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. 

April 2012, Vol. 49, No. 3

Top Story

The Big Name Change

Wastewater utilities try to rebrand themselves in eyes of ratepayers and the general public
Branding-DC 1 -Small

When corporations want to change the way consumers see them in the marketplace, they usually undergo a rebranding campaign. Water and wastewater utilities are no different. Within the past 5 years, several utilities have changed their names and logos to better reflect who they are and what services they offer to customers. The industry as a whole is undergoing a similar metamorphosis, debating internally whether the term “wastewater treatment” truly reflects what the industry does.

Converting wastewater to renewable resources
In 2008, what was then Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority (Greenville, S.C.) released a 20-year strategic plan. As part of that plan, the utility decided to change its name and brand identity. Today, the utility is Renewable Water Resources.

“We saw that the industry is changing from one that treats wastewater to an industry that uses wastewater to create renewable resources,” said Ray Orvin, the utility’s executive director.

New signage on the DC Water (Washington, D.C.) administration building is unveiled. Photo courtesy of Ted Coyle, DC Water. Click for larger image.
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2012 Water Matters! Fly-In Participants Combine Their Voices To Make a Difference

Attendees from around the country urge U.S. Congress to support infrastructure funding 

Resolve and dedication emanated from those gathered at the 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In, held March 7–8. More than 160 water and wastewater industry professionals from 45 states attended the Washington, D.C.-area event to make a difference in the U.S. Congress.

 Fly-In - WEA of Texas - Small
Water Environment Association of (Austin) Texas members, from left, Richard Talley, Mary Gugliuzza, Christianne Castleberry, Charlie Maddox, Mike Howe, Carol Batterton, Glenda Dunn, and Betty Jordan, stand in front of the U.S. Capitol building during their visit to Congress in March. Photo courtesy of Batterton. Click for larger image.
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WEF Launches WATER’S WORTH IT™ on World Water Day

Public messaging campaign features website and resources to help spread the word about the value, importance of water 

Water's Worth It - Group - Small

Water should be clear, but not invisible. Indispensable to jobs, the economy, our health, and our communities, water runs through our lives in many ways. Everyone uses water, and everyone must be responsible for it. To do that, we each need to learn to value water and come together to share an important message about water’s worth. 

These are some of the messages of the new WATER’S WORTH IT™ campaign, which officially launched on March 22, World Water Day. Designed as an ongoing effort, this broad-based campaign will help to answer the question about how our actions, attitudes, and the things we most value are so closely connected with water.

Alexandria (Va.) Sanitation Authority (ASA) employees were recognized for their hard work by the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) during a WATER’S WORTH IT™ kick-off event at ASA. Photo courtesy of John Clarke. Click for larger image.
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From the President: Enriching the Expertise of Our Professionals

We continue to hear a great buzz about the new Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) strategic direction. Our new mission is to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. WEF’s programs also are advancing the critical objectives that support our mission and vision.

Today, I want to focus on the second critical objective, enrich the expertise of our global water professionals, which expands on the mission language to connect water professionals. Of course, this is at the heart of everything that we do for our members. We already have WEFTEC®,a great annual conference that is the largest technical conference and water exposition of its kind, and phenomenal specialty conferences. At our conferences, professionals network and learn about fundamentals and innovations that advance their careers. Also, our Manuals of Practice and other publications are indispensable to everyone in the industry.  

Matt Bond 2012
Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President
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Louisiana Develops Plan To Protect its Coast

New Orleans Master Plan - Goose Point - Small

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is taking action to protect the state’s coastline. The authority released the new report,Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which identifies projects that would “substantially increase flood protection for communities and create a sustainable coast,” according to an authority news release.

The master plan is based on a 2-year analysis involving local, national, and international scientists and specialists. The analysis confirmed that the state’s coast and area residents are threatened by land loss that requires action.  

In the master plan, the authority identifies 145 projects that, if fully funded at a cost of $50 billion, could deliver measurable benefits to communities and the coastal ecosystem, the news release says.

The Goose Point Marsh was restored through the deposition of dredged material in open water areas. This project created 437 acres of new marsh and nourished 114 existing acres of marsh. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click for larger image.
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U.S. EPA Announces Urban Waters Ambassador Program in Seven Cities

Watersheds in urban and metropolitan areas of seven cities now have their own champions dedicated to improving water quality, restoring surrounding forest resources, and fostering community stewardship, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) news release. These champions, known as Urban Waters Ambassadors, are individuals who will work with a coalition of federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as local nongovernmental organizations, to improve waterways.
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Small Water Supply Website Provides Catalog of Information For Operators

Water and wastewater operators have a new resource for finding information relevant to the industry and key events to attend. The Midwest Technology Assistance Center (Champaign, Ill.) has developed the free website, www.SmallWaterSupply.org, to catalog resources provided for water sector professionals, especially those working in small communities.

Website Resource - Small Water Supply logo
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wilson, SmallWaterSupply.org communications coordinator.
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