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Guide and support: Mike Nunley CEO and president of MKN (Arroyo Grande, CA), a firm specializing in water, wastewater, and water reuse engineering for public agencies.
By LIISA ANDREASSEN Correspondent
A fter serving as a project engineer, project manager, branch manager, and ultimately a senior operations manager and vice president for a Fortune 500 consulting engineering firm, Nunley started MKN. His team provides forward-thinking water, wastewater, and water reuse solutions to public agencies and private clients throughout central and southern California. “Technical expertise, communication skills, and the ability to motivate and organize others are all necessary for success, and I aspire to improve my abilities in all these areas,” Nunley says. “These are also the skills we look for in our company’s leaders.” A CONVERSATION WITH MIKE NUNLEY. The Zweig Letter: Your firm specializes in water, wastewater, and water reuse engineering for public agencies. What are the most notable concerns/needs for clients now compared to when you started the firm nearly 10 years go? Any significant changes?
Mike Nunley: I think the greatest challenge we face is climate change; it will affect water supply and wastewater facilities across the state. The impact on wildfires and drought conditions has already been significant. It will require investment from federal, state, and local resources to mitigate risk and relocate or harden critical infrastructure. We have worked with several clients to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation plans for their facilities. Our firm also helps clients secure and manage grants and loans to reduce impact on ratepayers, and we provide staff extension services, design, construction management, and all other services necessary to help them fund and implement projects. Another major challenge is the retiring workforce and need for water operators, engineers, and utility professionals at all levels, who have jobs that are much more complicated than they were even 20 years ago. The move to One Water from the formerly separated fields of water, wastewater, recycled water, and stormwater are
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