The Authority Podcast: Plumbing and Mechanical

Episode 03 – Part 02: Cynthia Campbell, Terrence McCarthy & DougBennet

May 18, 2021 IAPMO Season 1 Episode 6
The Authority Podcast: Plumbing and Mechanical
Episode 03 – Part 02: Cynthia Campbell, Terrence McCarthy & DougBennet
Show Notes Transcript

This is part two of our two-part series where we'll continue our conversation about plumbing resiliency and drought prevention with Cynthia Campbell, water resources management advisor for the City of Phoenix; Terrence McCarthy, water resources policy manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; and Doug Bennett, conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

If you missed part one, we suggest you go back and listen to that episode before continuing here.

Cynthia Campbell, water resources management adviser for the city of Phoenix, manages the city's water portfolio and advises the city manager and Water Services Department on policy issues relating to long-range water planning and strategy.

She's the city's liaison with the state of Arizona Central Arizona Project, Salt River Project, and other organizations on water resource issues. Prior to accepting the role of water resources management adviser, Cynthia served the city of Phoenix as assistant city attorney for five years. She also spent five years as a compliance manager of the Water Quality Division of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and three years as assistant attorney general at the Arizona Attorney General's Office. She's a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, and has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

To learn more about Phoenix Water, visit

Terrence McCarthy, water resources policy manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, is a licensed professional civil engineer in California, and his current responsibilities include management and development of water conservation programs; monitoring and evaluating regulatory and legislative issues; pursuing external funding and support for programs participating in statewide and nationwide organizations to leverage opportunities; and coordinating with many regional partners for water sustainability in Los Angeles.

Terrence spent a portion of his career doing capital project management on everything from sludge digesters at wastewater treatment plants to baggage handling systems at airports before moving to LA DWP Water Resources Division, where he has managed things like a climate change study on the Eastern Sierras and a water conservation potential study to assess the remaining water savings potentials moving into the future in Los Angeles.

To learn more about the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, visit

Doug Bennett, conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, began his career "in the trenches" in 1980 as a landscape maintenance and irrigation technician working his way through college. Armed with a bachelor's degree in agriculture and a master's degree in business, he served eight years as an assistant professor for New Mexico State University, where he specialized in urban horticulture and promoted water-efficient landscape and efficient irrigation techniques.

In 1995, Doug developed and managed a variety of water efficiency programs for the city of Albuquerque, including landscape conversion rebates, water waste enforcement, residential retrofit audits, appliance and fixture rebates, and landscape industry education. Since 2000, Doug has been conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, managing one of the nation's leading conservation incentive programs and coordinating regional water efficiency efforts for the Las Vegas, Nevada, area.

To learn more about the Southern Nevada Water Authority, visit


Christoph Lohr: Welcome to this week's episode of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical." This is part two of our two-part series where we'll continue our conversation about plumbing resiliency and drought prevention with Cynthia Campbell, water resources management adviser for the city of Phoenix; Terrence McCarthy, water resources policy manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; and Doug Bennett, conservation manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

I'm Christoph Lohr, your host, and I'm looking forward to continuing our conversation. If you missed part one, I suggest you go back and listen to that episode before continuing here. Now let's jump right into part two of my conversation with Cynthia, Terrence and Doug. So far we've established what some of the criteria are to consider something a drought, that there really isn't one good way to solve it, and to think that there's a simple way to solve it, that doesn't exist either. So I guess kind of getting from the kind of defining the problem to starting to work our way through fixing the problem, I imagine one of the first steps is communicating drought conditions to users, and Terrence , I'll put it back towards you.

I mean, what are some of the best ways to communicate drought conditions to users? 

Terrence McCarthy: Well, I think the constant communication of water use efficiency and using water wisely both before, during and after the drought are critical to developing those sustained results you're going to see. As I mentioned before, traditionally we've had a very reactive response to drought conditions, but in the past, 20 to 30 years or so we've become more proactive here in Los Angeles. And after our last, our last pretty large drought a couple of years ago, we decided to keep in place some of our requirements during the drought, because we also found that our customers had adapted to it. They had changed their lifestyles. They had changed how they were using their water for irrigation and they were OK with it. And so having that communications throughout the process has really helped us to maintain our lower water use. 

Christoph Lohr: Doug, do you want to go ahead and chime in on this as well? 

