PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Fall Featured Facts

President's Message, September 2019

SEPTEMBER IS ALWAYS A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR with back to school activities, the change of seasons, and the anxious wait for a new water year and (for some of our members) budget year. Like most of our members, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) team has a full calendar for the next few months, including wrapping up the final details for the Annual conference in Salt Lake. If you haven’t already registered, we are hoping just the photos in this Water Resources IMPACT issue will convince you that there is no better place to be in November. One highlight is sure to be the November 5 Night at the Museum with a special presentation by Eileen Quintana. As a young girl, Eileen lived on a Navajo reservation without running water and electricity. She will discuss the importance of water in the culture and history of Native Americans. Following are a few more of AWRA’s Fall activities.

International Specialty Conference (September 16-18). By the time you receive this (barring some unexpected event) an AWRA contingent will be packing up to travel to Beijing, China for a conference on Water Security: New Technologies, Strategies, Policies, and Institutions. Co-sponsored by AWRA and The Center for Water Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), this conference will focus on water security and its importance for food security, conflict mitigation, and economic development, specifically in east and southeast Asia. We are expecting participants from around the globe for this important convening. A special shout-out goes to AWRA Board Director Zhuping Sheng for his leadership as conference co-chair and the wonderful conference team at CAS under the leadership of Shaofeng Jia, Deputy Director of Water Resources Center and Professor at CAS. For those that can’t make it, Zhuping advises that the submitted abstracts are already being sorted for a special issue of JAWRA and you can expect to see a few recaps in the November IMPACT issue.

Save the Date: October 23, 2019 | Imagine a Day Without Water. AWRA has participated along with over 1,000 other organizations and utilities in Imagine a Day Without Water for the last few years. The purpose of the annual event is to highlight the fact that some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without water. The one-day focus creates opportunities to educate our networks and communities about the importance of water. Please consider participating in the day’s events. Coordinated by the Value of Water Campaign, participation is as easy as picking one or more of the following five steps:
     1. Engage on social media! Educate your network about the  importance of water by posing the question, “What is the value of water in your daily life?” Use #ValueWater.
     2. Host an event for your community. Provide hands on experiences and foster knowledge of this vital, invisible water infrastructure by hosting a facility open house, project site tour, or other public event.
     3. Get water in the news. Communicate the message that valuing water, and the systems that deliver it, is an environmental, economic, and public health imperative.
     4. Partner with a local public official. Water infrastructure investment enjoys broad bipartisan support. Share the Value of Water Campaign’s public opinion polling data with your local officials and encourage them to demonstrate their support.
     5. Bring Imagine a Day into the classroom. A sustainable water future will depend on the success of our next generation of water leaders. Develop contests or curricula that engages students on the value of water and encourages them to share what a day without water would mean to them.
Need more ideas? The campaign website has templates, talking points and more at imagineadaywithoutwater.org.

Membership Survey. Over the summer a select group of members received membership surveys. We are in the process of reviewing the responses and fine tuning questions and will redistribute it to
the full membership soon. There will be some fun incentives for those that take the survey. (Those that have already participated will also be eligible for whatever incentives are offered.) We really want and need member feedback so please make time to participate. Speaking of feedback, thank you to everyone that has already sent suggestions, concerns and affirmations. We really appreciate the time each correspondent took to do this and the valuable thoughts and insights they offered.

Thank You
As always, thank you for your membership and participation. If you would like to correspond directly drop a note to president@awra.org.


Lisa Beutler is the 2019 president of AWRA.

Lisa at the Georgia Association of Water Professionals Conference July 14-17, 2019 One of the absolute joys of being AWRA President is visiting the State Sections. In July I was able to join the Georgia Section at a statewide conference they held in conjunction with several other water associations. The event started with Georgia BBQ, Water for People fund raiser. If you are not familiar with Water for People, this non-profit was founded in 1991 by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) as a response to the increasing global water crises. Teams from water utilities, consultancies and other water related groups cooked up friendly (but very competitive), delicious entries for the opening night festivities. Ticket sales added up to an impressive donation to Water for People. Thank you to the Georgia Section and conference committee for a wonderful gathering and generous hospitality.

WHAT CAN MEMBERSHIP DO FOR YOU?

If you actively engage in our community, your career and organization will benefit. We offer multiple opportunities for engagement via conferences, social media, webinars, committees and publications.