The American Water Works Association (AWWA), the authoritative resource on safe drinking water, today announced its upcoming seminar, "Vulnerability Assessments for Small and Medium Water Utilities," offered at no cost to employees of utilities serving fewer than 50,000 customers.
The hands-on seminar is built around the Risk Assessment Methodology for Water (RAM-W™) and will guide attendees through creating an action plan that can be implemented immediately. Utilities will learn how to identify threats, how to plan and prioritize for the assessment, and how to assess risks. The seminar will be conducted in six different locations across the country.
"Developing effective security plans is critical to securing water facilities," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "This seminar will further enable utilities to remain vigilant in their efforts to assess risks and create comprehensive security procedures."
The seminar is part of AWWAs security training program resulting from a 2003 appropriation of $1 million that was awarded to AWWA by U.S. Congress for drinking water security activities. The responsible federal agency for disbursing the funds is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
AWWA will conduct five separate training programs to include vulnerability assessment training, security hardware education, crisis communications preparation, an online emergency response planning course, and coordination planning among emergency response agencies. The programs will be offered at no cost to utilities as a result of the appropriation.
Registration and information on the seminars can be found online at http://www.awwa.org/education/seminars/ 
Established in 1881, AWWA is the oldest and largest nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to safe drinking water in North America. AWWA has over 57,000 members worldwide and its 4,500 utility members serve 80 percent of America's population.