Committed to providing programme management tools to rural water systems, digital water solutions provider 120Water has been selected by sovereign tribal government Cherokee Nation as its Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) database of record. The partnership will expand on a successful pilot carried out earlier this year, assisting in the preparation of Lead Service Line Inventories (LSLI) for 25 small systems across northeast Oklahoma, US. The announcement took place at the Facilities Construction Spring Meeting hosted by the Indian Health Services (IHS) office of environmental health and engineering.
“Since 1839, the Cherokee Nation has dedicated itself to improving the livelihood of our tribal community,” said its senior director of environmental health and engineering Billy Hix.
As the first major stipulation outlined in the LCR Revisions (LCRR), water utilities have until 16 Oct 2024 to establish a preliminary inventory of all service line materials. Information must be digital and submitted to the governing body responsible for reporting in each state, which for the Cherokee Nation is the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). The 120Water contract includes historical records review and inventory development, with funding assistance provided by the IHS.
The partnership announcement came after the release of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s seventh drinking water infrastructure needs survey and assessment, which estimated US$625bn needed over the next 20 years to modernise water infrastructure. Report findings were used to determine annual funding to states through the drinking water state revolving fund. With a prediction of more than 28,000 lead service lines, Oklahoma is slated to receive US$28.6m for LSL Replacement (LSLR) improvements across the state. An additional US$60m has been set aside for American Indian and Alaska Native water systems nationally. The Cherokee Nation hopes its work with 120Water will assist in helping obtain funds required to continue the lead remediation process beyond inventorying.
Hix added, “A total of over 130 utilities within our reservation have to comply with the many facets of LCRR.”
Encompassing nearly 7,000 square miles, the Cherokee Nation is a sovereign tribal government with more than 141,000 citizens residing within its reservation boundaries. Representatives from 120Water at the event included regional sales manager Jon Dawson, director of client success Logan Turner, and vice-president of sales Matt Boes.