Expert Q&A: Jill Manning Hudkins Discusses Supporting Clients’ Water Infrastructure Projects with Industry-Leading Solutions
As the Global Practice Leader for One Water programs at Tetra Tech, Jill Manning Hudkins is well versed in sustainability, resiliency, and technology approaches that are being implemented across North America and beyond. She has nearly 30 years of consulting engineering experience developing integrated water resources strategies for local government agencies. Her expertise includes development and implementation of many of Tetra Tech’s large water supply, conveyance, and treatment programs with specific expertise in the application of membrane technologies. Her experience includes intelligent planning, computer modeling, digital transformation, design, and construction administration.
Jill’s technical expertise, coupled with her global leadership role within the firm, provides her with a unique perspective on large-scale water resources projects. Tetra Tech’s global One Water practice leverages local and subject matter expertise to deliver resilient and sustainable water utility solutions around the globe—from potable reuse demonstration in Florida to water supply planning in Sri Lanka, real-time automation and control in Montreal, and new seawater intake facilities in Carlsbad, California.
Jill is a member of the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation, and the American Membrane Technology Association. She received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Duke University and a Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jill is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida and Texas.
What are the leading drivers for municipal water and wastewater projects?
There are multiple megatrends impacting municipal water agencies including droughts, climate change, environmental regulations, aging infrastructure, decarbonization, and cybersecurity. Regions that are susceptible to, or currently are experiencing water shortages, face an increasingly urgent need to develop sustainable and diverse water supply portfolios. One Water strategies, intelligent planning, and automation advances have facilitated our clients’ ability to integrate and manage multiple sources at any given time. Climate uncertainty, environmental protection, environmental justice, and energy resilience for water production will drive innovation in the municipal water sector for the next decade.
What sets Tetra Tech apart from other firms that work in the water market?
Tetra Tech has been ranked number 1 in water by Engineering News-Record (ENR) since 2003. ENR also ranks our firm number 1 in water treatment and desalination because of our volume of work in this practice area. Our experts are well versed in desalination for municipal, commercial, and industrial customers. We have significant expertise in water supply, distribution, treatment, and storage and we have designed hundreds of water treatment facilities ranging from 1 MGD to 500 MGD in capacity. Our team is focused on Leading with Science® and leveraging technology to deliver sustainable and scalable solutions.
How is Tetra Tech helping clients address emerging contaminants of concern?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), microplastics and harmful algal blooms are at the forefront of regulatory planning for our clients. Increased regulatory focus on drinking water contaminants, coupled with social justice and environmental protection priorities, will drive the state and federal regulatory climate. Many states have set PFAS regulations in advance of federal regulation due to the potential for serious adverse health impacts. PFAS characterization, treatment, and management can be complex due to their persistent and ubiquitous nature.
Tetra Tech has supported government and commercial clients with PFAS characterization and management. We are at the forefront of pilot testing various treatment technologies including granular activated carbon, ion exchange, and reverse osmosis. We also are implementing a multifacility treatment program for Orange County Water District in California.
How will digitalization transform the water industry over the next decade?
The digital transformation of the water industry will have a significant impact on the way our clients supply, treat, and deliver water to their customers throughout the next decade. Tetra Tech is helping our clients to remove data silos and unlock the potential of their data, enabling them to use new sources of business intelligence across their planning, capital delivery, and operations teams. Tetra Tech supports major water utilities with supervisory control and data acquisition modernization and major cybersecurity programs as they address an evolving digital landscape. These programs support a sustainable and secure digital water future and will prepare our clients to benefit from the convergence of automation, advanced analytics, intelligent planning, and asset management in the water industry.