Doug Bennet: Yeah, so, you know, looking in Las Vegas when I moved here 21 years ago, and sometimes I think I brought the drought, but you know, conservation loves a crisis.

That's precisely when it started. And Las Vegas was the poster child of squanderous water use in the West. It really was. And we're the poster child of so many things, right? But when I moved here, water would run down the gutters, gutter-wide, every morning, in most urban neighborhoods. Turf grass was everywhere.

It was literally on street medians and it takes 10 feet of water to keep grass alive here. In the place that gets 4 inches of rain. And so in a lot of respects, I mean, we were doing conservation programming, but there, it was a slow, moderate, not steep decline in terms of water demand and the way you get the attention of people, frankly, which was beneficial to us, was Lake Mead.

All you had to do was put an image of Lake Mead. Lake Mead's level dropped by more than 120 feet during the early stages of the drought in just a few years. To put that in perspective, Christoph, the Colorado River in 2002 flowed about one-fourth of what was normal. Now, of course, everybody connected to the Colorado — the farmers, the industries, the cities — they all took what they normally did, and that drew down the reservoirs.

But you could actually show people images of Lake Mead and say, "See that? The water used to be 120 feet up on that cliff wall." And you could see it. You could see the mineral deposits, right? What we call the bathtub ring. 

Cynthia Campbell: I was going to say, the bathtub ring helps you a lot, too, doesn't it, Doug? 

Doug Bennet: Yeah, it did because it makes it tangible, it makes it real to people and they would see it on the news and so forth. And so, unfortunately until you. And water's so nebulous, I mean you flip some chrome lever in your house and it comes out, right? So how do you connect that to say it's very scarce and there's an issue. You've got to find those images.

You've got to find different ways to connect to people. And I also found not everybody connects on the same plane. Terrence talked about regulatory stuff. Some people, honestly, you got to have a rule and say, "You can't do this, and if you do, I will fine you." And that's what works for them. They have to, you have to hit their wallet.

You can do that with rate structures and most agencies in the West have a tiered rate structure already, but they may also put in drought penalties. You may hit people for wasting water. I found some people that I, and, you know, over the years, I've talked to many thousands of people, but I've found people before that shrugged their shoulders at almost everything 'til you ask them, do they have kids and how old are they?

And then you start talking about, "Would you like them to have the same kinds of opportunities that you've had here?" And that hits home with them. It's not about money, it's not about their wallet. They're like, "I need to do this to help my kids. I need to do it to help my community." You know, there are many, many different reasons.

And then, so you've almost got to have something that appeals on a variety of fronts because when you're serving millions or sometimes even tens of millions of people like in the California markets, not the same message is going to resonate with that entire population. You've got to figure it out. Why would it be beneficial to them?

It's got to be a little something for everybody in the mix. 

Terrence McCarthy: I'm glad you brought up kids, Doug, because that's one of the things we found was very effective in all of our experiences with drought here in Los Angeles is reaching out to the schools and getting the kids educated on it helped transfer that message to parents, users, whatever you want to call it, and was a very effective strategy not only for the current period that we were in, but also, as those kids grow up, they remember growing up in dry periods and what they had to do to combat the drought experience. And, just a personal note, my wife grew up here in Los Angeles and has stories that she tells my kids about when we were going through drought periods and her parents were telling her to be efficient, turn the faucet off when you're brushing your teeth and only shower for five minutes and the whole thing, and it resonates with that younger generation too. 

Doug Bennet: The old Happy Meal strategy. 

Christoph Lohr: Happy Meal strategy. I love it. 

Doug Bennet: Yeah, McDonald's, the Happy Meal was their ultimate Trojan horse to get every, get entire families to go. But yeah, it does make a big difference to get kids engaged. They can have a lot of influence.

And they can, they're very good at making their parents feel guilty and they look for every flaw in their parents I have learned as a parent, so they look for you to do something wrong so they can admonish you, right? 

Christoph Lohr: Well, I was going to say, Doug and Terrence, you guys covered L.A. and Las Vegas approaches. I live in Phoenix, and I want to hear from Cynthia, what are our bathtub rings? What are our Happy Meal strategies? Because frankly, I want to sign up to try to help find ways to promote it here, to, help us out here in our local area. 

