WEF Hightlights Issue Homepage


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WEF Highlights Description:   

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.

 
Month:   February  Year: 2012   Volume: 49  Issue:1

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Devising a Communications Strategy for Utilities
 

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Clean Water Services - Communications 1 Small

With current budget constraints, many water and wastewater treatment utilities need to do more with fewer resources, and communications plans often are pushed aside. But the overall approval and support that various groups — including customers, media, government officials, and advocacy organizations — have for a utility can be the difference between a new project going forward or not and can determine the amount of time utility staff members spend to regain public support after a pipe breaks or an accident occurs.

Waiting to initiate communications strategy costs more in the long term
One of the largest mistakes utilities make is to only communicate to the public when there is need for approval or cooperation, rates have increased, or a problem has occurred, explained Sara Katz, founder and president of the communications firm Katz & Associates Inc. (San Diego). 

A Clean Water Services (CWS; Hillsboro, Ore.) employee educates children about protecting water resources. Photo courtesy of Karen DeBaker, CWS communications manager. Click for larger image.

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Title:     

WEF Member Organizations Hit the Streets To Educate the Public
 

SubTitle:
DC Water and the Florida Water Environment Association host first annual educational events

Content:

DC Water and the Florida Water Environment Association host first annual educational events

Educating the next generation on the importance of water is a priority for many wastewater treatment utilities and professionals. And for the first time, two Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) member organizations have taken the lessons to the public.

In fall 2011, the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA; Orlando), a WEF Member Association, and DC Water, a WEF member, held outreach educational events teaching children about the importance of water.

FWEA hosts educational activities for hundreds of children and adults
More than 400 people attended FWEA’s Florida Water Festival on Oct. 22. The first annual event, held at Baldwin Park Village Center in Orlando, was held to teach students about water science and Florida’s water environment, and to teach the general public about water quality. Attendees were able to participate in activities and watch water quality demonstrations, according to the FWEA website.
Florida Water Festival 1 Small
Community members learn about water science and Florida's water environment at the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA; Orlando) Water Festival. Photo courtesy of Greg Kolb, FWEA member and event chair. Click for larger image.

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Title:     

WEF’s New Strategic Direction — A Decade in the Making but Well Worth the Wait
 

SubTitle:

Content:

Matt Bond 2012For those of you who do not know me, I am a detail-oriented, analytical guy. So when I am with some of my expressive Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) peers and we start to talk about the excitement of our strategic planning process, I finally understand that it is neither the process nor the analysis that excites most people. The excitement comes from the results, and I can assure you that every one of our members will be excited at the outcome of our year-long odyssey to establish a new strategic direction for WEF’s future.

The WEF Board of Trustees and staff worked throughout 2011 to evaluate all facets of WEF; give every WEF member the opportunity to provide input through surveys, focus groups, and interviews; and develop a future direction that responds to the needs of the water sector and WEF members. Our planning was extremely successful due to an enthusiastic, willing, and able Board of Trustees; excellent WEF staff leadership, especially our new Executive Director Jeff Eger; and great data from our consultant-assisted process, which involved obtaining data from our members, external stakeholders, and other nonprofit organizations.

The result of our efforts is a new, bold strategic direction for WEF.
Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President

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Title:     

McDonogh School Receives Cutting-Edge Technology To Establish New Laboratory
 

SubTitle:
Maryland students have the opportunity to work with microbial fuel cells

Content:

Maryland students have the opportunity to work with microbial fuel cells

The McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., has received an important new addition to its science program: laboratory-scale microbial fuel cells. The fuel cells and the accompanying equipment, provided through a partnership with Bruce Logan of Pennsylvania State University (University Park), and Kershner Environmental Technologies LLC (Reisterstown, Md.), help form the new McDonogh Energy and Environment Nexus Laboratory.

McDonogh-Lab Work Small
Daniel Kershner (front), McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) student, and Sarah Krolus (third from front), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.) student, learn how to make the membrane cathode in the microbial fuel cell labs at Penn State (University Park). Photo courtesy of Rob Kershner of Kershner Environmental Technologies (Reisterstown, Md.). Click for larger image. 

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Featured Article

Title:     

Devising a Communications Strategy for Utilities
 

SubTitle:

Content:

With current budget constraints, many water and wastewater treatment utilities need to do more with fewer resources, and communications plans often are pushed aside. But the overall approval and support that various groups — including customers, media, government officials, and advocacy organizations — have for a utility can be the difference between a new project going forward or not and can determine the amount of time utility staff members spend to regain public support after a pipe breaks or an accident occurs.

Waiting to initiate communications strategy costs more in the long term
One of the largest mistakes utilities make is to only communicate to the public when there is need for approval or cooperation, rates have increased, or a problem has occurred, explained Sara Katz, founder and president of the communications firm Katz & Associates Inc. (San Diego). 

