Since 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and it members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, WEF’s mission is to 1) connect water professionals, 2) Enrich the expertise of water professionals, 3) Increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and 4) Provide a platform for water sector innovation.
So what is the state of the Federation? As we all know, one of WEF’s goals is to support Member Associations (MAs) across the globe, including CSWEA. WEF is responsible for the planning and execution of WEFTEC, numerous specialty conferences, and a host of other activities that are designed to engage MAs. Recently, WEF developed their Strategic Plan for moving forward. Although WEF is a non-profit organization, it is run as a business to ensure its longevity. Thus, WEF is operating as a sustainable, fiscally responsible business. WEF’s Strategic Plan, which includes Critical Objectives and Strategic Goals, is summarized at the end of this report.
Core Values of Service
WEF has identified the following four core values of service:
This article highlights the first of these, the Leadership service area. WEF leaders and the House of Delegates (HOD) are focused on helping the membership thrive by promoting leadership across each of the mission areas.
No matter your view of WEF, there is no doubt that it is the leader in the industry for providing unlimited possibilities for professional growth. Unlimited in the sense that CSWEA will support unique ideas and leaders that align with our goals. From a national perspective, CSWEA is an elite member association, so don’t overlook opportunities for leadership when opportunity knocks.
WEF/WE&RF Lift Affiliate
As an example of how CSWEA plans to continue providing its leaders the best information, CSWEA is actively pursuing membership as a WEF/WE&RF LIFT Affiliate. LIFT, the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology helps to provide many of the above mentioned goals as useful information about the industries latest research and technology. As a MA LIFT Affiliate, CSWEA will serve as a link between the utilities, universities, and LIFT projects to ensure our members are aware of opportunities that work towards our common goals.
House of Delegates Meeting
At WEFTEC, Eric and Doug attended the HOD Meeting, where the 2016 Progress Report was unveiled. Although it may seem that WEF is a well-oiled machine, WEF is still finding ways to further improve the sustainability of the organization. This year’s business plan was modified to become a 3-year Business Plan for longer term budgeting and planning. The 2017-2019 Business Plan provides WEF leaders, staff, and committees direction for implementing practices that best satisfy our members’ interests.
Although WEFTEC 2016 in New Orleans was not a record-breaking conference, it was very well attended, and WEF remains very strong financially compared to other non-profit organizations. In recent years, WEF has made great strides towards diversifying and is close to obtaining a target of 50% reserve funds by 2020. In the financial report, WEF identified several ways to increase revenue, including: targeting new members and conferences in stormwater and water resources or from operator certification courses. While WEF develops these and other new sources of income, a dues increase of 5% for WEF membership will occur in January 2017.
WEF’s 2017-2019 Business Plan also set a few priorities, each of which aim to address WEF’s mission statements:
Priorities during this term of the 2017-2019 Business Plan that are applicable to CSWEA were identified as:
WEF has taken a fiscally responsible approach to expanding its 3-Year Business Plan to pursue these priorities, by utilizing excess profits and retiring previous strategic items.
Finally, Four (4) locations have been chosen to host WEFMAX in 2017. WEFMAX offers an opportunity for MA leaders at all levels to join together, share success stories and ideas on how MA members can be better served. These fast paced, interactive meetings are open to all members and provide for both enlightenment and networking with other leaders of the water profession from throughout North America and beyond. The locations and dates are as follows:
All are encouraged to attend at least one of these events.