Cynthia Campbell: Sure. I think for us, again, because (A), the periods between drought are almost non-existent. I liked how Doug said he moved to Las Vegas and felt like he brought the drought with him. I moved to Phoenix 26 years ago, and I think I brought it with me because we've been in drought about since the mid-'90s in some form or another. Now, it gets worse and then it gets a little bit better, but it's never to the point where we can say, "Oh, we have plenty of water , don't worry about how you use it. Use it any way you want." But I think what's really important when we get to these moments that like the one that we might be approaching in the next several years where we're seeing a new level of shortage, right? We're actually going to experience in Arizona, we're going to experience significant reductions in the amount of water that's available to us from the Colorado River.

And so what's really important, I think, in that conversation, is making sure that you're really stressing the fact that this is something that water managers have predicted, have expected and have prepared for for years. We've developed plans specifically for this outcome. Not that we wanted it and we sure don't want it, but we're ready for it. And so being able to articulate that in a meaningful way to the public so they understand, because especially when the national news starts covering Colorado River shortage, you've got the public going, "Well, what are you going to do?" As if somehow now we have to change something, right? And the message that we're trying to convey is, "No, we already made the changes 20, 40 years ago in some cases. We're now going to see how it plays out and we've made these plans and we've we prepared," but it does take a lot of effort to try to educate constantly, just educate, re-educate, re-educate the public.

And then I think the other thing is that we've tried to adopt a conservation message that kind of puts people on the inside with us. So our last conservation program talked about "We see water differently." And what we're trying to do is bring along our local residents to understand that we know that you know you live in a desert, we know that you understand the things you need to do, and if you don't here, they are.

And you offer the tips again, you make it cool. You know, xeriscaping in Arizona took off in the 1980s and '90s. And a lot of that was less in part to regulatory programs and more due to the kind of perception and I'll call it the coolness factor. You started seeing it in Phoenix Home & Garden, right?

You started seeing it in the local, there was a lot of effort put into play in conservation programs to basically do a lot of xeriscaping workshops and things like that. So that became cool. And people started making that change and we've seen it. I mean, now it's measurable. But it's a constant, constant messaging.

Christoph Lohr: Yeah. So there's this language that's there, but one of the things you mentioned, Cynthia, was that we gotta be ready for it, right? And in my mind, wouldn't you say that, we're ready for it, whether that's city of Phoenix or L.A. or Las Vegas, there's implying that there's been some forethought, there's an overarching strategy.

And I guess, what are some of the overarching strategies for all these different regions and things that we can utilize to minimize the negative impacts of drought? I guess, Cynthia, let me start with you on that. 

Cynthia Campbell: Well, here in Arizona, we prepared as part of the drought contingency plan, which was really a lower basin. There was a lower-basin drought-contingency plan and an upper-basin drought contingency plan. But the lower-basin drought contingency plan largely landed on the shoulders of the state of Arizona in terms of what reductions we were going to take. But if you look at the plan as a whole, the entire plan is not built on the idea that, "Oh, there's less water. Therefore you take less water." It's built more on a proactive idea that, "You know what? If we leave more water in Lake Mead, if we volunteer to leave more water while there's still some there and add to it, the effect from a modeling standpoint starts to stop the decline." So there's about 40 feet of elevation in Lake Mead right now that is directly attributable to efforts of the lower-basin states to intentionally leave water in the reservoir, whether that's water that they'll come back for later on, like California has done, or whether it's system conservation, which is designed to be water that you give back to the system and you don't come looking for later.

So those kinds of efforts, those are more proactive. It's really a proactive plan that looks a lot like a scarcity, which it's not really a scarcity as much as a proactive effort to keep water, to stop that decline. 

Doug Bennet: You know what? So Cynthia talked about the collaboration on the DCP, the drought contingency plan, but honestly, it's the collaboration of all of these states that share the river and even the collaboration of the country of Mexico that have given us so many opportunities.

So in the 1990s, Cynthia, you were doing more this type of work, the water resource planning and negotiating, I think over your career. But back to the 1990s these states barely spoke to each other. What's mine is mine, what's yours is yours. You know, whatever. Here's my diversion point, there's yours. Whatever. Whatever goes.

But then we found that there were mutually beneficial opportunities to engage in some what at the time seemed like crazy unconventional opportunities like water banking. So Arizona was not using its full Colorado River supply. And in some cases, if you weren't using all of your water and you had nowhere to put it, it would simply flow downstream and the next person would have a shot at it, right? So there was, I always said it was kind of like, " if you didn't have a freezer, your roommates would eat your leftovers" kind of thing. We didn't have anywhere to put it. And so water banking was one of the exciting policies that came out of that collaboration where there's water being stored underground.

