue to move forward, albeit at lower rates of investment, or emphasis will shift to projects requiring lower rates of capital invest- ment for the present time. For nimble companies providing support to the water sector, this will mean a shift to more critical maintenance and asset management projects - maybe even some that have been on the back burner due to larger, more capital-intensive projects taking up all the time and budget. It may shift now as things get sorted out. For instance, a new well or storage tank may get pushed back because of budget shortfalls, but smaller maintenance-type projects may move to the forefront with the reduced budgets many water utilities are facing. This is actually a good thing because we can show deferred maintenance is a much more expensive option than an investment in routine maintenance conducted on a regular basis. The smaller budgets many utilities are facing may actually force them to concentrate on a lot of deferred maintenance tasks. The selling point, of course, is how we can extend the life of a water supply well, which is an expensive asset, at the lowest possible cost. This is proper asset management, plain and simple. These types of relatively low-cost maintenance projects, as related to wells, includes a lot of things we have been talking about in this column: j Well rehabil- itation j Well maintenance j Video surveys j Pump repairs, maintenance, and overhauls j Well health check (testing physical, chemical, and biological condi- tions of the well) For businesses supporting water utilities, this represents a pivot point we must make to both support our own business- es, but also perform vital services - ones that often get deferred - to the utilities themselves. These are challenging times indeed, but with the right strategy and focus, it can be the proverbial win- win for those willing to make the shift. Tom Tom Ballard may be contacted via e-mail to michele@ Groundwater / Water Well by: Grundfos Technical Institute Introduction to Residential Groundwater Pump Selection July 16 ~ ONLINE WEBINAR trainingcalendar Grouting by: Colorado School of Mines Grouting and Ground Improvement Course July 20-23 ~ Golden, CO phone: 303-384-2690 Irrigation by: Rain Bird Academy Training July 6-10 ~ Chicago, IL July 13-17 ~ Rock Hill, SC July 14-16 ~ Palm Desert, CA July 20-24 ~ San Diego, CA July 21-23 ~ Pensacola, FL July 27-31 ~ Fairfax, VA July 28-30 ~ Bakersfield, CA phone: 800-498-1942 More education opportunities during events can be found online at Education Connection 15 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® JUNE 2020 WTR August Issue Deadlines! Space Reservation: June 25 th Display & Classified Ad Copy: July 1 st