Gambling on Membranes

The American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) will celebrate its 35th anniversary at its upcoming 2007 annual conference in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel, July 23-26.

Exhibit booths have been sold out since May, according to AMTA representatives. People from all over the country, and as far away as Spain, China and Australia are signing up to attend.

“With the increase in salinity and water shortage in this region, Las Vegas is the perfect place for this kind of event,” said David Brown, president of the AMTA.

This year’s conference has been expanded to include not only technical presentations but also hands-on training sessions, a legislative breakfast, an IDA international session, networking receptions, optional group activities, and a comedy play called “Sometimes Everyone Gets Sued,” with AMTA members as the cast. The conference will begin with two pre-conference workshops, Inland Concentrate Management and Membrane Plant Operator Training.

Keynote speakers will include Commissioner Robert Johnson, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dept. of Interior; William Rinne, director of surface water resources, Southern Nevada Water Authority; and Steven Richards, Ph.D., P.E., U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.

Because AMTA is an affiliate of the International Desalination Association (IDA), there will be sessions and workshops covering relevant topics, such as the Role of Energy in Seawater Reverse Osmosis and Implementation Challenges of Seawater Desalination Pilot Plant Programs in California. Also, two experts from the International Desalination Association will moderate over a luncheon session on Wednesday, July 25.

Exhibit hours are scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday, July 26, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Membrane technologies have seen a significant global growth and increase in application in the last two decades, which makes it all the more important for industry members to attend this conference to better understand the issues and gain perspective by networking with fellow attendees.

The AMTA conference was previously a biannual event but with the interest in membrane technology increasing steadily and noticeably, the AMTA “really needed to support and serve this industry the best it could, and that required one big annual event,” Brown said.

Each participant will receive conference proceedings on a CD, exhibit hall access, the welcome reception, continental breakfast and lunch each day, refreshment breaks, president’s reception, banquet lunch, facility tours and a certificate of attendance.

Interested attendees can learn about planning, designing, procuring and operating membrane plants. They can learn how to implement cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions and improve membrane technology applications.

The AMTA was formed in 1972 as the National Water Supply Improvement Association and became the North American affiliate of the IDA in 1986. The current name was adopted in 2000.

To register for the conference, visit the AMTA website at www.amtaorg.com.

Clare Pierson is associate editor of Water & Wastes Digest. She can be reached at 847/391-1012 or by e-mail at cpierson@sgcmail.com.

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