The Water Leadership Institute program educates, trains, and provides opportunities that enable developing and emerging leaders to build strong lasting relationships within the water industry.
This intensive program allows participants the opportunity to engage in management training and leadership development through a blended learning approach that includes the examination of complex challenges facing the water and wastewater industries and networking with public and private sector practitioners. Participants will build skills and knowledge needed to affect change within their organizations. Participation in this program is determined by a competitive application process.
The 2024 Application Period is Now Closed. Notifications will go out in early March.
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The Water Leadership Institute was not only an opportunity for me to grow within my leadership skills but also meet like minded peers from the cohort and steering committee that acted as a source of inspiration and fuel! The topics covered were absolutely relevant to my day to day activities. After graduating from the WLI 2023 cohort, I not only feel better equipped to lead but I also found a community that I can reach out to for feedback and suggestions. Thank you WLI Steering Committee and WEF Staff for putting such great program together. I feel honored to have been part of the WLI 2023 cohort, the GOAT!”
As one of now 237 WLI alumni of this seven year old program, I believe the 2018 WLI program was successful because of the committee’s active commitment to continuous improvement. Reviewing my experience with fellow members that graduated between one, two and three years ago, the activities that made this program so valuable for me were as a result of feedback from years past, and is a testimony to the dedication of the team to each participant’s success. If you consider applying, discuss the potential this brings to you and to your company with your supervisor and colleagues. The value to those you work with is palpable within a few days of enrollment and you will be able to apply them almost immediately to your daily work life.”
I couldn't be happier to be a part of the 2023 cohort! Not only did I learn a lot from the leaders that spoke to us, I learned so much from my fellow classmates and I know that the relationships we all formed will continue to grow over the years. I strongly encourage all water professionals to apply for the program - it will help to make them better leaders and will help grow their professional network. I love knowing that I can call or reach out to any of the other participants and know that they will be there for me, like I would be there for any of them.”
Being a part of the Water Leadership Institute was an incredible experience. To have the opportunity to network with other water quality professionals from other parts of the country and beyond was amazing; I have made contacts and friends that I hope to stay in touch with throughout my career. Also, learning to communicate effectively has already proven to be highly valuable in and outside of the workplace. Participating in the WLI rejuvenated my excitement for the water quality field…"
The WLI23 Program surpassed my expectations, offering invaluable leadership insights , diverse perspectives, and supportive cohort ! It transformed me in to a more effective and confident leader. I highly recommend this program to any one seeking personal and professional growth ! Thank you, WLI23 team , for an exceptional experience that truly made a difference in my leadership Journey.”
The Water Leadership Institute was one of the best opportunities I have had in my career in the field of Water and Wastewater. Connecting with people who face similar issues on a day to day basis, not only with technical related similarities, but with common goals in building strong teams, growth as a leader, and in nurturing and embracing the next generation of the Water Industry as a whole. I learned a great deal about myself, and my leadership style. I feel that I can expand my growth even further and much more rapidly with what I have gained through the WLI."
As an Operator, the WLI has shown me a side of the industry that I was never aware of or ever paid attention too. Working at a treatment plant focused on day to day operations; I was blind to how vast and divers it actually is. The arrangement of students ranged from operators, engineers, suppliers and scientist. The mixture of the groups and interactions really brought everything together and shined a new light on how I view the wastewater industry. It made me even more proud of what I do. The speakers and topics were really great and easy to relate to despite any position you’re in. If there was a part 2 I would be on it in a heartbeat!"
Participating in the WLI program has been a massive highlight of my professional career to date and is something that I strongly recommend to anyone in the water industry wanting to increase their leadership skills and expand their professional network. The program efficiently presents information with effective presenters and well-designed follow up activities, with a final project that brings the learning topics full circle. The fact that every participant wants to be in the course and is excited to be participating results in the most enthusiastic learning experience that I have ever experienced. Gaining a close-knit group of industry peers from all aspects of the water industry is an additional benefit of being part of the WLI family."
Connect with our community of water professionals who ensure that our local communities have access to clean water that protects public health. Explore our member benefits and find the membership type that’s right for you.
From hands-on-training and leadership opportunities, such as Operations Challenge, to online training, such as the Wastewater Treatment Fundamentals series, WEF provides operators with many opportunities to advance on-the-job knowledge and develop their careers.
More than 16,000 publicly owned water resource recovery facilities operate in the United States. Skilled engineers and operators work together to ensure new and updated facilities continue to protect public health and the environment.
Through biosolids management, solid residue from wastewater treatment is processed to reduce or eliminate pathogens and minimize odors, forming a safe, beneficial agricultural product. Biosolids are carefully monitored and must be used in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Industries treat and reuse wastewater and process water as well as provide environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment while reducing costs and maintaining value for their businesses.
To respond to myriad daily challenges faced by water and wastewater utility leaders, WEF continuously works with its members and partners to develop a variety of management initiatives; resources; and educational, training, and networking opportunities.
WEF advocacy activities aim to educate WEF members and the water sector on public policy issues related to water quality and resources and equip them to play a greater role in water policy discussions.
The system of underground pipes and maintenance structures that convey wastewater has brought dramatic improvements to public health. Most sewers carry wastes from households and commercial establishments and are referred to as sanitary sewers.
Take a comprehensive look at how all water resources, including uplands, drainage basins, wetlands, stormwater, surface water, and groundwater interact.
The water sector and its systems protect public and ecological health. Using the data that can be collected through smart water technologies provides additional insights to address complex public health issues.