Clean Water Services - Communications 1 Small 
A Clean Water Services (CWS; Hillsboro, Ore.) employee educates children about protecting water resources. Photo courtesy of Karen DeBaker, CWS communications manager. Click for larger image.

“[The communications component] really needs to be a consistent part of your operations,” Katz said. “I believe it’s a small investment of time and financial resources that can pay off handsomely in the future.”

In the long run, a successful communications strategy that provides easy-to-understand information can reduce costs from the amount of staff resources spent handling public backlash and the amount spent to fix problems caused by customer behaviors, such as flushing medications and fats, oils, and greases, Katz said.

Starting proactive communications with a plan 

Clean Water Services - Communications 4- Tour Small 

A new way that utilities can think about communications is to start being proactive rather than reactive, said Karen DeBaker, communications manager at Clean Water Services (CWS; Hillsboro, Ore.). And the very first thing utilities should do is create a strategic communications plan, she said.

To create a plan, look at what issues your utility has that require communications support, DeBaker said. Then, identify any challenges that prohibit the utility from accomplishing its goals, as well as any opportunities the utility has that can gain support for its efforts, she added. After you have identified these issues, challenges, and opportunities, decide on objectives you want to accomplish and develop key messages, she said.  

Clean Water Services - Communications 3 - Truck Small
CWS diversifies the methods used for communications, including giving tours of wastewater treatment plants (above) and messaging on their trucks (left).


DeBaker recommends coming up with three or four messages and tailoring them to different audiences. Both the messages and the media chosen to deliver them depend on the audience. “When you get into looking at the different layers of your public, they may have some general commonality, but they also have a lot of unique interests,” Katz said. To be effective, messages should be targeted at a specific audience and delivered in a way that will reach that audience, she added.

“You’re creating that road map,” DeBaker said. “It adds validity to your communications program and builds credibility for your organization.” A communications strategy brings utility employees together and makes messages consistent. “We want to make sure that we’re all speaking the same language and have the answers,” she said.

Keeping an open line of communication with staff on messages and protocol 
After a utility has devised a communications strategy, every staff member must know what the messages are and why they are there, because “everyone interacts with different types of audiences,” DeBaker said. This is important to ensure that the utility’s messages are consistent.

CWS sends updates on communications messages, outreach activities, and communications contacts for each project to staff through an electronic newsletter and equips those at the front desk, in customer service, and in the field with briefing papers on 10 common topics encountered, DeBaker said.

Staying up to date with your audience’s preferences 
To make sure that CWS is responding correctly to its audience, it relies on surveys. Overall customer awareness and satisfaction surveys are sent to all customers every 2 years, which provides the utility with baseline results that add validity to its communications program, DeBaker said. Smaller surveys and quizzes can be distributed at public events, online, on social media sites, and through the mail.  

DeBaker also recommends diversifying outreach on different media because, on average, one person gets information from seven different sources each day, she said. CWS communicates through its website; two electronic newsletters, one for staff and one for government officials; internal briefing papers and an intranet site; public tours; a speakers bureau of professionals equipped to talk about different topics at educational events; new-customer information packets; radio advertisements; Facebook and two Twitter accounts; electronic news releases; and postings on local news blogs, DeBaker said.

Developing a response to the hard questions 
DeBaker recognizes that many utilities do not have many resources or staff members to devote to communications and outreach. If nothing else, a utility should think of the questions that it doesn’t want to answer and come up with responses for them. “Try to think of the top five questions you don’t want to be asked and then have those answers ready to go,” DeBaker said.

DeBaker also recommends designating one person to communicate to the public and respond to media requests, she said. If a utility doesn’t respond, the media will find its own information. DeBaker recommends asking reporters for their deadline and the information they need, as well as making an effort to respond before that deadline, she said.

“The biggest service that they can do for their organization is to think of those top five questions, figure out who is going to answer those questions, don’t ignore the media, [and] don’t ignore the public,” DeBaker said.

DeBaker also recommends using resources that have already been created by other organizations and the government and using member associations to work with the public and educational outreach, she said. “This stuff’s already been done, and most likely they will give it to you for free because it’s public information,” she said.Clean Water Services-Communications 5-PSA Wipes Small 
CWS uses online banner advertisments to communicate to the public behavior changes that would benefit wastewater treatment. Photo courtesy of DeBaker. Click for larger image. 


“There’s actually a science to communications that, unfortunately, I think a lot of people discount,” Katz said. Make sure you aren’t starting in the position of a deficit in terms of public perception; put a face with a name, brand, and image in front of the public, she said.

