AwwaRF Changes Name in 2009

For more than 40 years, the Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF) has served water utilities and regulatory agencies by conducting vital research to protect  the U.S. drinking water supply. Its studies have strategically guided water utility managers, environmental regulators, and water researchers in making critical decisions that have further protected the purity of  drinking water, as well as saved utilities millions in infrastructure planning and design.

Since its inception, the organization has been privileged to be associated with the American Water Works Association (AWWA), a noteworthy and nationally recognized organization. While each has served different purposes within the water community – AWWA as an educator and advocate, and AwwaRF as a research sponsor and facilitator -- confusion continues to exist among critical funding audiences due to the similarities in the names. Additionally, the acronym “AwwaRF” is unknown to many outside the water industry, and the word “association” in a name -- actual or assumed -- precludes some potential donors from issuing grants for water research.

To help ensure our Foundation’s long-term viability and build support for critical research, AwwaRF made the decision to change its name to the Water Research Foundation effective Jan. 1, 2009.

The association has provided more detailed answers below.

Q. Why does AwwaRF want to change its name?
A. The driving force behind the change is sustainable growth for the organization. We must continue advancing the science of water. To accomplish this, we need outside funding to maintain and increase our level of research, while ensuring the burden for all funding does not rest solely upon our subscribers. We are committed to keeping our subscribers’ membership fees reasonable.

Q. How was the decision reached to change the name?
A. Impelled by the need for clarity about our purpose and sustainable funding, the AwwaRF Board of Trustees embarked on a strategic and deliberate evaluation process for an identity/name change. In January 2008, the Board approved moving forward with a name change and appointed a committee that represents AWWA, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), and the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) to look at potential names and the steps it would take to implement a name change.