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WAN---Wide Area Network/LAN---Local Area Network: The term WAN describes a data network used to interconnect a companies' remote sites. The term LAN means local data network, one that is used to interconnect the computer equipment of a commercial user.

WAPA – Western Area Power Administration: Markets and delivers reliable, cost-based hydroelectric power and related services within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. One of four power marketing administrations within the U.S. Department of Energy whose role is to market and transmit electricity from multi-use water projects.  On the Internet at

Water Reclamation: The treatment and management of wastewater to produce water of suitable quality for additional use.

Water Forum: A community collaboration process involving stakeholder organizations and commitment to the co-equal objectives of providing reliable and safe water supply for the region's economic health and planned development through the year 2030 and preserving the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River.

Water Management Plan: A document that outlines a company's plan to conserve water resources efficiently without reducing safety, productivity, or growth potential.

Water Quality: The chemical, physical and biological properties of water as they affect the uses of water by man and nature.

Water Right: A legally protected right to take possession of water occurring in a natural waterway and to divert that water for beneficial use.

Water Rights Decision 1485: State Water Resources Control Board ruling issued in 1978 that established salinity standards for Bay-Delta waters.

Watershed: The land area drained by a given river; synonymous with drainage basin (also catchment).

Water Year: A continuous 12-month period for which hydrological records are compiled and summarized. In California , a water year begins October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year. Thus, the 1991 water year began October 1, 1990 , and ended September 30, 1991 .

WATS – Wide Area Telephone Service: Permits customers to make (OUTWATS) or receive (INWATS) long-distance calls and to have them billed on a bulk rather than individual call basis. The service is provided within selected service areas by means of special private access lines connected to the pubic telephone network via WATS-equipped central offices. A single access line permits inward or outward service, but not both.

Watt: A unit of electrical power, equal to the power developed in a circuit by a current of one ampere flowing through a potential difference of one volt.

Watt-hour: An electrical energy unit of measure equal to 1 watt of power supplied to, or taken from, an electric circuit steadily for 1 hour.

WEM – Women's Energy Matters: a network of women and men who approach energy issues from a woman's point of view. WEM works for a rapid transition to an efficient, renewable energy system, in order to promote healthy communities and ecosystems and improve international relations. WEM also celebrates the ways women have used their own energy through the ages to work for the public good. On the Internet at

Wholesale Competition: A system whereby a distributor of power would have the option to buy its power from a variety of power producers, and the power producers would be able to compete to sell their power to a variety of distribution companies.

Wholesale Power Market: The purchase and sale of electricity from generators to resellers (who sell to retail customers), along with the ancillary services needed to maintain reliability and power quality at the transmission level.

Wireless: Telephone service transmitted via cellular, PCS, satellite or other.

Wireless Internet: Internet applications and access using mobile devices such as cell phones and palm devices.  Also, Broadband Internet service provided via wireless connection, such as satellite or tower transmitters.

Wireline: Service based on infrastructure on or near the ground, such as copper telephone wires or coaxial cable underground or on telephone poles.

Wires Charge: A broad term that refers to charges levied on power suppliers or their customers for the use of the transmission or distribution wires.

WMDVBE – Women Minority Disabled Veterans Business Enterprises: Program (including the PUC's) set up to monitor supplier diversity in procurements by participating utilities and oversees a clearinghouse of women, minority and disabled veteran-owned business enterprises.

WRCB – ( California ) Water Resources Control Board:  The State Board's mission is to preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California 's water resources, and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations.


Z-Factor: The sum of cost changes incurred by local telephone companies which are beyond their control and which can, therefore, be included in the price cap indexing mechanism.

ZIP – Zero Interest Program: A program to provide loans, without interest, to residential customers to insulate or weatherize their homes.

ZORF – Zone of Rate Freedom: A procedure by which charter-party carriers (buses, limousines , shuttles, etc.) can increase their fares within a limited range above or below current prices without coming back to the Commission for authorization; this allows such companies to adjust pricing to changes in the economy.

ZUM – Zone Use Measurement: A method of pricing local calls and interexchange (toll) calls up to 16 miles in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas; including discounts for late-night usage.

(800) - 800 Service: The ability of a caller to dial a long distance telephone number without incurring a charge for the call, which is paid for by the party offering the 800 number. Synonym:  Inward WATS service.

(900) - 900 Service:  Allows callers to receive information from the service provider via a recorded audio message, which can range from 60 seconds to a continuous live hookup, by calling a 900 number, usually 976. This service can also be used to enable callers to vote or "make a choice" by dialing one of two 900 numbers. 900 calls are typically billed to the caller at much higher rates than regular calls.

976 - 976 Numbers: Allows callers to listen to recorded messages such as horoscopes, 'adult' dialogue, stock market or sports reports by calling 976-xxxx. The local telephone company charges callers a fee that is split between the local telephone company and the service provider.


Last Modified: 1/28/2008

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