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AZWARN / Security Committee Update

Wednesday, July 29, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shana Schwarz
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AZWARN / Security Committee Update:


Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Arizona Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (AZWARN) has been having weekly web meetings with water and wastewater utilities across the State of Arizona to discuss how each utility was responding to the issues as well as tracking any supply chain challenges.  Additionally, weekly meetings were held on a national level with other states.


Seeing how utilities and agencies worked together to navigate the challenges, shows that our industry is filled with outstanding and dedicated professionals. As an example, efforts were being made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and facemasks were recommended to assist in that effort. WARNs from across the country worked with EPA to acquire facemasks for utility staff. FEMA was able to provide the facemasks to WARN programs in each state that requested them at no cost. 


AZWARN received 90,000 cloth facemasks for Arizona water and wastewater utilities. Many entities came together to assist in the distribution of the facemasks.  AZ Water Association and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality helped get the word out about the mask availability. The City of Flagstaff, Metro Water District and the City of Scottsdale volunteered to be distribution points for the masks allowing utilities to pick them up.  The Rural Water Association of Arizona volunteered to utilize their circuit riders to deliver masks to rural utilities that were not close to one of the distribution sites. The Rural Community Assistance Corporation picked up the masks from the distribution points and utilized their circuit riders to deliver the masks to the Arizona tribal utilities. The industry came together to fill a need. Pending the publication of this article, cloth facemasks may still be available for water and wastewater utilities. Contact Steve Shepard at for more information.


Upcoming Event:


AZWARN is currently working with EPA and its subcontractor to hold a functional exercise in Arizona on September 22, 2020. The functional exercise is a free U.S. EPA sponsored communication-based exercise that will allow for communication and coordination between water sector utilities, emergency management agencies, and regulatory agencies. The functional exercise will be virtual event. Registration for the functional exercise can be found at 

Contact Steve Shepard at for more information.

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