AwwaRF Publishes Report on Retaining Water Utility Workforce Knowledge

Sept. 23, 2008
U.S. EPA and AwwaRF sponsored the study on which the report is based

Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF), the leading nonprofit water research foundation dedicated to advancing the science of drinking water, recently announced the publication of a new report on strategies to help drinking water utilities retain the critical knowledge of their personnel in a changing workforce environment.

AwwaRF sponsored the study on which the report is based in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide water suppliers with information on how they can effectively ensure retention of the knowledge held by a retiring and shifting workforce. The report includes specific strategies, tools and techniques that water utility managers can use.

Knowledge retention is a significant issue for water utilities, as well as for other types of industries, as employees retire or leave to seek other opportunities. The report defines a methodology for how utilities can implement knowledge retention based on an understanding of the key drivers, critical success factors, barriers, costs and benefits.

“Utilities that successfully deal with knowledge retention will be much better equipped to deal with the challenges ahead,” said Robert C. Renner, executive director of AwwaRF. “These include increasingly stringent regulations, higher customer expectations, aging infrastructure needs, technology pressures, economic constraints and more. This AwwaRF-sponsored research provides water suppliers with specific guidance on how to successfully retain critical knowledge in their organizations.”

The report, "Strategies to Help Drinking Water Utilities Ensure Effective Retention of Knowledge" (order #91220), is currently available to subscribers of AwwaRF. The report will become publicly available later this year.

Source: AwwaRF