Utility Leaders Morning at WEFTEC Focuses on Innovation, UOTF Recognitions

seven(October 3, 2017) - NACWA and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) collaborated Oct. 3 to sponsor the Utility Leaders Morning at WEFTEC17, providing a forum for utility professionals to discuss innovations in the water sector and hear directly from senior EPA officials on the Agency’s current water priorities.   The program included roundtable discussions on a variety of current topics impacting clean water utilities including resilience, workforce issues, innovation, and stormwater.  Attendees also heard a presentation on the growing role of resource recovery and how the clean water sector can further advance resource recovery efforts. 

During the EPA portion of the program, Lee Forsgren, the Deputy Assistant Admonitor for the Office of Water, discussed EPA’s current water focus.  He noted the interest of EPA and the new Administration in continuing and increasing the level of cooperation with groups in the water sector.  He also noted that EPA will be looking to “rebalance” its relationship with the states and refocus on the concept of cooperative federalism.  Following his remarks, participants engaged in discussions with senior EPA staff over a variety of topics including affordability, wet weather, nutrients, and watershed approaches. 

The program wrapped up with the second annual Utility of the Future Recognition Ceremony, formally recognizing 25 utilities to honor their achievement as leading utility innovators.  The recognition program was launched last year as a joint effort of NACWA, WEF, the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), and the WateReuse Association, with input from EPA.  The program seeks to promote and recognize utilities that are building on a foundation of excellent management and to help small, medium, and large utilities transform and innovate their operations over time.  NACWA congratulates all the utilities that received recognition!