News Briefs: Jay Z Rebuked by Denver Water in Open Letter

In this week's news, Denver Water gives rapper Jay Z a lesson on the true cost of water, Knoxville meets consent decree milestones, and a partnership in St. Louis will provide $10 million in loans to minority and women contractors
News Briefs: Jay Z Rebuked by Denver Water in Open Letter

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As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” — and that includes the accompanying beverages.

Denver Water publicly called out rapper and music producer Jay Z in an open and light-hearted letter for “under-appreciating the value of water and recently claiming it was free,” Time magazine reports.

“Your comments bring up the issue of how people value water — an issue our industry struggles with all the time,” Steve Snyder of Denver Water wrote on the organization’s website. “All the money in the world can’t help when water becomes scarce … Californians would no doubt pay good money for Mother Nature to turn on her faucet a little more frequently.”

In a March interview for his music streaming service, Tidal, Jay Z received criticism after he told the New York Times, “Water is free. Music is $6 but no one wants to pay for music. You should drink free water from the tap — it’s a beautiful thing. And if you want to hear the most beautiful song, then support the artist.”

Snyder ends his letter to Jay Z on common ground: “You will continue your quest to help people understand the value of music, while people in my industry will do the same with water. Of course, I’ve heard you actually have a whole list of problems to address — 99 to be exact?”

Source: Time magazine

Knoxville Utilities Board Meets Consent Decree Milestones

Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), under a 2005 consent decree, fulfilled its requirements by completing sewer replacements, rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance work, as well as two supplemental environmental projects throughout Knoxville and Knox County, reports.

As co-plaintiffs with the United States in the case, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Clean Water Network sought action against persistent sewage overflow issues, which resulted in the consent decree against KUB.

“KUB has demonstrated a serious commitment to address its long-standing sewage overflow problems by implementing the Partners Acting for a Cleaner Environment sewer improvement program and meeting major consent decree milestones,” EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney told the newspaper.

Between 2003 and 2014, the number of SSOs has declined 82 percent, McTeer Toney noted. In order to achieve that number, KUB completed 134 projects, replaced and rehabilitated more than 275 miles of sewer lines and nearly 7,000 manholes, built six storage tanks, completed the first phase of two wastewater treatment plant projects, and implemented a management, operation and maintenance program.

KUB has until June 30, 2016, to complete all covered collection system improvements, and until June 30, 2021, to finish the required treatment plant upgrades.


Partnership Provides $10M Boost For Minority, Women Contractors

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has teamed up with more than 30 other major corporations and agencies to create the Contractors Loan Fund, which will provide loans up to $1 million for certified minority and women-owned business enterprises. The fund has a pool of $10 million.

The goal of the fund is to increase the “number, size and stability” of minority and women-owned contracting businesses, and to have loan participants switch to traditional banking relationships, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

“This is a big deal,” said St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt at a news conference announcing the loan fund. “It takes money to make money … Cash flow is like oxygen for a business. Without it, it will truly die."

Source: St. Louis Public Radio


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