Author Info:

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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Featured Article

Title:     

WEF Member Organizations Hit the Streets To Educate the Public
 

SubTitle:
DC Water and the Florida Water Environment Association host first annual educational events

Content:

Educating the next generation on the importance of water is a priority for many wastewater treatment utilities and professionals. And for the first time, two Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) member organizations have taken the lessons to the public.
Florida Water Festival 1 Small
In fall 2011, the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA; Orlando), a WEF Member Association, and DC Water, a WEF member, held outreach educational events teaching children about the importance of water.  

FWEA hosts educational activities for hundreds of children and adults  
More than 400 people attended FWEA’s Florida Water Festival on Oct. 22. The first annual event, held at Baldwin Park Village Center in Orlando, was held to teach students about water science and Florida’s water environment, and to teach the general public about water quality. Attendees were able to participate in activities and watch water quality demonstrations, according to the FWEA website.
Community members learn about water science and Florida's water environment at the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA; Orlando) Water Festival. Photo courtesy of Greg Kolb, FWEA member and event chair. Click for larger image.


“We provided a broad range of educational activities,” said Greg Kolb, FWEA member and event chair. The activities covered the topics of the water cycle, surface water quality, water quality testing, hydraulics, potable water conservation, wastewater collection and conveyance systems, wastewater treatment systems, and beneficial use of biosolids, he added.

Attendees were able to test water using World Water Monitoring Day™ kits and see demonstrations on groundwater recharge, stormwater runoff, video inspection of sewers, biosolids treatment and beneficial use, and wastewater treatment operations, Kolb said. 

In addition more than 75 attendees, including adults and children, participated in a walk-for-water activity, during which they carried at least 3.8 L (1 gal) of water along a 0.8-km (0.5-mi) route to demonstrate how many people in developing countries have to carry water long distances on a daily basis. Activity participants received a raffle ticket for each gallon of water carried through the course. One attendee said that this event was “eye-opening” for her children about the conditions in other parts of the world, Kolb said. 

Florida Water Festival Banner Small
The FWEA reached out to the community and teach them about water during the 2011 Florida Water Festival. Photos courtesy of Kolb. Click for larger images.
Florida Water Festival 2 Small
Florida Water Festival 3 Small

Children also were able to participate in a scavenger hunt in which they had to answer water-related questions after taking part in festival activities and to participate in a water-color poster contest in which they were asked to draw their thoughts and ideas about water and ways to save it. The festival also featured Grease Fighter (a costumed superhero who made an appearance at the festival), raffle prize drawings, gift giveaways, face paintings of water-related animals, live music, and an FWEA/WEF information tent.

“It was a big success for a first annual event,” Kolb said. “We exceeded our attendance, sponsorship, and public education goals.”

Walk for water activity learned firsthand how many without water infrastructure have to carry water on a daily basis. Photo courtesy of Kolb. Click for larger image.

FWEA hopes to publicize the event through the media and increase attendance at next year’s event, Kolb said.
 

The festival’s 16 activities and interactive demonstrations were staffed by more than 60 volunteers from the University of Central Florida (Orlando), the American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.), Orange County (Orlando), the City of Mount Dora (Fla.), the Orlando Utilities Commission, Synagro (Houston), and GreenEdge (Gainesville, Fla.). It was funded through sponsorship by Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.), CDM (Cambridge, Mass.), CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.), the City of Orlando, Synagro, the Orlando Utilities Commission, Parsons Brinckerhoff (New York), Wharton–Smith Inc. (Sanford, Fla.), GreenEdge, TSC–Jacobs (Tampa, Fla.), Toho Water Authority (Kissimmee, Fla.), MTS Environmental (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), Hazen and Sawyer (New York), and Electrical Design Associates (Orlando). 

Florida Water Festival 4 SmallFlorida Water Festival 5 small
The Florida Water Festival featured children-focused events such as face painting (left) and coloring contest (above). Photos courtesy of Kolb. Click for larger images.
DC Water 1 Small


“This FWEA event certainly reflects the serious public education commitment that WEF has long been known for,” said Nabil A. Muhaisen, FWEA president. “This event has provided our Member Association with an invaluable education opportunity that I hope will carry over to the next generation of water quality leaders in Florida.” 

DC Water hosts water festival for children 
On Oct. 28, DC Water held the Children’s Water Drop Festival in partnership with the District Department of Parks and Recreation and Watkins Recreation Center. More than 80 first- through fifth-grade students from Watkins Elementary School (Washington, D.C.) attended the free event, said LaDawne White, DC Water public affairs outreach specialist. The children participated in hands-on activities to learn about water-related issues, the watershed, and environmental challenges affecting local waterways, according to a DC Water news release.

“This festival was designed to teach our youngest consumers about the profound impact water has on our daily lives in a fun atmosphere,” White said. “We hope the children walked away with a greater awareness and appreciation of water, and were inspired to become stewards of this valuable resource.”