In some cases, one partner has money. Another partner has access to water, but the outcome benefits both partners. Somebody helps build infrastructure, somebody helps pay for it. Then you try to keep the water in the system. The water systems of the West are a little bit of a spider web as well, where key agencies have connections to key supplies that could allow more sharing of water resources.

And so, as an example, Nevada has banked water in Arizona. Well, you don't bank it in Arizona and then, you know, drive a semi-truck down there and pump it out and drive it back. You just exchange it, same as people have money in the bank, but they don't necessarily have to visit their bank branch to get it out, right? They can do it online, they can go to an ATM at any bank anywhere in the U.S., et cetera. And so it works a little bit that way, where you have exchange points, you have agreements. Everybody shares in the benefits of it. And water banking has been huge. Old-school water banking was building reservoirs. And they've been essential. Lake Powell and Lake Mead were the earliest stages of drought planning that Cynthia talked about. Water planners were always looking for a way to ensure reliability over a very long period of time.

And without those two giant reservoirs built long, long ago, and thought of even earlier than that, we wouldn't have the opportunities that we have now. So it's hard for people to realize when they feel like something's being thrust at them very quickly, like "When did this crisis develop or this need develop? You know, I just heard about it last week." Typically water planners have been looking at these potential outcomes for decades prior and sometimes even longer. 

Christoph Lohr: So it seems like we've started having some success, whether it's water sharing or having strategies that are working. But I guess, let me just kind of ask this question in general:

Is there a risk that, if you have a successful Waterman strategy, that there's some kind of unintended consequences that can occur? 

Terrence McCarthy: So yeah, I'll field that one, Christoph. One of the things I think I touched on earlier was talking about the unintended consequences of conservation on the downstream end of things, where you get a lot more, a lot less flow, should I say, in the sewers and you end up getting a lot more  deterioration of that infrastructure as a result, or even just the treatment process at the treatment plants, you've got to use a lot more chemicals and different additives to address the changing water-quality influences and just kind of understanding where that stands, but then also touching on what Doug was talking about in terms of water banking and other things, with deficiencies, you have less demands and therefore you hold back more water. In California where you have varied precipitation year to year, you could go through one average year and have a good amount of storage and reservoirs. And then the next year, you get this huge slug of water that then, where do you put it in having those banking opportunities to be able to put water when it's available in places when you don't need it, and then pull it out later when you do need it, is just a vital strategy to maintain throughout the wet and dry years.

Christoph Lohr: No, that makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. I think we've well established, up through this point during our conversation, the idea of dealing with droughts and having enough water for populations that it's complex; there's a lot of challenges to overcome. There's a lot of thought that has to be put into it.

A lot of efforts, a lot of engineering, a lot of policy, but we still end up, I think I remember reading a book and it talked about how in the U.S. we have among some of the lowest costs of water of most nations out there. Our cost of water seems to be, and I seem to read about it a lot, that it seems to be really low.

And I imagine that how much we pay per gallon of water that comes out of our tap, that, with a resource becoming more scarce, that there's going to be a likely need to potentially increase the price in order to have the economics work out. And I guess, let me point this question first at Doug, do you think it's going to increase?

Does it need to increase? And then, if we do that increase, how do we make sure that that happens equitably, making sure to keep water affordable for all populations, including most disadvantaged? I guess, let me start it with Doug and then Cynthia and Terrance, if you guys want to chime in.

Doug Bennet: Well, one reason water's relatively inexpensive is, and I know Cynthia works for a municipality and Terrance works for a publicly owned agency, as do I. We can only recover the actual cost of providing the service. So keeping in mind that back when most of our water supplies were appropriated, the water itself was generally free.

