Celebrating Safe Water

This coming June, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) will hold its 125th Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE06) from June 11 to 15 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

AWWA is celebrating “125 Years of Safe Water” by including a wide variety of workshops and sessions, facility tours and more than 500 exhibits displaying the newest and most technologically advanced products available to the water industry.

In order to find out more about ACE06 and the association’s 125th anniversary, WWD recently interviewed Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the AWWA.

WWD: What will the differences be between ACE05 and ACE06?

Jack Hoffbuhr: We have several new and exciting additions for ACE06. We’ve added to our extensive professional program with sessions on the latest Awwa Research Foundation results and our annual State of the Industry Report. We also have expanded the tracks for Water Quality, Public Affairs, Water Resources and Water Conservation.

Numerous sessions will focus on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the water supply and infrastructure, including a special session to salute the water utility heroes.

In the Exhibit Hall, we’ve added a new Product Information Forum with detailed presentations from exhibitors on advances in product technology, innovative ideas, research, timesaving tips and other relevant product information.

Also, for the first time, attendees are invited to a special Presidential Gavel Passing Ceremony, followed by the First Annual President’s Reception.

WWD: What can attendees gain from ACE06?

Hoffbuhr: For the past 125 years, ACE has served as the source of knowledge and information for water professionals. ACE06 will feature a professional program with more than 100 sessions and 19 in-depth Sunday Workshops. Presenters are experts in the field, sharing cutting-edge research and exceptional best practices for attendees to apply locally.

At the ACE06 Exposition, more than 500 exhibitors will demonstrate the latest technology, products and services for the water industry. ACE06 will bring focus to the issues that matter most to water professionals, and will offer numerous opportunities for more than 13,000 attendees to interact and gather valuable insights to help aid their professional development.

WWD: How will AWWA’s 125th anniversary be celebrated at ACE06?

Hoffbuhr: We’ll be celebrating “125 Years of Safe Water” at ACE06. Two highlights include Fiesta 125 and the 125th Anniversary Display in the exhibit hall. Fiesta 125 will kick off the conference with a grand anniversary celebration featuring regional cuisine and live entertainment. The 125th Anniversary Display will mark the history of the association with a timeline featuring AWWA’s contribution to the pursuit of public health protection through a safe and secure water supply.

WWD: Could you tell WWD readers more about the Technical Sessions and how the sessions can benefit attendees?

Hoffbuhr: More than 1,000 experts will cover the most important topics facing today’s water professional, including engineering and construction, water resources management, conservation and reuse, distribution, legislative, regulatory and public affairs, and emerging issues. The sessions will be divided into 18 tracks to help attendees find the sessions most relevant to them.

Attendees will have the opportunity to earn contact hours for several tracks, most Sunday Workshops and Facility Tours. ACE06 workshops will complement the professional sessions with opportunities for attendees to examine topics more thoroughly.

WWD: What are some of the issues facing the industry today, and how will these issues be addressed at ACE06?

Hoffbuhr: According to AWWA’s “State of the Industry” Survey, the most critical issues facing the water industry are regulatory compliance, financing infrastructure investments, future water sources and water distribution. ACE06 features professional tracks that address each of these issues, including the Legislative & Regulatory, Management, Reuse, Water Resources and Distribution & Operations tracks.

WWD: How can attendees get the most out of their time at ACE06?

Hoffbuhr: Attendees should pay attention to the different professional tracks to ensure they are attending the sessions most relevant to their work.

Additionally, the ACE06 program highlights events for groups such as young professionals and international attendees.

WWD: What Facility Tours are planned at ACE06?

Hoffbuhr: ACE06 Facility Tours offer attendees the opportunity to gain insight and compare technologies. Facility Tours include the Bexar Met Membrane Plant, San Antonio River Authority River Tunnel, Sea World Filtration Process, San Antonio Water System Conservation Program, Dos Rios Wastewater Treatment Plant, CPS Energy Power Plant, Edwards Aquifer Authority, and GBRA Western Canyon WTP & Intake Plant.

WWD: When and where is ACE07?

Hoffbuhr: June 24 to 28 in Toronto, Ontario.

Tim Gregorski is editorial director for Water & Wastes Digest. He can be reached at 847/391-1011 or by e-mail at tgregorski@sgcmail.com.

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