Tomorrow’s Mission

Passion is the strongest idea that came across in the opening general session of the American Water Works Association ACE09 on Monday morning.

Mike Leonard, AWWA President, addresses the opening general session of ACE09.

In its 128th year, the conference showcased all facets of the drinking water field in a professionally executed video presentation, emphasizing that its members see the work of providing safe and clean water as more of a mission than a job.

Outgoing President Michael J. Leonard said he believed that "AWWA members do it better than anyone in the world."

The passion extends from the association to its members in trying to provide what they need—in these tough economic times.

Leonard said that AWWA is

  • Supporting a federal water infrastructure bank,
  • Working with the Water Environment Federation on a focused public outreach campaign,
  • Collaborating with the Department of Labor to delineate water career paths that may help attract people to the workforce, and
  • Offering fully developed online courses for distance learning opportunities.

After hearing keynote speaker Pete S. Silva address a ballroom full of attendees, I realized that the passion will be needed to fuel the energy required to manage:

  • The long-term issue of infrastructure,
  • Water transfers,
  • Water resource management,
  • Nonpoint source pollution, and
  • Emerging pollutants of concern.

These challenges may be on the plate before Silva, President Obama's nominee to head EPA’s Office of Water, if he should be confirmed.

Stay tuned as these developments unfold.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Jun 16, 2009

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