The water had no value. It was a process of cleaning the water, putting it in a pipe and pumping it to somebody's home or place a business or the place they need it that they were really paying for. And so when you run a very efficient system, you wind up with lower rates. And oddly, this seems so counterintuitive to people, but I sometimes have people who moved from the East and they go, water's cheaper here than it was in Chicago, and it rains a bunch in Chicago. And I explained to them, yes, and the water company in Chicago needs to charge you four times as much because they have the same bills to pay, and you only bought one-fourth as much water, right? I mean, it's an odd paradigm, but in some of these agencies where people are using a significant amount of water and all you're trying to do is recover your overhead costs, you wind up pricing it in such a way that is not necessarily hammering people. And that, and that's good. You want everyone to have access to clean, reliable, affordable water to meet their basic needs, right? But as people make decisions beyond bathing, cooking, drinking, basic sanitation decisions, then you often have an escalating price structure where you're going to pay more and more and more, and what you're trying to do is increase their price sensitivity about things that are starting to verge on being wasteful. So the heaviest water users are going to pay more for their water than the lowest water users. And in fact, the lowest water users in many utilities, are actually subsidized by some of the highest water users, but it's still equitable, Christoph. Why is it still equitable? Because the guy that only uses 3,000 gallons of water bought his 3 gallons for exactly the same price as the first 3,000 gallons of the guy that used 30,000 gallons of water. It was priced the same up to there; everybody has the same price structure. So again, there's a ton goes into rate making.

It gets very complicated. Terrence and I were just talking last week about seasonal rate structures. So you could have different pricing based on the time of year. You could have different pricing based on the amount of water through these tier structures, you could have  reliability pricing. There's so much that goes into the bill.

One of the things that's going to ensure water gets more expensive is we're all having to become much more creative about how we obtain any new supplies. So all that infrastructure Terrence talked about to recover and recharge water, it all costs money, right? So every additional new supply is going to be way more expensive than the free water we all started with.

And the infrastructure that goes along with it is just getting more and more expensive. And inflation is obviously impacting everything everybody does. The groceries we buy and the energy we buy and everything else is going to be impacted by the larger economy, so I think everybody can expect the price of water will go up.

But agencies like ours always engage with stakeholders in the establishing rate structures. It's time-consuming undertaking, and it's part crystal ball and part mathematics. And you always hope it works out. 

Terrence McCarthy: And to Doug's point, it is kind of a mix of mad science and true economic reasonability.

But, as you also referred to, for us in L.A., we can only charge our customers for that cost of service, and as we look to diversify our water supply portfolio, those different sources are going to cost a lot more, not only for just the infrastructure, but also for the operations and maintenance of it, because those new water sources now require some different widget to generate water that didn't exist before. And so somebody needs to operate it, somebody needs to maintain it, somebody needs to check it to make sure that it meets the quality standards. And so it is going to increase. But to the affordability question, the tiered rate structure has worked great for us in terms of allowing for that lower-cost water to be provided for everyone to meet those essential needs. And then as you use more, you pay more to account for that reliability. 

Christoph Lohr: That makes a lot of sense. One thing I realized too, was in that realm of water costs impacting people's, especially those that are most disadvantaged, I also, should've mentioned, there's also the business component, right? There's a lot of businesses out there. And I think carwashes come to mind that obviously use a lot of water. Obviously, there's a lot of folks that get employed by these businesses. So if you increase the cost for them to do business, that can cause challenges for employment and that can further impact people negatively. From your standpoint and your involvement, how do you look at preventing that negative impact on businesses? 

Doug Bennet: We've actually had the opposite problem. We've had that water was so affordable that there wasn't enough return on investment for businesses to invest in higher-efficiency processes.

So, I don't see it as an obstacle to business growth or jobs in that respect. Really what we're always asking customers is just, whether they be commercial or residential, is to improve the efficiency of their use. Is there a better way to do what you're doing? And in fact, we have programs to share in the cost of those capital improvements for businesses to reduce their water demand, which ultimately insulates them from those future rate increases we were just talking about, right? 

Terrence McCarthy: Yeah, so one of the things that we do for businesses specifically is rather than having kind of a standardized approach, which we still have for businesses, we also have customizable programs that essentially if a particular business has a certain use of water and they can improve on those efficiencies by some customized widget that they build to use it more efficiently, we'll incentivize that for them to do those capital improvements for their business process. And so that helps to also make it easier for businesses to improve their efficiencies while not investing or losing that cost upfront for projects. And also as they go on and they save on their water bills, so it helps them on both ends.