Fikremariam Tesfai, water quality specialist in DC Water’s Drinking Water Division, explains why chlorine is added to drinking water, and how to test for chlorine aboard DC Water’s water quality mobile lab. Photo courtesy of LaDawne White, DC Water. Click for larger image.

The featured exhibits included water testing, a simulated wastewater treatment system, a demonstration of how polluted runoff affects waterways, and a re-enactment of the water cycle, according to a DC Water news release. Students also were able to tour a mobile water quality lab and participate in recycling and water relays, the release says. Children attendees received informational handouts, activity books, pencils, water bottles, a souvenir t-shirt, and a group photo with DC Water’s mascot, Wendy the Waterdrop, the release says.

“Plans are already under way for the next Children’s Water Drop Festival, which will be held in the spring at a local school,” White said. 

DC Water 2 Small
Thea Browne-Dennis, asset management technician in DC Water’s Department of Water Services, conducts onsite testings of water samples with students. Photo courtesy of White. Click for larger image.

Author Info:

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
 

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Title:     

WEF’s New Strategic Direction — A Decade in the Making but Well Worth the Wait
 

SubTitle:

Content:

Matt Bond 2012

For those of you who do not know me, I am a detail-oriented, analytical guy. So when I am with some of my expressive Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) peers and we start to talk about the excitement of our strategic planning process, I finally understand that it is neither the process nor the analysis that excites most people. The excitement comes from the results, and I can assure you that every one of our members will be excited at the outcome of our year-long odyssey to establish a new strategic direction for WEF’s future.

The WEF Board of Trustees and staff worked throughout 2011 to evaluate all facets of WEF; give every WEF member the opportunity to provide input through surveys, focus groups, and interviews; and develop a future direction that responds to the needs of the water sector and WEF members. Our planning was extremely successful due to an enthusiastic, willing, and able Board of Trustees; excellent WEF staff leadership, especially our new Executive Director Jeff Eger; and great data from our consultant-assisted process, which involved obtaining data from our members, external stakeholders, and other nonprofit organizations.

Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President


The result of our efforts is a new, bold strategic direction for WEF.

Our vision: WEF essential to water professionals around the world. This captures our aspiration to be an indispensable and vital part of your career.

Our mission statement: WEF’s Mission — to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. This illustrates how our strengths will be applied to our commitment to protect public health.

Our critical objectives: Drive innovation in the water sector, enrich the expertise of global water professionals, and increase awareness of the value of water. This will focus WEF on achieving the vision and mission.

Here are some of the key things we learned from you that helped shape WEF’s new direction:

  • WEF is the trusted source of unbiased technical and scientific information for our members and stakeholders in the water industry.
  • WEF has a great foundation to build upon, with excellent financial strength, a strong professional staff, and a great network of connected volunteers.
  • WEFTEC®, as the largest annual water technical conference and exhibition, is highly valuable to the water sector, tremendously successful, and continues to grow in size and influence.
  • Our members and Member Associations
    • value our ability to advocate for sound water policy,
    • appreciate access to technical information and training materials that can be delivered both at the global and local level, and
    • look to WEF to deliver compelling messages about the value of water and the need to invest in water infrastructure
     
  • Our members and external stakeholders want bold leadership for innovation in the water sector and in water research.
  • WEF is well-positioned to lead on emerging topics and opportunities in the water sector.

The WEF Board of Trustees is excited about the future of WEF and of the water sector. We eagerly anticipate your participation in our forward movement, and would like to hear from you. Let me know how our new strategic direction resonates with you, or more importantly, how you would like to get involved.

Read the strategic direction document for more details, send your comments or questions to WEFPresident@wef.org, and watch for some exciting announcements in the weeks ahead. Thanks to everyone for your involvement and commitment to WEF.

Author Info:

— Matt Bond, 2011–2012 WEF President
 

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McDonogh School Receives Cutting-Edge Technology To Establish New Laboratory
 

SubTitle:
Maryland students have the opportunity to work with microbial fuel cells

Content:


The McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md., has received an important new addition to its science program: laboratory-scale microbial fuel cells. The fuel cells and the accompanying equipment, provided through a partnership with Bruce Logan of Pennsylvania State University (University Park), and Kershner Environmental Technologies LLC (Reisterstown, Md.), help form the new McDonogh Energy and Environment Nexus Laboratory.

Science students in McDonogh’s Upper School, grades 9 through 12, will be able to explore and manipulate the technology as the laboratory becomes integrated into the entire high school science curriculum. 

McDonogh-Lab Work Small
Daniel Kershner (front), McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) student, and Sarah Krolus (third from front), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.) student, learn how to make the membrane cathode in the microbial fuel cell labs at Pennsylvania State University (University Park). Photo courtesy of Rob Kershner of Kershner Environmental Technologies (Reisterstown, Md.). Click for larger image.

