How Will You and Your Agency Observe a Special Week Dedicated to Water?

Among all the special national week celebrations, one deserves special attention from members of the water and wastewater professions

It seems there’s an official month, or week, or day for almost everything. In April alone there’s Golden Rule Week, National Public Health Week, National Library Week, National Tattoo Week, Coin Week, National Volunteer Week, Bedbug Awareness Week, American Quilters Society Week, and many others.

Amid all this, there’s one special April week that water professionals should take seriously. That’s Water Week, being celebrated in 2018 this week April 15-21. It’s a week created by and for organizations connected with water and the environment — you can see a list of them at www.waterweek.us/supporting-organizations.

Water Week is emphatically about politics, not tree plantings and children’s festivals. Hundreds of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater leaders and professionals, representing the largest water organizations in the country, will take to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., this week and meet with lawmakers to advocate for national policies that advance clean, safe, affordable and sustainable water for all Americans.

While the focus is on the federal government, there’s no reason water and wastewater agencies can’t take actions locally and make the day their own. To help generate ideas, here are some activities that this year’s Water Week includes:

National Water Policy Fly-In, April 17-18, Washington Court Hotel, Washington, D.C.

As the Trump Administration and Congress turn their collective focus toward infrastructure investment, it is crucial that policymakers hear directly from water professionals about the challenges their utilities, agencies and communities face. The issues of infrastructure funding, affordability, regulatory reform, and research support will be front and center in 2018, and many water professionals are in Washington, D.C., this week to meet in-person with policymakers and speak to them directly on these issues. 

Joint Water Week Congressional Briefing, April 18, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

A broad coalition of organizations from across the water sector will join together to highlight the importance of water, call for greater water infrastructure investment, and highlight steps the federal government can take to help elevate water as a national priority. Speakers include members of Congress and utility leaders from across the country.

AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In, April 18-19, The Wink Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Hosted by the American Water Works Association’s Water Utility Council, the Fly-In is the focal point for the association’s grassroots advocacy efforts. It serves to not only advance the water community’s legislative goals, but it also further establishes AWWA members and staff as sources of information on water issues in Washington, D.C.

Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association 45th annual Washington Forum, April 17-19, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland

The Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) will be holding its 45th Washington Forum. The theme for this year is “Effectively Communicating Change at the National, State, and Local Level.” The meeting, chaired by Mike Dimitriou, president, Water Remediation Technology LLC, will highlight changes happening in D.C. and nationwide with regard to water infrastructure, environmental and public health protection, and the legislative and regulatory changes that will impact the water sector in the coming years. In addition to a line-up of sessions and speakers, a reception is planned for all water groups and Congressional legislators at the Library of Congress for an evening of networking and interaction. 

WateReuse Association Water Week 2018 Congressional Briefing, Harnessing the Transformational and Economic Value of Water Reuse, April 19, Senate Visitor’s Center, Washington, D.C.

Communities across the country are increasingly harnessing the transformative and economic value of recycled water. Water reuse is not just a tool used in the arid West to address water scarcity, but a way for communities to better manage their local water resources to help spur economic growth and plan for the future. From supporting agriculture and attracting industry to augmenting drinking water supplies and recharging aquifers, recycled water is being used to address a diverse set of water resource challenges. This Congressional briefing will highlight how four different communities across the country are using water recycling in four different ways to bring local economic benefits. The briefing will feature: Loudoun Water’s (Virginia) recycled water for data centers; City of Dickinson, North Dakota’s recycled water for oil and gas operations; the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System (California); and Pure Water Monterey’s (California) recycled water for agriculture irrigation.

If you can’t get away to join the events in Washington, D.C., no doubt Water Week activities can translate to the local level. For example, how about a presentation about infrastructure investment before your city council or village board? Or a tour of one community’s water and wastewater treatment plants for all elected municipal officials in a county? The possibilities are limited only by the imagination.



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