CSWEA WEF Delegates’ Report


    by Derek Wold & Tracy Ekola


    The House of Delegates (HOD) is gearing up for WEFMAXs which will showcase the initiatives being pushed forward by the Delegates and WEF staff. These initiatives help support of WEF’s mission 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.


    WEFMAX 2020

    All association leaders are encouraged to attend a WEFMAX to network, learn, and share experiences with other MAs. The locations for 2020 WEFMAXs are listed below

    Jersey City, NJ  – March 25 – 27, 2020
    Honolulu, HI  – April 15 – 17, 2020
    Charleston, SC  – May 13 – 15, 2020
    Fargo, ND  – May 27 – 29, 2020

    CSWEA WEF delagates will attend and present at the North Dakota and Hawaii meetings.

    Thirty-three MAs took a survey to provide feedback on what they would like to learn at WEFMAX and also shared if they were interested in presenting.  The topics listed below are in order of highest ranking.

    1. Engagement
    2. MA Resource Sharing
    3. Diversity & Inclusion
    4. Communication

    These four topics will have their own 1.5 hour session.

    The survey also ranked “WEF Resources” as a topic to be included on the program which will provide an hour session to share resources WEF offers for MAs, where to find the resources, and much more.


    WEFMAX Membership Chats

    A casual meet is planned at all 4 WEFMAX’s on Wednesday from 2:30 – 4:00 pm to discuss membership topics.  Anything from membership recruitment and growth sustainability strategies to how to do a membership drive with a combined membership (i.e. WEF/AWWA).


    WEF HOD Updates

    In addition to the standing WEF committees, the following work groups have developed charters as listed below for 2019/2020.


    2019 – 2020 House of Delegates Work Group Charters

    Stormwater/NGICP Workgroup

    This workgroup will assist the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) with marketing the program. This program has earned the 2019 Power of A Summit Award which is the industry’s highest honor and recognizes organizations that distinguish themselves with innovative, effective and broad-reaching programs and activities that positively impact America and the world. Delegates will focus on the need for skilled individuals and assist with compiling a list of prospects to receive information about the certification. Delegates will also work to compile State Agencies that WEF could be coordinating with as the program continues to expand.


    Public Education Workgroup

    This workgroup will have responsibility for screenings of the documentary film “Brave Blue World.” Delegates will be ambassadors for the documentary within their Member

    Associations (MAs). Specifically, the responsibility is to work with other MA leaders and volunteers to hold film screenings that are as meaningful as possible. To support delegates, WEF is developing a toolbox to include social media content, graphics, blogs, clips from the film, and more. Delegates serving on this workgroup will be asked to report on the screenings held within their MAs. The objective is to have this movie viewed by as many people as possible and to spur conversations about water in communities.


    Brave Blue World is a new documentary film that looks at how innovation and technology can create a sustainable water future.   The film debuted on December 16, 2019 in Los Angeles. WEF will host a screening at all 4 WEFMAX’s in 2020 and the grand debut will be at the 2020 WEFTEC Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.


    The film is narrated by Liam Neeson and includes interviews with a variety of water experts, as well as high-profile advocates Matt Damon and Jaden Smith. It features compelling stories, beautiful scenery, and examples from across five continents to show novel ways of tackling water problems. The film explores developments in areas such as water reuse, nutrient recovery, energy generation, decentralized treatment, and the digitization of water.


    Water Utility Workforce of the Future Workgroup

    This workgroup will seek to assist and work with the WEF Operator

    Advisory Panel and the WEF Plant Operations and Maintenance Committee to enhance programs and practices that promote the water utility workforce of the future. The focus

    will be on front-line water utility personnel like facility and collection system operators, mechanics, and laboratory technicians. The workgroup will develop materials and collaborate with the Member Associations regarding local water utility workforce development and recruitment and assist the MAs in delivering materials that promote the water utility profession.



    HOD Committee Activities

    All committees have been meeting regularly and completing their roles with specifics below:


    Steering Committee has been coordinating activities with liaisons assigned to all committees and workgroups to provide and receive input as well as to track progress throughout the year.


    Nominating Committee is working on updating last year’s handout identifying positions and descriptions that need to be filled.  This has previously been used at WEFMAX meetings to communicate and drum up interest in the available positions.


    Outreach Committee includes Derek Wold has been working on communication between HOD, MAs, and WEF and continual upgrades.  They are assisting the Steering Committee with implementation of the dashboard for each committee and workgroup to maintain minutes and communications.  They are also evaluating video conferencing and document storage platforms to implement as WEF standards for communication.


    Budget Committee is responsible for scoring for the popular WEF Pilot MA Grant Program.  WEF and the Board of Trustees are committed to supporting Member Associations (MAs) to ensure our mutual success.  Accordingly, in years that WEF has an operating surplus and exceeds targeted reserves, the Board of Trustees may designate funds to provide grants to MAs. These grants are intended to assist MAs in providing member value locally and to support MA operations, sustainability and growth.  WEF would like to congratulate the 2020 Round One Winners including CSWEA!


    • Alabama – “Student Membership Initiative
    • Alaska – “Membership Website Upgrade”
    • Central States – “Host SDC in Costa Rica”
    • Michigan – “Develop 10 Training Courses
    • New York – “Work in Water”


    WEFMAX Committee has been extremely busy with planning for 2020 and hosting each of the events.


    WEF Constitution and Bylaws
    The WEF Constitution and Bylaws Subcommittee recently completed an extensive review of WEF’s Constitution and Bylaws and is recommending the following changes:

      • Revising the name of the C&Bs to Bylaws, as WEF’s Articles of Incorporation serve as the constitution of WEF
      • Removal of redundant or cumbersome language, resulting in a more streamlined document
      • Prescriptive, non-governing sections are being moved to either WEF, House of Delegates, or Committee Leadership Council Policy and Procedure
      • Simplifications have been made to various sections based upon legal counsel recommendations
    • A webinar was held with the House of Delegates, Committee Leadership Council and WEF Past Officers to review the proposed changes.


    MA Webinar topics for 2020
    Beginning February 2020, WEF began providing bi-monthly 30-minute webinars on non-profit topics. Topics suggested to date include the following:

    • How to measure the success of your strategic plan (metrics and accountability)
    • Accounting: How to work with Form 990 in QuickBooks
    • HR topics: Laws/changes
    • Lobbying: Regulations
    • Engage with Walt: Executive Director to Executive Director
    • Fundraising: Tips
    • Onboarding: Training for new board members
    • Member Inurement Issues

    The first webinar was held on February 12 and titled “Do you Need to be a Registered Lobbyist at the State Level?” This webinar will focus on knowing when someone would be required to be a registered Lobbyist.  Being a new year, there can be new rules to be made aware of.  The webinars are recorded for future viewing.

    Mission Statement

    To provide a Water Environment Federation (WEF) organization (Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin) offering multiple opportunities for the exchange of water quality knowledge and experiences among its members and the public and to foster a greater awareness of water quality achievements and challenges.