Microbial fuel cells are systems in which microorganisms convert organic solutions, such as those found in municipal and industrial wastewater, into electrical current that can be stored and used. Because the fuel cells represent a mixture of physics, chemistry, and biology, science teachers of all disciplines will use the laboratory as a teaching tool to demonstrate real examples of complex concepts, such as cell-surface electron transfer and kinetic-energy exchange.
 
McDonogh-Lab Setup Small

In addition to serving as a teaching tool, a select group of students interested in environmental science will have the opportunity to conduct their own research and run experiments throughout the year. Logan, one of the leading researchers on microbial fuel cell technology, will be an active supporter of these students and will be available to them for assistance in their pursuits. He said he hopes that this experimentation “stimulates an interest in both energy and environmental issues as important topics in their [the students’] lives.”

However, microbial fuel cells are far more than just sophisticated learning tools. Logan has been conducting extensive research on the technology since 2002 in an effort to foster sustainable wastewater infrastructure. His ultimate goal is for the technology to generate enough electricity to power wastewater treatment plants without any other energy supplement, he said.

McDonogh-Microbial Fuel Cell Small
Above, Bruce Logan and Rob Kershner stand next to the Nexus Laboratory that was installed at McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Md. Left, the microbial fuel cell that 14 students have signed up to participate in the commissioning in March. Photos courtesy of Rob Kershner. Click for larger images.

Rob Kershner of Kershner Environmental Technologies, sponsor of the McDonogh School laboratory project, believes in advocating new and innovative technologies in the wastewater treatment industry.


“[Microbial fuel cells] are an exciting and unique concept in the world of science and engineering,” Kershner said. “They are the only emerging technology that serves to improve our water environment while simultaneously allowing our society to take another step towards a sustainable energy infrastructure. By exposing high school students to this new ‘living battery,’ I hope to encourage their steps into a science and engineering education and spark future innovation to bring this technology to commercial viability.”

Experience working with these fuel cells is designed to provide the students with insight into both the complexities of microbial fuel cells and the industries of wastewater treatment and clean energy production. The laboratory will encourage students to think about how scientific innovation, even if initiated on a small scale, has the potential to affect the overall environment, Kershner said.

“McDonogh is demonstrating to its students that we care about the future of our country and the need to harness alternative energies,” said Rob Smoot, an environmental science teacher at McDonogh.

McDonogh-Lab Setup Authors Small
From left, Sarah Krolus and Daniel Kershner stand next to the Nexus Laboratory installed at McDonogh School. Photo courtesy of Rob Kershner. Click for larger image.

Author Info:

— Daniel Kershner, McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.), and Sarah Krolus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N.Y.)
 

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News and Events Section


News and Events


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Title:     

Giving a Boost to the Water Technology Market
 

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Content:

On Jan. 24, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) participated in a water technology roundtable discussion held at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The roundtable included not only water and wastewater associations, but also manufacturers of water technology products, engineering firms, and representatives from various federal agencies including the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the discussion was to determine how federal agencies could better coordinate to best support the U.S. water technology industry as these companies try to advance in the global market. 

Because of climate change, increased global water scarcity and the growing demand for water for industrial development in countries such as China and India, water availability and water treatment technologies will become even more important in the future, said roundtable moderator Nicole Lamb-Hale, assistant secretary for Manufacturing and Services at the Department of Commerce. “What types of things can we do to help level the playing field for you overseas?” Lamb-Hale asked roundtable participants.

“There is great potential for the water industry to promote itself as a resource recovery industry,” said Jeff Eger, WEF executive director. But in order to do that, the water industry needs more federal government support, he said. Eger gave the example of how some international participants at WEFTEC® 2011 in Los Angeles had received travel subsidies from their governments to attend. “Something similar like monetary support for our companies to go overseas would be good,” he said.

Some roundtable participants identified present tax laws as an obstacle to companies working overseas. Others said it was the corruption in local governments that can include graft and outright fraud.

“The global consulting business in underdeveloped countries can mean more potential, but also more risk,” said Alan J. Krause, chief executive officer of MWH Global (Broomfield, Colo.).

Sometimes U.S. contractors either are not paid for their work or encounter a lot of bureaucracy that delays payment, the participants said. This has led some companies to pull out of the market in developing countries entirely.  
 
Jeff Eger
Jeff Eger, WEF executive director, participated in a water technology roundtable in January.

Better monitoring by the federal government of aid given to developing countries for the building and improvement of water and wastewater facilities would help tremendously. Also, to level the playing field in the water technology sector, the federal government should provide more funding for research and development and provide a more central point of contact that companies can go to seek assistance or funding, they said.

At the end of the discussion, Lamb-Hale announced that the federal government has plans to launch for the water industry an interagency initiative much like the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Exporter Initiative that was launched in December 2010. The key areas of focus for the initiative will be financing, market access, identifying market opportunities, and improving federal government services to domestic companies.

