The 2021 application period is now closed

For the 2021 WLI, attendance at our in-person trainings is mandatory*.  There will be a two-day training in Alexandria, Va., June 29-30, 2021, with optional half-day tasks June 28th.  We will also have a one-day workshop at WEFTEC on Sunday, Oct. 17 in Chicago.  Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.  If your company cannot support the tuition/travel costs, there is an option to be considered for a scholarship in the application process.

The application will be reviewed based on your answer to the following five questions and reference letter.  

  1. Please provide a short introduction/biography [consider including information related to your education, career path, current employer, job function(s), extracurricular activities, and/or hobbies]. (100 Word Limit)
  2. Please describe why you would like to be a part of the 2021 Water Leadership Institute and what you most hope to gain through participation in the program. (100 Word Limit)
  3. Please provide a listing of your membership(s), committee involvement(s), and/or leadership role(s) in professional, community, or other organizations [include the formal organization name, your role/title, and service timeframe]. As applicable, please include brief details highlighting your service accomplishments for the listing. (100 Word Limit)
  4. Please tell us about a leader that you admire and how (and/or why) they have impacted your career in the water industry. (100 Word Limit)
  5. You are working in a remote team when a team member tasked with critical tasks has become unresponsive. How would you overcome this adversity and turn it into an opportunity for personal development? (200 Word Limit)
  • To assist the Selection Committee, please provide a 1-page Letter of Reference from an individual (family members and relatives are excluded) that has direct experience with your leadership qualities, characteristics, and capabilities. At a minimum, this letter should include at least two reasons why you should be accepted into this program.  Note: The file should be uploaded as a pdf and named: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME-RefLetter.


*In-person attendance in mandatory assuming things will still be held in person.  In 2020, the in-person events had to be converted into fully virtual events.  If we must do the same in 2021, then we will strive to keep the virtual dates over the same time-period.


Learn how the WLI helped make these almuni better stormwater professionals.

Learn more about the WLI experience from the alumni through Dan O'Sullivan's experience in the WLI19, Nathan Coey in WLI18 and Rahkia Nance in WLI18.


Questions? Check Out the FAQs
If you have additional questions, please email [email protected]

"Due to COVID-19, the 2020 WLI program has pivoted to become fully virtual this year. Nevertheless, its impact on future water leaders remains unchanged and resounding. During these uncertain times, WLI 2020 has not only offered professional development opportunities, but also a virtual learning community and a platform for fostering support and growth. Amongst other things, COVID-19 has taught us how to be resilient, flexible, resourceful, and innovative—all qualities of a successful leader. In spite of social distancing, the pandemic has not hampered the collaborative spirit of the 2020 cohort nor its intrinsic will to give back to the community."

Alma Beciragic
Research Assistant/Doctoral Student
UNC Chapel Hill
Charlotte, NC

"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!"

Robby Jones
Suffolk, VA

Learn more about the program and the experience that Karoline Terrazas, Union Sanitary District, had in the WLI20.