by Eric Lynne & Derek Wold
WEF Strategic Initiatives Update
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.
This year at WEFTEC, WEF announced several objectives for the coming year:
A Delegates WEFTEC experience starts bright and early on Saturday morning with a 7 AM House of Delegates breakfast. This year, the breakfast featured Table Talk with delegates from similar sized MAs from around the country to discuss the following topics:
This was a great opportunity to hear ideas from other MAs and share some of the things that CSWEA does really well. Our utility pricing for the annual conference and GWS initiative were two areas that caught interest from other MAs. The common themes were that the biggest needs are membership/engagement, operators, and diversity. The areas that WEF does really well include training and conferences. In addition to addressing our needs, the goals for the next five years include self-promotion, operator training, and partnerships.
The Table Talk really set the tone for the remainder of the meetings on Saturday and should be our guide for initiatives for the next several years. Saturday’s meetings included reports from outgoing speaker Aimee Killeen, incoming speaker Keith Hobson, and incoming president Tom Kunetz.
While we were enjoying the comfort of the air-conditioned convention center, volunteers were tolling away in the New Orleans heat and humidity to build this year’s service project. The delegates were able to take a bus over to the project location and interact with the volunteers, many of which were students and YPs. This year’s project included constructing a bioswale at the Treme Community Center. The Center suffers from poor drainage and flooding due to runoff from their slanted roof flowing into an existing planter box. The volunteers transformed the existing planter box into a bioswale which will capture, detain and treat the stormwater runoff from the slanted roof to alleviate flooding and improve water quality. In addition, a green infrastructure graphic was created to educate the community on the importance of drainage. This project will not only leave a positive impact on the environment, but will also provide community education on water, the environment, and green infrastructure.
The House of Delegates update is quiet during the winter as the Delegates assemble new deliverables and action items for the coming year. In addition to the standing HOD committees that Eric and Derek serve on, there are also several HOD workgroups that tackle key action items throughout the year to better our organization. Key work products include:
All association leaders are encouraged to attend a WEFMAX to network, learn, and share experiences with other MAs. The locations for 2019 WEFMAXs have been identified as follows:
And for those of you planning ahead, 2020 will feature a Hawaii WEFMAX.
Please feel free to contact Derek or Eric about areas within WEF or CSWEA that are working well or not so well.