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— LaShell Stratton‒Childers, Highlights
 

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WEF Board Approves Revised Position Statement on Biosolids Recycling and Resource Recovery
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Board of Trustees has approved a revised position statement that calls for innovative and beneficial uses of biosolids. The statement expands on WEF’s existing support of federally regulated land application by encouraging a comprehensive approach to wastewater treatment and solids management that ensures the recycling and recovery of all associated resources, including water, nutrients, organic matter, and energy.

“As a natural byproduct of wastewater treatment, WEF recognizes that biosolids is a renewable resource that is too valuable to waste, given our growing needs for renewable energy and sustainability,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “The adoption of this revised statement reflects WEF’s support of initiatives to ensure an expanded view of wastewater and solids management as well as our commitment to pursue innovation in water quality.”

To take full advantage of the inherent resource value of biosolids, WEF supports development of multiagency coordinated regulations that are based on sound research and best practices; advancements, innovation, and development of new technologies; recognition of the expanded role of wastewater and solids management; enhanced sharing of knowledge, both within the profession and with other organizations, the regulatory community, and the public; and continued research.

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WEF Supports Water Entrepreneurship Through Partnership With Imagine H20
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) in a new partnership with Imagine H20 (San Francisco) will encourage entrepreneurs to turn water challenges into innovative business opportunities through the Imagine H20 global business plan competition and accelerator program for water start-ups.

WEF will provide strategic support and resources for the competition and its winners, including looking for opportunities to encourage technical and business professionals to act as mentors for Imagine H2O’s winning companies and help publicize the competition and winners in its publications and relevant marketing efforts. Winners of the Imagine H20’s Wastewater Prize also will be featured at WEFTEC® 2012 in New Orleans.

“WEF recognizes that collaboration within the entrepreneurial community is an integral part of pursuing innovative approaches to water management, “ said Jeff Eger, WEF Executive Director. “We applaud Imagine H2O’s efforts to cultivate entrepreneurship and support business creation in the sector. We believe that this new partnership will create a bridge that will help us further our collective efforts to solve current and future global water challenges.” 

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WEF Appoints Deputy Executive Director and New Chief Technical Officer
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) announced the promotion of Eileen O’Neill to the position of deputy executive director and the promotion of Matthew Ries to chief technical officer. The announcement comes as the organization aligns resources to support emerging initiatives.

As deputy executive director, O’Neill will focus on pursuing innovation opportunities and global and academic relations, as well as supporting WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger in his responsibilities. Serving most recently as WEF’s chief technical officer, O’Neill joined WEF in 1991 as manager of industrial programs. “Eileen is a tremendous talent, and I am very excited about being able to work alongside her to fulfill many of our new strategic initiatives,” Eger said.

In his new assignment as chief technical officer, Ries will fulfill many of the responsibilities formerly held by O’Neill. This will include oversight of technical programming and development for WEFTEC®, as well as education, training, publications, and Web-based initiatives. Ries joined WEF in 2005, and he has been instrumental in launching WEF’s sustainability and stormwater initiatives. “Matt is well-qualified to take on this new assignment and a welcome addition to our leadership team,” Eger said.                                                                

“With Eileen and Matt in their new roles, WEF is even better positioned to drive opportunities for innovation in the water sector, enhance member services, education, and training, and increase awareness of the value of water,“ Eger said.

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March Date Set For 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In
 

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The 2012 Water Matters! Fly-In, a joint event hosted by the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA; Denver), will be held March 7–8.

On March 7, WEF and AWWA will be conducting issue briefings and discussions in the morning. Then delegates will visit their members of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill and enjoy a reception held in the evening. On March 8, delegates will make more visits on Capitol Hill and participate in a debriefing luncheon to conclude the event.

The deadline for WEF Member Associations to name representatives is Feb. 3. After this time, representatives will not be able to book rooms at the headquarters hotel, the Hilton Arlington (Va.). For more information, contact Nick Bardis at nbardis@wef.org or (703) 684-2400, ext. 7731.

