Where: Alaska
Problem: Small tribal water systems find it difficult to address problems with water quality, quantity, treatment processes and regulatory reporting requirements.
Solution: RCAC convenes Alaska’s first NAWMA meeting — a forum to bring people with similar water system roles and responsibilities together to build capacity that creates stronger utilities.

Alaska’s Native water systems are often challenged to provide good water quality and quantity, to implement treatment processes and meet regulatory reporting requirements. NAWMA brings together Native water professionals to learn and share, and develop the technical, managerial and financial capacity needed in Native communities to provide a safe and adequate water supply. The first Alaska NAWMA meeting recently took place during the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management.

Twenty tribal water system representatives attended the introductory session to learn how NAWMA can assist them to create a community to find solutions for their common challenges. There is no cost to tribes for NAWMA membership or to attend meetings. NAWMA also provides continuing education credits for certification renewals.

At the meeting, RCAC also offered training on preparing for sanitary surveys. One participant noted, “All the resources provided through NAWMA are great, and information on the sanitary survey is priceless. Great training and I look forward to working with RCAC/NAWMA in the future.”

RCAC began NAWMA in California in 2000. With funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the program has expanded across the U.S. in areas with concentrations of Native owned and operated water systems.A second Alaska NAWMA meeting took place in February.