As I start my year to serve as Your President, I am honored and humbled. CSWEA is such a high-quality organization. We have so many hardworking members who put their heart and soul into improving our water environment. I truly think that are amazing things that happen every day in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. We are all so busy, we sometimes forget to take a step back a reflect at all the things we make happen. From the utility improvements in energy, nutrient recovery and processes, to the exciting new products our manufacturers and manufacturer representatives offer us, to the many State Section and Association seminars that are put on, to the advanced research academia provides, the great designs our consultants offer, there is no shortage of amazing things happening. We should all reflect on this and take time to truly appreciate this. Thank you for all you do everyday to support the Association make us thrive!
It struck me as I sat down to write this article that I am proud to be a member of CSWEA. We should all be proud of our activity and accomplishments. As I stated as the Award Banquet at the Annual Meeting, at CSWEA, we have a special thing going. We should never take this for granted. In addition to being proud, we should be excited about the future opportunities in the clean water environment arena and the challenges and hard work that lay before us. Some of those challenges include more stringent effluent limits in particular for phosphorus, increased pressure for energy efficiency and nutrient recovery, working on a watershed level with new stakeholders to address TMDLs and the facility permit conditions, and the pace of new product development, and research. Based on my experience working in the Association the last 17 years, we will address these issues head-on with a positive attitude and a smile on our face.
As President, I want to work with our WEF delegates to bring the resources of WEF closer to the Association. Programs such as Leadership Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) and the Green Infrastructure Certification Program are exciting new WEF and WERF initiatives that our Association can benefit from. The Association has several committees that are closely aligned with these initiatives.
In addition, I would like to work to get YPs more involved with the Association. I encourage you to look for ways to get YPs involved with the part of CSWEA that you are involved with. I sense that YP s are hungry to get involved and to make a difference in a new way through service to the less fortunate. A recent example of volunteer “transaction” happened at the Global Water Stewardship Committee at the Annual Meeting in May. Several YPs who had not been involved with GWS previously, attended the meeting to see what the group was all about. One YP volunteered to help Matt Streicher with Treasurer duties. This happened without any fanfare; however, it was very important. We now have a new YP that hopefully will be with GWS for the long term and likely will grow into a larger role with GWS and the CSWEA in the future. It is this “transaction”, that we need to multiply in many different ways throughout the Association and state sections. The YPs are the lifeblood of our Association.
We have all worked hard to make networks. Part of the reason we joined CSWEA was to create our networks. Our networks likely spread to WEF and WERF as well as they have great resources. I encourage you to use your network within CSWEA and WEF to make your life easier in some way. Maybe it is vetting a new piece of equipment and talking with a reference that has used the equipment before approach; perhaps it is sharing a piece of research that would be valuable to others in the Association; it could be operator to operator sharing strategies on reduced energy usage at their facility; lastly, perhaps it is the manufacturers group getting together and planning the Midwest Water Industry Expo event.
I look forward to getting to you better this upcoming year and serving as your President. Our Association has a great thing going; let’s build on our 91-year-old legacy and help it continue to thrive!