Strategic Planning

Welcome to the future of the BRWA. We built a Strategic Plan (SP) to define how we intend to achieve our vision for the future and identify the goals necessary to ensure that we meet the water and sewage needs of the communities we serve.

This Is BRWA:

Vision

Clean Water. Healthy Environment. Thriving Community.

Mission

To provide high quality water and wastewater services to the community.

Values

Collaboration, Adaptability, Results, Enthusiasm.

The Process

A successful SP is one where all stakeholders not only understand, but work with us to ensure its completion. To that end, we:

  • Built understanding through surveys, focus groups, and roundtables;
  • Built alignment through common creation of vision, mission, and values;
  • Built direction by bringing our vision to life and creating measurable goals;
  • Built action through thoughtful, immersive, and milestone-driven plans; and
  • Built support by integrating the plan elements into the budget and sharing with stakeholders.

According to the data collected from our surveys, roundtables, and employee input, our stakeholders agree – water is the most valuable resource:

  • to our economy;
  • to our health; and
  • to our sense of community.

With that, this SP is designed to support community and economic growth by preserving and conserving a safe and adequate water supply, including the infrastructure necessary to distribute this valuable resource.

Planning Pipelines

We care for our community by caring for its water resources. That includes ensuring the very best quality in water and wastewater treatment. We are committed to providing excellent care of water resources, ensuring we never let up on our commitment to zero pollutants. Ensuring this resource remains available and viable for future generations requires deliberate planning and intentional support from our community.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure refers to resources that support the basic operations of our organization, providing essential support to our care of Bedford’s water and the people who rely on it. Infrastructure is often unseen and, as such, is at risk of receiving inadequate attention. The two essential areas of infrastructure focus for this SP are the water piping system and technology resources, two powerful levers in ensuring optimal safety, productivity, and quality of care.

Pipe Systems

The Reality

In Bedford County and the Town of Bedford, there is an urgent need to replace outdated pipes. Traditional funding methods cannot accomplish this alone. In addition to impacting customers, this funding gap has implications for our region’s economic development. Therefore, several entities must cooperate and collaborate with BRWA. The importance of this issue is widely acknowledged, but the challenges of establishing and implementing a plan require a dedicated team of stakeholders.

Goal 1

Ensure that the pipe system in our service area meets current standards.

Strategies/Objectives

  1. Establish a team of stakeholders to support BRWA as it addresses challenges and implements plans for current and future endeavors.
  2. BRWA will create a workgroup that includes individuals from the Town of Bedford and Bedford County. This workgroup will address project funding and financing for current and future projects.
    • The workgroup will develop a plan to prioritize current and future sub-projects regarding the development and maintenance of the infrastructure.
Technology

The Reality

BRWA has the hardware to support its work in the field and in the office. However, fully accessing, utilizing, and integrating data across departments is challenging.

Goal 2

Leverage technology to automate processes, increase data access, and strengthen data integration across departments.

Strategies/Objectives

  1. Develop phased data visualization program by conducting a proof-of-concept study.
  2. Ensure that BRWA is prepared to implement and utilize dashboards.
  3. Establish a system to link customer service and finance data.
  4. Build a system to layer GIS and asset management data to automate regulatory compliance reporting.

Community

Water is a human endeavor. When we care for it well, we have confidence in the quality and safety of our water and enjoy it as part of a thriving community. To that end, we recognize that our relationship with the people we serve is essential to our work. Connecting more meaningfully with our community – including our partners, neighbors, customers, future employees, and the general public – will ensure a broader understanding, respect, and care of our water resources.

Community

The Reality

The community, specifically customers, rate their experience with the BRWA positively. Partnering with our community to care for water resources can enhance this relationship. Public interest and the lack of awareness concerning water and water resources are obstacles.

Goal 3

Educate and engage community members about the conservation, preservation, and use of Bedford County’s water resources.

Strategies/Objectives

  1. Provide information on the BRWA website that describes the current water resources in Bedford County and how the community can support the BWRA’s work.
  2. Use workgroups and stakeholder teams proposed in Goal 1 to foster community connections.
  3. Provide an annual summary of the community’s current and future challenges concerning the adequate distribution of water and infrastructure maintenance.
  4. Provide an annual SP update, specifically, goal completion and current BRWA projects.
  5. Link SP updates to a public webpage.
  6. Provide an opportunity for the public to attend an informal informational meeting to discuss concerns or suggestions with board members or BRWA staff.

Workforce

Our staff dedicate their days and nights to caring for our water resources, customers, and community. Just as we must ensure modernized piping and technology infrastructure, we must ensure that our workforce is organized and built for current and future needs and aligned with our SP. We will focus on recruitment, retention, training and licensing, and employee engagement. These efforts will have a powerful impact on our culture, which is the basis for quality, productivity, and adaptability.

Workforce

The Reality

BRWA takes pride in its employees’ engagement and dedication. Contributing to the environment and community gives employees a sense of belonging. However, current needs exceed resources for staffing and training. While collaboration and communication have improved, opportunities exist to fine-tune a culture of connection between departments to ensure a seamless customer experience.

Goal 4

Align staffing with the future needs of the communities served by BRWA and provide adequate training to ensure sustainable employee recruitment and retention.

Strategies/Objectives

  1. All departments will generate a professional development plan to ensure that all employees are adequately trained.
  2. Create interdepartmental workgroup to access team decision-making and current practices, set priorities, and develop departmental goals.

Thank You

To The Community

Thank you to our customers who filled out the strategic planning survey; this feedback helped us tremendously and helped shape the external opportunities of this plan.

To Our Staff

Many of our staff members participated in focus group meetings to provide input on the BRWA’s internal workings. We appreciate our staff’s dedication, professionalism, and constructive input throughout the planning process.

To Leadership

The stakeholders roundtable meeting allowed us to learn about the external challenges (“threats”) the BRWA must focus on to prepare for the future. We are thankful for the elected officials, appointed officials, and executive staff from the County, Town, and BRWA who participated in this meeting.