Cynthia Campbell: I think those those things all work on the individual business level. I know, here in Arizona, one of the things that is a very recent addition to the conversation is that we're getting a lot of high-tech businesses that require vast amounts of water for their operations. We've had several announcements in the last couple months about semiconductor manufacturing facilities, including one here in the city of Phoenix, that will probably be one of the largest in North America. But we're an ideal location from the standpoint of, we don't have natural disasters in Arizona, maybe our natural disaster's water. Right? So we don't have hurricanes, we don't have flooding generally. We don't have tornadoes or earthquakes. So we're very attractive for that. But what that requires then is kind of a new paradigm that a lot of the municipalities and water providers are having to look at about bringing the manufacturing company or the very large water user in on the conversation early in the planning process before they're here, before they're a customer and saying, in some cases, some municipalities are asking for these industries to enter into specific water plans, knowing that they're very high water users and having an acknowledgement of, "Hey, this is our water situation. This is how much water we can give you. And here's the kinds of efficiencies that we're going to have to expect from you. You have to be our partner in this." And that becomes really important in the conversation to do that because otherwise, you can't jeopardize your entire system on one customer, but yet the economic benefit that these types of industries bring to not just a municipality, but the state, are tremendous, great opportunities and tremendous economic development. So, it's a balancing act for sure. 

Christoph Lohr: Definitely. Well, and that brings me to my final question and I guess maybe the crescendo here of our conversation. The podcast name is "The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical," and obviously with water cost potentially changing and all of these things being considered, what does all of this, whether it's water costs, drought preparation, drought prevention, how does all of this impact the plumbing industry? So I'm talking installers, engineers and designers of plumbing systems, plumbing inspectors, plumbing manufacturers. Maybe Cynthia, if you wanted to take this one, do you think it'll increase or decrease the value of plumbing professionals in the industry? And I imagine a lot of our listeners that are plumbing professionals would be really interested in this. 

Cynthia Campbell: I absolutely think it increases the value of those service-related industries. Efficiency is the word, right? That is the word. It's not even so much, it's not being the cheapest, it's not being the least water use so much as the most efficient use of water. And that requires having an infrastructure that is really tight, that's very efficient. Any kind of technologies, whether they're on the residential level, in terms of plumbing, or they're on larger-scale things like cooling tower technologies, those are going to be really important to our future in terms of where we're able, because at some point in time you can't reduce the amount of water that's used in the sense of, just an activity requires a certain amount of water, but you can make it more efficient, thereby making the water use less. But we're certainly not going to see increasing supplies of water coming into our neighborhoods, but we definitely will see the efficiencies. 

Doug Bennet: A couple of programs that we have in Las Vegas that we're working on, one is we know that a lot of water is lost to residential leaks, so we're working on that. And in many cases, we find that there's an opportunity, I think, to work more closely with the residential and light commercial plumbing sector. But as Cynthia pointed out, cooling, next to landscape irrigation, cooling is the next most substantial consumptive use of water in Western cities. And we all just put it into a big giant metal box with a fan called a cooling tower and evaporate it because that's what cools, right? And a lot of people in the trades, mechanical and plumbing trades, are familiar with those kinds of projects, but what we're looking to do is reinvent cooling, and not only does that mean there's opportunities to learn new aspects of their trade for new kinds of equipment, but there will not only be work in installing new systems in new construction, there also comes a lot of work in retrofitting existing systems to new technologies.

And that always feeds the trades when you have people investing in and swapping out technologies. And that's what our incentive programs are designed to do is provide the incentive and the means for companies to be able to do these things, and then they go out and get a contractor and the trades go to work, helping us implement it.

Terrence McCarthy: Well, Doug, you stole my answer. I was gonna hit on the traditional plumbing industry trades, like Cynthia was saying, they're going to see an uptick in efficiency upgrades, whether it be changing out fixtures and traditional kind of efficiency changes. But also innovation in the industries we haven't tapped yet for those efficiencies to be gained. Like Doug was mentioning cooling towers, how old is that technology? And yeah, they've made a widget to add on to this cooling tower and a computer to operate it more efficiently, but that innovation of finding that next frontier where we can reduce those consumptive uses and make it more streamlined, I think is going to obviously be a boon for the plumbing profession.

Christoph Lohr: Right on. Well, we've been at this and having a fantastic conversation for the last hour. I know I've learned a lot. Before we sign off, we're going to summarize our conversation. If each of you would have like a top lesson for our listeners, something that they should take away. At most two, but maybe just one.

