An Analysis of Factors Influencing Capacity Development of Public Water Systems in Mississippi

Author(s): Barefield, A.; Tack, J.

The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 (SDWA) mandated the implementation of capacity development strategies to avoid the withholding of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund monies. In particular, section 1420 defined the two capacity enhancement foci as (1) ensuring that new community and non-transient water systems demonstrate sufficient financial, managerial and technical capacity to achieve authorization and (2) developing an implementation strategy to assist currently operating water systems with acquiring and maintaining these same capacity components.

As the state's primacy agency, the Mississippi State Department of Health-Bureau of Public Water Supply (MSDH-BPWS) has developed a mandatory survey instrument that contains three sections corresponding to the enumerated capacity development mandates. MSDH-BPWS regional engineers administer this survey to all community and non-transient water systems in the state. MSDH-BPWS also utilizes a portion of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund monies to fund capacity development programs, such as the Peer Review program. The Mississippi State University Extension Service implements this program that utilizes a team of certified waterworks operators from high performing systems to make site visits to poorer performing systems and providing advice and technical assistance in improving capacity development scores.

The purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of the Peer Review program in increasing capacity development scores and to assess a number of other factors that may have significant influence on a particular system's capacity development. An intertemporal binomial dependent variable regression model is constructed to determine the marginal effects of several firm-level managerial and regional socioeconomic factors in influencing the success of public water systems in increasing capacity assessment scores to acceptable levels.
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1 Best Management Practices #1
2 Delta Water Assessment
3 Flood Assessment & Mgmt.
4 Wetlands
5 Watershed Mgmt. #1
6 Non-Point Source Assessment
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