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WEF Seeks Reviewers for Books
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) seeks reviewers able to work closely with WEF staff to dedicate expertise and time to ensuring the development of high-quality published Manuals of Practice (MOPs) and textbooks according to the publication schedule. The following opportunities are available:

  • MOP 21, Automation of Wastewater Treatment Facilities, is being revised. The manual will focus on the elements of a complete automation design, including analysis of benefits, required design documents, an overview of process control strategies, and an extensive list of sensors. The chapter on sensors includes discussion of operating principles, materials, accuracy, and installation and maintenance requirements. Publication of the manual is set for August 2013. The project, being led by Bob Hill of the San Jacinto River Authority (Conroe, Texas), officially launched in November, and the first draft will be ready for review in May. If interested in serving as a reviewer, contact Britt Sheinbaum at bsheinbaum@wef.org.
  • MOP 29, Operation of Nutrient Removal Facilities (a revision of Biological Nutrient Removal [BNR] Operation in Wastewater Treatment Plants), will present significant biological features and biochemical reactions of microbes and their environmental (operational) conditions that promote nitrification, denitrification, fermentation, biological phosphorus release, and biological phosphorus uptake. This will be presented in addition to current engineering practices used for biological nutrient removal. Publication is set for August 2013. The project, being led by Michael Gerardi of the Cromaglass Corp. (Williamsport, Pa.), officially launched in December, and the first drafts will be ready for review in early June. If interested in serving as a reviewer, contact Britt Sheinbaum at bsheinbaum@wef.org.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Design, a textbook based on the latest (2009) edition of Design of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (MOP 8), was originally published in 2003 and now is being updated to reflect changes in the industry. WEF’s Technical Practice Committee seeks reviewers for the book that currently includes the chapter titles “Fundamentals”; “The Design Process”; “Plant Hydraulics”; “Preliminary Treatment”; “Primary Treatment”; “Suspended-Growth Biological Treatment”; “Attached Growth Biological Treatment, Biological Nutrient Removal”; “Alternative Biological and Natural Treatment Systems”; “Physical–Chemical Treatment”; “Ancillary Processes”; “Production and Transport of Solids”; “Conditioning of Solids”; “Stabilization Processes”; “Thickening, Dewatering, and Drying Solids”; and “Beneficial Use and Ultimate Disposal”. The revised textbook is being edited by Tom Jenkins and Daniel Nolasco, and the first draft will be available for review in mid-May. If interested in serving as a reviewer, contact Lorna Ernst with a brief resume at lernst@wef.org.

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WEF Introduces Water Leadership Institute
 

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Water Leadership Institute Logo SmallThe Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) has introduced the Water Leadership Institute (WLI). The program is designed to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and professional commitment from future leaders of the water quality sector and to provide education, training, and networking to enable participants to build lasting relationships and develop the skills and knowledge needed to effect change in their organizations.


Through a blended learning approach that includes examination of complex water challenges, management training, and leadership development, WLI participants will build leadership skills.

Those chosen to participate in the 2012 program will receive program tuition, WEFTEC® 2012 conference registration, and a comprehensive curriculum delivered online by expert instructors from various public and private organizations.

“This exciting new program is a big step toward developing the leaders we need to protect and promote the value of water,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger.

WLI is a WEF program endorsed by the American Water Works Association (Denver). For more information, see www.water-leadership-institute.org.

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Meet WEF’s Newest Life Members
 

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  • M. John Cullinane Jr., member since Jan. 1, 1972, Mississippi Water Environment Association. 
 
Life Member - John Cullinane
Photo courtesy of John Cullinane Jr.
  • William W. Kennedy, member since Jan. 1, 1976, California Water Environment Association.
 
Life Member - William W. Kennedy Final.jpg
Photo courtesy of William W. Kennedy.
  • Donald D. McHarness, member since Jan. 1, 1965, Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association.
 
Life Member - Don McHarness
Photo courtesy of Donald D. McHarness.
  • Ronald D. Neufeld, member since Jan. 1, 1970, Pennsylvania Water Environment Association.
 
Life Member - Ron Neufeld
Photo courtesy of Ronald D. Neufeld.
  • Ralph E. Oulton, member since Jan. 1, 1969, New England Water Environment Association.
 
Life Member - Ralph Oulton
Photo courtesy of Ralph E. Oulton.
  • Garret P. Westerhoff, member since Jan. 1, 1970, New Jersey Water Environment Association.
 
Life Member - Gary Westerhoff
Photo courtesy of Garret P. Westerhoff.
  • Robert S. Reimers, member since Jan. 1, 1970, Louisiana Water Environment Association.
 
  • George Rempel, member since Jan. 1, 1975, Western Canada Water Environment Association.
 
  • Oscar L. Rubio, member since Jan. 1, 1975, Florida Water Environment Association.
 

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Register Now for These Educational Events
 

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Third International Water Association (London)–Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) Wastewater Treatment Modelling Seminar 2012 
Feb. 26–28, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec

The seminar presents recent findings and successful case studies of applications of modeling to handle effluent limits for nutrients and other contaminants, plant-efficiency requirements, and climate change and emerging contaminant concerns with the aim of bringing together different approaches.


AWWA 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Exposition
March 18–21, Marriott Portland (Ore.) Waterfront Hotel

The Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.) is a partner with the American Water Works Association (Denver) for this conference that focuses on large-scale sustainability issues related to water supply and management topics, such as water conservation, urban planning and design, and sustainable utilities, infrastructure, and communities.

