March 5, 2018 — As someone who has proudly attended Water Week and the National Water Policy Fly-in for many years, I am looking forward to another opportunity to gather with other WEF members — and water sector leaders — for an engaged and thoughtful discussion with lawmakers and Trump administration officials at this year’s event.

During the 2018 National Water Policy Fly-In April 17-18 in Washington, a few of the requests we want to make to lawmakers include:  double funding for the drinking water and clean water state revolving loan funds, fully fund the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan program, increase funding for the National Priorities Water Research Grant Program to $20 million, strengthen protection of the nation’s waters in the 2018 Farm Bill’s conservation title, increase funding for USDA Water and Wastewater Loan and Grant program, restore funding for the Bureau of Reclamation’s water recycling program to at least $60 million.  Each of these requests can make a difference.Read about Policy Asks. 

In the past, when I have met with lawmakers from my own state of California, I’ve found a few key ways to approach them, have helped: demonstrate your expertise by sharing a bit of your background; communicate with the Member’s Legislative Director who is likely the gatekeeper for the congressperson or senator; keep in touch with the Legislative Director throughout the year, not just when trying to set up a meeting for the Fly-in, so they will remember you in April. 

This year WEF has assembled resources to help you participate from home if you can’t join us in the nation’s capital; in addition, the policy asks document mentioned earlier, these resources include regional infographics that can be used in discussions and shared on social media plus suggested activities to help you make your voice heard. So to all of you clean water advocates across the country, get ready for a great and productive week. And most importantly, have fun!  

About James H. Clark

James H. Clark is a senior vice president of the engineering/construction firm Black & Veatch Corporation located at the firm’s Los Angeles office. He is a past president of the Water Environment Federation and has received numerous prestigious awards and professional distinctions, including WEF’s Charles Alvin Emerson Medal for outstanding service to the wastewater collection and treatment industry, the Englebrecht International Achievement Award for sustained and significant contributions in the international field, and WEF Honorary Membership.

A registered Professional Engineer in several states, Clark has authored numerous technical publications and given scores of presentations at conferences and seminars around the world.. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow in WEF; and is also a member of the American Water Works Association, American Public Works Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the College of Fellows of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and holds Chair No. 176 in the International Water Academy headquartered in Oslo, Norway. 

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