WEF's membership newsletter covers current Federation activities, Member Association news, and items of concern to the water quality field. WEF Highlights is your source for the most up-to-the-minute WEF news and member information. 

December 2011, Vol. 48, No. 10

Top Story

U.S. Defense Department Surpasses Water Conservation Goals

Agency shows progress in responding to water aspects of Executive Order 13514

U.S. President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13514, signed in October 2009, set sustainability goals for federal agencies, including greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, vehicle-fleet petroleum reductions, and water conservation feats.

The order calls on the federal government to achieve a 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020.

Several agencies issued their first sustainability reports in response to the executive order in April 2011, presenting data on various topics ranging from management frameworks to maintaining readiness in the face of climate change. More information related to the order followed in the summer months. The U.S. Department of Defense reported surpassing water conservation goals for 2010, including a 6% reduction in water consumption, more than doubling its water usage target.

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A closed-loop vehicle wash rack at the Letterkenny Army Depot saves water and minimizes discharge. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army. Click for larger image.


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Consortium Works To Boost the Water Industry Workforce

H2Options SmallThe U.S. National Science Foundation awarded a 3-year, $498,216 grant for the H2Options program, which will identify and fill gaps in Wisconsin’s water technology business, according to a news release from the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).

The grant will support the formation of a regional partnership of technical colleges, universities, workforce investment boards, school districts, and water-driven industries and businesses to promote training of new water industry technicians to meet the growing workforce demands in southeastern Wisconsin, the release says. The partnership includes MATC, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Waukesha County (Wis.) Technical College, and the Milwaukee Water Council. Kimberly Farley, associate dean of MATC’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator for the project.
Students in the H2Options program will perform water quality tests throughout Southeast Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Area Technical College. Click for larger image.
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Operations Challenge Boosts Résumés, Gives Competitors Advantage in Job Market

More often than not, Operations Challenge participants say they list the competition on their résumés. The skills learned go far beyond simply working with new equipment to teamwork, leadership, communications, critical thinking, expanded technical skills, and time management.

Recognition within the profession
“When I applied for my current job 12-and-a-half years ago, I actually listed [Operations Challenge] under job experience,” said Donnie Cagle, captain of Terminal Velocity. “I also made color copies of WE&T and the Operations Forum magazine covers and pertinent articles and included them in my résumé package. These items definitely caught their attention in the interview process, which ultimately landed me the position.”

Operations Challenge 2011 Slideshow
Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of the event, and see the December issue of WE&T for more information.
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WEFTEC 2011 Service Project Volunteers Leave Green Footprints in Los Angeles

Walkway to Wetlands Slideshow

Volunteers dug in to leave a green footprint on Los Angeles during WEFTEC® this year. Approximately 75 people traveled to a neighborhood in a formerly industrial area of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15 to participate in the WEFTEC 2011 service project, Walkway to Wetlands.

For the fourth annual community service project organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC), the WEF volunteers joined other volunteers from the City of Los Angeles, the Millions Trees LA initiative, and Hollywood Beautification Team to plant trees to help revitalize the industrial area, provide stormwater capture and retention, and develop a grand entrance to the South Los Angeles Wetland Project.

Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of the event.
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WEFTEC 2011 Opening General Session Inspires Audience

The Oct. 17 keynote speakers at the WEFTEC® 2011 Opening General Session brought attendees to their feet. The speakers balanced each other with rich technical content and inspirational anecdotes.

Colwell shares award-winning research
Rita Colwell began her presentation with a graphic showing how less than 20% of people in areas such as Somalia and Ethiopia have access to safe water, compared to nearly 100% in developed countries. She described how cholera continues to be a virulent, “severely dehydrating disease” that “if not treated rapidly and properly, results in death.”

During her research, the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize recipient and distinguished professor at both the University of Maryland (College Park) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) has helped discover that cholera is a vectorborne disease and identified the small crustacean copepod as the disease’s primary vector.

Colwell helped develop a model using data for water temperature, nutrients, salinity, and rainfall to pinpoint areas with more copepods to predict cholera cases. She also used chlorophyll and sea-height satellite data to identify areas at risk for cholera outbreaks.

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Rita Colwell speaks at the Opening General Session during WEFTEC 2011. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
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Taking a Look Back at WEFTEC 2011

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During WEFTEC® 2011, held Oct. 15–19 in Los Angeles, a total of 16,961 water professionals and 923 exhibiting companies joined to make the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) 84th annual technical exhibition and conference the city’s second largest conference in 2011. Attendees were able to attend more than 900 presentations in 114 technical sessions, 17 workshops, and eight local facility tours.

“WEFTEC continues to be the must-attend event for water professionals who want to keep up with the best water science and products,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. 

Meet WEF’s New Leaders 
At the conference, attendees were introduced to the members of WEF’s 2011–2012 Board of Trustees. The board is the governing body of WEF and composed of six officers and 12 trustees.

WEFTEC attendees walk through the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Oscar Einzig Photography. Click for larger image.
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