What would that be? I'll go down the list in the order of which I introduced you on the podcast. So starting with Cynthia. 

Cynthia Campbell: I would say the two biggest things on the macro level are planning, planning, planning, and collaboration, collaboration, because I think both of those things create efficiencies. On the residential level or the customer level I would say education, right, for the person out there who's not a water manager who's listening to this. There are things you can do and find out what they are that you can go to Water Use It Wisely. You can go to a number of different educational groups in your locality, and you can find the tips that pertain to you, but become aware, educate yourself and do what you can.

Christoph Lohr: Awesome. Terrence, what would be your top lesson? 

Terrence McCarthy: I'd say top lesson for drought prevention and preparation would be it's a lifelong journey and look under every nook and cranny you can to find the next frontier. And just always diversify your portfolio and ensure that your drought prevention and preparation measures can survive not only drought, but other impacts that may result from climate change impacts or wildfires or all these different things that we're facing in the new generation.

Christoph Lohr: Awesome. And Doug? 

Doug Bennet: I think it's important for your listeners, who I would say are probably some of the regulatory professionals, as well as a lot of people in the trades. I know you have a diverse audience, but I'd love for people to understand their own water supply. So wherever you live, wherever you conduct business, please go online, find out what watersheds provide, what fraction of your community's water supply, what the fate of wastewater is, what the primary strategies are that are being undertaken.

Every one of these agencies that you're hearing from right now, you can go online and they're literally telling you what they will be doing over the next 10 and 20 years. So what better opportunity to build your business strategies and ensure that you have a good business resilience to be able to capitalize on those kinds of conditions and also be able to convey to your customers, who are the shared customers of the water utility? What are the facts? What's fact, what's myth, what's hearsay, and where can they get more information. That helps us immensely when we have other people in the supply chain that have the right kinds of knowledge to reach out to the citizens. 

Christoph Lohr: Awesome. Well, since you mentioned online, Doug, let me bounce it back to, as you can go back up the list here, how can people get in touch with you or your organization? Whether that's social media, email, webpage. 

Doug Bennet: Yeah. You can go to our webpage, So that's Southern Nevada Water Authority; You can fill out a contact form. There's a lot of different kinds of questions that go to different professionals and you fill out that contact form.

They'll see the right person gets it. If it's conservation, they'll probably send it to me. And there's a ton of great information on there in terms of water resources, explanations. And I know all my peer agencies have very similar content. 

Christoph Lohr: Awesome. Any social media that folks can get in touch with you on deck?

Doug Bennet: We do have a podcast. If you can't get enough of this, you can listen to the Water Smarts Podcast. It's available from all major platforms, and you'll hear more about what's going on in the Las Vegas region. We do also have a Twitter handle, which I believe has an underline in it, but I'm sure you can find us by looking for SNWA on Twitter and a variety of other platforms.

But I would say the website is the best place to get true resources instead of little snippets. 

Christoph Lohr: Sounds good. Terrence, how about you? Get in touch with either you personally or your organization? 

Terrence McCarthy: So yeah, the best way to get in touch with either myself or the organization is through our website,

And our Twitter handle is @LADWP and all of the other feeds are on the website. You can go there to find out how to contact us and all the programs we do as well as our planning efforts. 

Christoph Lohr: Awesome. And last but not least, Cynthia, how about you? I think I'm going to have to make sure to get in touch more moving forward here.

Cynthia Campbell: Yeah. So to get in touch with Phoenix Water, the best way is through our website, You'll find everything from, job postings to water education to water equity initiatives, and announcements, et cetera. All of our infrastructure work projects are on there as well. And then in addition, I have my own Twitter feed, Phoenix Water Advisor. So @PHXWaterAdvisor. 

Christoph Lohr: Awesome.

Cynthia Campbell: And Christoph, I'll look forward to hearing from you. 

Christoph Lohr: I'm going right now on Twitter, I'm going to be trying to connect with you right up there. Awesome. Well, on behalf of "The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical," thank you, Cynthia, Doug and Terrence. Frankly, I would love to have the three of you back on here, maybe for season No. 2.

I think it'd be great to continue our conversation then, but just thank you again so much for the time today, sharing your expertise, your insights. I've learned a lot, and I hope our listeners have too. 

Doug Bennet: Our pleasure. 

Cynthia Campbell: Thank you very much. 

Christoph Lohr: And with that, we'll see you next time.