Initiative, Continued from page 17
to assess the strength of a utility’s
management team to arrive at bond
• Management audits of utilities are being
organized around the EUM framework;
• Individual utility strategic plans are
being developed to address the Ten
• Utility managers are being trained
in EUM; and
• EPA is working with utilities to describe
how the Attributes can also support
other management approaches like
Lean and Six Sigma.
All of the above are resulting in a growing
sector interest in the EUM initiative.
How Can Utilities Best Use
the EUM Framework?
EUM provides a simple, replicable way for
any utility to assess its strengths and areas
for improvement and then chart a course for
improvement. The most important step any
utility can take is to perform an assessment
18 SOURCE spring 2012
using the simple steps described in the EUM
primer. Where feasible, utilities should seek
to involve persons with various responsibilities
in the assessment, chart the results, and
identify a simple plan for improving performance
in key areas. Hard copies as well as an
interactive version of the EUM primer can be
found at www.watereum.org.
The Future: Where is EUM Heading?
EUM is, by design, a simple, replicable
framework that allows individual utilities
to assess their strengths and opportunities
for improvement, and chart a measurable
course for improvement. Building on the
EUM Primer, the Water Research Foundation
(WRF) is now leading an effort to
develop a benchmarking tool based on the
attributes and associated best practices.
Once completed, this tool will allow a utility
to benchmark its own performance and
gauge its efforts with other similar utilities.
The pressures associated with the new
normal of today’s economy require a departure
from the status quo of yesterday. Many
of the key pieces are now in place within the
EUM framework that can be used today to
help water and wastewater utilities enhance
overall utility performance. S
Jim Horne has been with the Office of Water
at EPA since 1988. He was instrumental in
finalizing an agreement between EPA and six
national water-sector associations to promote
effective utility management based on a series
of Attributes of Effectively Managed Utilities
and Keys to Management Success. Mr. Horne is
the Co-Chair of the WEF Management Systems
Subcommittee. He received a Bachelors Degree
from the University of Texas and a Masters
Degree in Public Administration from the
University of Washington.
Darin Thomas serves as the Director of Raftelis
Financial Consultants, Inc.’s management
consulting division, SUNESIS. For more than
25 years, he has been a significant contributor
to many of the industry’s emerging technologies
and services. Mr. Thomas received a Bachelors of
Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from
Michigan Technological University.