• Cost Analysis of Selected Flush Haul Water and Wastewater Systems in Rural Alaska

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      This research memorandum presents and compares estimates of the operating costs of selected flush haul sanitation systems in rural Alaska. The estimates are based on actual operating experience. An accurate picture of operating costs is important when evaluating flush haul systems because communities are generally responsible for paying these costs. People need to know these costs in advance when choosing among alternative systems.In previous work (Colt 1994) I estimated life-cycle costs for prospective flush haul systems in Buckland and Mekoryuk. These systems have now been operating for several years. In addition, flush haul systems have recently been installed in Galena, Napakiak, Nunapitchuk, Quinhagak, Shishmaref, and Tuntutuliak. As part of the Alaska Native Health Board Operation and Maintenance Demonstration Project, we collected operating data from the communities of Buckland, Galena, and Nunapitchuk. Additional data for systems in Mekoryuk, Quinhagak, and Tuntutuliak has been collected by others (Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation 1998). This paper therefore considers the six communities listed above. This work was undertaken with the assistance and contributions of the Alaska Native Health Board Operation & Maintenance Demonstration Project.
    • Cross Cultural Issues in Village Administration: Observations on Water and Sanitation Operations and Management in Western Alaska

      Haley, Sharman; Brelsford, Taylor (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1999)
      The villages of Western Alaska are in various stages of transition from hauling water and human waste by hand, to technologically sophisticated Arctic design piped systems. The transition involves not only technological change and adaptation, but also the development of new institutions and work relations appropriate to the administration and management of complex systems. The implicit norms of these new institutional relations and culture of work are based in Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture; in very many respects these norms are alien to traditional Yup'ik Eskimo people. Bi-cultural Natives are in a unique position to meet these challenges and facilitate the transition by modeling an adaptive synthesis of the two cultures, providing culturally sensitive leadership, and facilitating relations between villages and outside agencies.
    • Evaluation of the Alaska Native Health Board Sanitation Facility Operation and Maintenance Program: Final Report on Phase III Projects and Extended Phase II Projects

      Haley, Sharman; Larson, Eric; Frazier, Rosyland; DeRoche, Patricia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      The Alaska Native Health Board (ANHB) has a multi-year project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management, to administer sanitation facilities operations and maintenance (O&M) demonstration grants in rural Alaska. Nine projects were funded in the first wave, beginning in April 1996. Nineteen projects, including two carry- overs from the first wave, were funded in the second wave, which started in April 1997. The third and last wave, with seven projects, started in April 1998. The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage is monitoring and evaluating the individual sanitation facility O&M projects and the program overall. EPA initially funded this work; it is now funded by ANHB. The research design and the underlying program design differ somewhat across the three phases. The innovation in the Phase III design was the addition of mentor communities to assist project communities. This report comprises the final evaluation for the seven Phase III community projects and four Phase II projects that extended beyond the deadline for the Phase II report.
    • Evaluation of the Alaska Native Health Board Sanitation Facility Operation and Maintenance Program: Phase II

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      The Alaska Native Health Board is administering a demonstration grant program intended to improve the capacity of rural Alaska communities to operate and maintain their water and sewer systems. This multi-year program began in 1996 and is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management. The Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage is evaluating the individual projects and the program overall. This report is the final evaluation of the 16 Phase II community projects for which data collection was substantially complete as of September 30, 1999. Phase II started in 1997. A coordinating committee for the project reviewed applications from 68 communities. It selected 18 whose proposed plans focused on improving operations and maintenance by improving utility structure and management and by educating customers about utility operations. ANHB also offered two Phase I communities continuation funding. We report here on 16 rather than 20 communities because several extended their projects past September 1999 and one was dropped from the program. There are several parts to this evaluation included with this report.
    • Evaluation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Water and Sanitation Project in the Village of Buckland, Alaska - Phase 2

      Haley, Sharman; Wiita, Amy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency for a multi-year sanitation pilot project in the village of Buckland, in Alaska's Northwest Arctic Borough. Providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal for rural communities has been and continues to be a major public policy goal in Alaska. The federal and state governments have spent more than $1 billion building sewer and water facilities in rural Alaska in the past several decades, but many unsafe and inadequate water and sewer systems remain. A wide range of government agencies and Native organizations have been involved in rural sanitation projects, but until recently one notable exception was the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps has regulatory authority over and provides technical expertise for water-related projects across Alaska—for example, oil, gas, and mining activities that affect wetlands. But historically it has not been involved in providing sanitation systems in rural Alaska. That changed in 1997, when Congress asked the corps to apply its expertise with cold region design, construction, and operation of water and sewer facilities to projects in rural Alaska. This report evaluates just the planning and the phase one design activities of that pilot project. The Environmental Protection Agency hired the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to do this evaluation.
    • Financing Water and Sewer Operation and Maintenance in Rural Alaska

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      Are existing sanitation systems simply too expensive for many Alaska villages? Or could small utilities operate in the black if they increased their charges and toughened collection policies? How much difference do village leadership and commitment to good sanitation make? Could alternative technologies provide adequate sanitation for less? To help shed some light on these questions, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage prepared this volume. It presents seven recent analyses, by various authors, of some aspects of financing water and sewer operations and maintenance in rural Alaska. We added an introductory chapter, a final chapter drawing some conclusions from the various analyses and discussing policy issues, and an executive summary. The analyses look at methods villages use to pay for O&M; the share of small sanitation systems operating in the red; the costs of selected closed-haul systems (one alternative to piped systems); the fiscal capacity of small rural communities; and steps that might help small sanitation systems meet their costs. These studies are not comprehensive, and in some cases they raise as many questions as they answer. But they provide valuable information on a public policy issue Alaska will continue to grapple with for the foreseeable future.
    • Sustainable Utilities in Rural Alaska Effective Management, Maintenance, and Operation of Electric, Water, Sewer, Bulk Fuel, Solid Waste Final Report Part A: Overview

      Goldsmith, Scott; Wiita, Amy; Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Two reports are provided Part A is an overview - reliable and affordable utility services remain out of reach for thousands of Alaskans and between $1.5 and $2 billion of public investment is potentially at risk due to the inadequate operations, maintenance, and management of electric, water, sewer, bulk fuel, and solid waste utilities in many small rural Alaska communities. This report provides a foundation of facts and ideas that can be used to move toward sustainable utilities in these places. Part B contains supporting material and examines the maintenance, management, and operation of rural Alaska utilities.