Editor Greg Ettling shares his thoughts on some indusrty-related issues.

Volunteers help collect water samples.
This month affords those in the water business a solid new marketing opportunity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is partnering with America’s Clean Water Foundation and the International Water Association to organize the first World Water Monitoring Day – Oct. 18.

“At this time, we do not have sufficient information to provide a national answer to characterize the condition of waters and watersheds in the U.S.,” says EPA assistant administrator G. Tracy Mehan. “We risk flying blind if we aren’t able to get dramatic improvements in water quality monitoring and data to support wise management decisions.”

Roberta Savage, president of America’s Clean Water Foundation, comments, “As the creators of National Water Monitoring Day, we were delighted by the participation of more than 75,000 Americans in 2002. Now in 2003 we have the opportunity to work with [other groups] throughout the world to promote personal stewardship and individual responsibility for the integrity of our world’s water. Our goal is to involve people throughout the world in this annual event and establish a base line for evaluating water quality trends.”

Andrew Speers, representing the International Water Association, tells us, “World Water Monitoring Day is about raising awareness at the global level of the importance of water to all of us and the quality of the environment in the local community. It’s a perfect example of thinking globally and acting locally.”

Volunteers will perform four key tests to measure dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity/clarity and temperature. Then they enter their findings on the Web. Test kits may be ordered through America’s Clean Water Foundation at www.watermonitoringday.org.

Do your best to take advantage of this chance to raise your own profile while your customers and prospects are giving attention to this important issue.

Hydro Hype

Right after the recent blackout in the northeast, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) trumpeted the role of hydropower in our country’s electricity system and called on Congress to adopt policies to ensure its viability and to encourage upgrades to the nation’s existing hydropower infrastructure.

The NHA has told policymakers that a lack of new investments has raised concerns about the security and adequacy of the system and that the country could shore up its unacceptable reliability margins through additional investments in hydropower.

Yes, hydropower was a key to getting things back up and running again after the blackout. And the writers at NHA’s public relations department have their jobs to do. I just found their campaign to smack of opportunism – but that’s politics for you. My initial reaction was that the message was only mildly off-putting, and I even questioned my feelings on that until I got to the part where the NHA touted the critical need for “additional investments.” Is there a taxpayer left in the world who doesn’t read “additional investments” as “more hard-earned money coming out of my pocket?” Were the writers able to keep a straight face when they hit those keys?

I think hydropower is great, and I appreciate its valuable contributions. I just feel the NHA could have done its campaigning in a less crass and more dignified manner so its message would be better received.

Perhaps I took it too hard; if that’s the case, I apologize for the rant.

We’ve Got Mail

Jay Foley of Foley Marine & Ind-ustrial Engines, Worcester, Mass., writes:

Congratulations on the great piece in the [September] issue of National Driller (“People Get What They’re Willing to Pay For,” by Jim Olsztynski). I think you should be applauded for couching the argument in terms of social class. No one else dares to do it. Far too few well drillers think like business people with capital, labor, etc. on hand, ready to deploy. Because they can’t get beyond their social class background, they don’t present well to clients. Yet, who do you think has more capital investment, a CPA with a B.S. in Accounting from some Branch Campus of State U., or a well driller with 200K in iron in his yard? The paradox is that the CPA has better health care, his kids go to real colleges (i.e., not beauty schools), his wife drives a company-leased sedan made in the Black Forest and he can plan for a retirement, not a dispersal sale.

As a side note, everybody in business should be reminded to stick a couple of business cards in their shirt pockets (our guys do wear shirts with front pockets, right?) before they leave the house in the morning. They will come in handy all day long – at the coffee shop, etc. – without the embarrassing grope for the wallet to extract a card.

In Memoriam

Porky Cutter sent us the word that the drilling industry lost Frank Davis of Portales, N.M., recently. He and a friend drowned in a boating accident. Davis, 39, gained national attention when he won the bidding for the Jay Leno-autographed motorcycle auctioned off to raise money for the Twin Towers Fund. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.