January 22, 2018 - WEF President Jenny Hartfelder blogs about WEF's promotion of funding and policies that advance water science and research.
The collective success of the water sector would be impossible without science and research – the foundation of every drop of clean and reliable water that we provide. Science, research, and other related terms are among the most commonly heard words at any meeting or conference on water issues. Without investment in these areas, we will not be able to promote the recovery of valuable resources from water, use technology to transform infrastructure for the 21st century, or build resilience to the increasing effects of climate change.
That is why the Water Environment Federation boasts a proud legacy of supporting science and research. We are proud that leading researchers have continued to be active in our organization throughout its history. Our members understand the importance of science-based decision-making, maintaining and expanding effective programs, and providing a platform for constructive debate.
For decades, WEF, its members, and our network of Member Associations has promoted funding and policies that advance water science and research. Here are just a few examples:
- WEF sent a letter to then-President-Elect Trump emphasizing sound science and the need to bolster research and development. Congress also received letters sent or cosigned by WEF asking for increased water infrastructure funding and full funding for core programs of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies conducting research.
- For Water Week 2017, WEF and eight other national water associations drafted a joint document requesting that Congress and the administration fully fund EPA’s National Priorities Research Funding program. WEF took the lead on a separate fact sheet on climate change as an additional resource for 400 congressional office visits completed by our members and those from other water associations.
- An ongoing call-to-action through WEF’s grassroots Water Advocates program urges WEF’s members to write to Congress arguing against cuts to EPA and other federal programs.
- A recent letter urged Congress to protect funding for federal research that is critical to addressing challenges facing the nation’s water resources.
WEF also applauded the recent announcement that the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation and Water Research Foundation would merge into one water research organization. Both foundations have a rich history of effective and impactful research supporting the water profession. Their integration will undoubtedly create more synergy and lead to fruitful partnerships.
All parts of the water sector and WEF’s membership, including utility managers, facility operators, engineers, scientists, regulators, and students, share in the benefits of research and innovation. Together, we need to support robust science and advocate for research funding, and let the water sector know about our efforts.
Excerpted from WEF Highlights, Dec. 19, 2017, “From the President.” Read the entire article.