NACWA Winter Virtual Event Draws Record Participants
(March 3, 2021) – NACWA hosted its 2021 Winter Virtual Event last week and drew record attendance, with over 600 participants taking advantage of the offering.
The Event kicked off with an overview of current advocacy issues facing the public clean water sector. Radhika Fox, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, outlined EPA’s current priorities in the water space. She emphasized a focus on addressing current affordability and infrastructure challenges in a collaborative manner while also addressing longstanding environmental justice and equity concerns. Fox was joined by Andrew Sawyers, director of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management, who talked more specifically about some of the regulatory efforts his team is currently working on.
The discussion also featured comments from senior congressional staff with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. They outlined key priorities for both committees and noted multiple areas of overlap, including a desire for greater federal support for clean water infrastructure and more focus on advancing water workforce issues. The advocacy discussion was followed by a series of concurrent breakout sessions on a variety of topics including PFAS, climate change and resiliency, COVID-19, and affordability, among others.
The Event wrapped up on its second day with a virtual Women in Water networking event, the opportunity for participants to participate in one-to-one networking meetings, and a panel discussion on how collaboration and innovation will be critical to the clean water sector moving forward. The panel specifically focused on lessons learned from the pandemic and recent natural disasters and how continued partnerships within the sector and a focus on more innovative technologies will help with recovery efforts.
Materials and recordings from the Event can be found here.