Register online before Feb. 17.


Residuals and Biosolids 2012: Advancing Residuals Management: Technologies and Applications
March 25–28, Raleigh (N.C.) Convention Center

Returning for its 26th year, this conference will highlight the latest approaches, practices, and techniques in residuals and biosolids management, as well as the beneficial use options, science, and technologies currently available to leverage biosolids as a valuable resource. In addition to 20 technical sessions, the conference features three workshops, an exhibition, and a facility tour. See the conference program for more details and attend the conference to earn up to 0.5 Continuing Education Units and 15 Professional Development Hours.

Receive super saver rate by registering by Feb. 15; reserve hotels at conference rates by March 4; and register online by March 14.


Odors and Air Pollutants 2012
April 15–18, Kentucky International Convention Center (Louisville)

The conference features presentations, interactive discussions, posters, workshops, and exhibits focusing on real-life experience and lessons learned. See the conference brochure for program details.

Register online by March 14 to receive the super saver rate or by April 4 to register in advance.

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WEF Urges Support for State Revolving Fund Programs
 

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The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) joined the American Water Works Association (Denver) and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.) to issue a statement urging the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife to continue strong federal support of the existing State Revolving Fund programs. Issued on Dec. 13, the statement advocates the enactment of a Water Infrastructure and Innovations Act to reduce the costs of critical water infrastructure projects.

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WEF Member Association Releases Handbook for Working With Community Officials
 

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The Michigan Water Environment Association (Bath) has produced the Wastewater Management Handbook for Community Officials. This brochure gives an overview of wastewater treatment and is intended to provide local officials with a brief description of what processes might be used at their wastewater plants.

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Sneak Peak at Additional Educational Opportunities in 2012
 

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Collection Systems 2012: Show Me the Green — Confluence of Planning, Implementation, and Regulations 
June 3–6, St. Louis Convention Center

The conference will describe how to improve the effectiveness of organizations in relation to combined and separate sanitary sewer collection systems. It will feature an interactive workshop, technical sessions, facility tours, and exhibits. See the technical program.


Stormwater Symposium 2012
July 18–20, Sheraton Baltimore City Center

The event will focus on national issues, including the proposed national stormwater rulemaking, regional issues, developing technologies, and management approaches key to growing and evolving the topic of stormwater.

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Register To Attend a WEFMAX Meeting
 

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Register now to attend one of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) 2012 WEFMAX meetings. At these meetings, WEF leaders have the opportunity to discuss challenges, share successes, and become acquainted with WEF staff and Member Association leaders. This year’s meetings feature a new format to deliver attendees an enhanced and more in-depth sharing of information on topics that WEF Member Associations identified as important. There will be four dialogue sessions at each meeting on selected topics. The following meetings are scheduled:

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Global Opportunities for New Markets and Sales 
 

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International Pavillion Program

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) International Pavilions provide companies with a cost-effective direct marketing opportunity to introduce and distribute products and services into the global market. WEF International Pavilions give businesses with development plans in the Middle East, China, Singapore, and Europe an opportunity to exhibit under the WEF banner in a prime location and reach out to thousands of new potential customers.


Water Today India 2012

Feb. 7–9, Chennai, India 

The event provides access to the Indian water market, which exceeds $8 billion and is continuing to grow at 10% to 12% every year. In 2011, this event featured 16,000 attendees from 63 countries and 252 exhibiting companies from 25 countries.



IFAT + China Water Show 2012
March 7–9, Shanghai

The Chinese government will allocate $454 billion to environmental protection in the course of the next 5 years. The show, which in 2010 attracted 22,000 attendees from 84 countries and 839 exhibiting companies from 26 countries, provides access to this growing environmental industry.


WETEX Dubai 2012
March 13–15, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The 2011 show grew 40% from 2010, featuring 9900 attendees from 63 countries and 420 exhibiting companies from 28 countries. The 2012 show will tackle energy conservation, water, and electricity issues and provides access to the United Arab Emirates market, which is projected to invest more than $46 billion in environmental and pollution control projects in the next decade.


IFAT ENTSORGA Germany 2012
May 7–11, Munich

The trade fair for environmental solutions provides a unique exhibiting venue with a single access point to the entire European environmental market. The event attracted 110,000 attendees from 85 countries and 2730 exhibiting companies from 49 countries in 2010.


Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) 2012 
July 1–5, Singapore

SIWW is the global platform for water solutions, bringing policy-makers, industry leaders, experts, and practitioners together to address challenges, showcase technologies, discover opportunities, and celebrate achievements in water. The 2011 event attracted 13,500 visitors from 99 countries and regions, and 600 exhibiting companies from 40 countries.

For more information, click here, or contact Cari Zimmerman at (703) 535-5266, (703) 795-2518, or czimmerman@wef.org

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