The 2023 application period is now closed.

For the 2023 WLI, attendance at our in-person trainings is mandatory*. There will be a two-day training in Alexandria, VA May 9-10, with optional half-day May 8. We will also have a one-day workshop at WEFTEC on Sunday, Oct. 1 in Chicago. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis and must be discussed before you accept your postition in the program. If your company cannot support the tuition/travel costs, there is an option to be considered for a scholarship in the application process.


The 2023 application will be reviewed based on the answer to the following five questions and reference letter. 

  1. WHO ARE YOU?: Let us know who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what gets you out of bed in the morning. [Consider including information related to your education, career path, current employer, job function(s), extracurricular activities, and/or hobbies]. (100 Word Limit) 

  2. TELL US WHY YOU’RE APPLYING: Why are you applying for the 2023 Water Leadership Institute and what do you hope to gain and give by graduating from this program? (100 Word Limit)
  3. TELL US HOW YOU ARE GIVING BACK: Tell us about your extracurricular involvement in your community or industry [consider including your membership(s), committee involvement(s), school programs, and/or your roles in professional, community, or other organizations; as applicable highlight your accomplishments]. (100 Word Limit)  

  4. WHO INSPIRES YOU?: Share your perspectives with us about a leader that inspires you to be the best you can be. Tell us how they have impacted you and your career and what you admire about them. (100 Word Limit)  

  5. TELL US HOW: How can a leader engage and promote a healthy and thriving workplace culture in our changing work environment? [Consider including information related to changes in our work environment (remote, hybrid, in-person), inclusion and/or diversity in our workforce]. (150 Word Limit) 

Please provide a 1-page Letter of Reference from an individual (relatives are excluded) that has direct experience with your leadership qualities, characteristics, and capabilities. 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.  If we must convert to virtual in 2023, then we will strive to keep the virtual dates over the same time-period.

Download "The Employer's Guide to WLI" to help explain what your participation means to your employer for approval.

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.

Learn More About the WLI
Homepage | AboutApplication | Curriculum | Tuition & Requirements | Scholarships | FAQs | Final Projects

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

"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."

Sean Trainor, WLI22
Product Manager
Evoqua Water Technologies
Milwaukee, WI

"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.