In addition to various technical sessions and workshops, the first day of WEFTEC.09 also featured several key events and high-profile speakers.
AAEE/AIDIS/WEF breakfast. The breakfast featured a presentation by Dr. James L. Barnard, an internationally recognized expert in biological nutrient removal (BNR). As a graduate in civil engineering from the Universities of Stellenbosch in South Africa, the University of Texas at Austin and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Barnard introduced biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorus to North America in the 1970s with the design of BNR plants for Palmetto, Fla. and Kelowna, B.C. Known within the water profession as the "Father of Biological Nutrient Removal", Barnard's celebrated 40-year career includes groundbreaking work that forms the basis for all BNR process configurations in use today. Presently a Global Practice and Technology Leader with Black & Veatch, his current research on membrane and biofilm technology is leading to innovations that may reduce BNR plant size by more than two-thirds.
Opening General Session. This year's keynote address was delivered by Dr. Mike Magee, M.D., a veteran health care leader and author of "Healthy Waters: What Every Health Professional Should Know About Water". His book sheds light on the impending global water crisis and its negative impact on the healthy living of individuals and global societies if immediate action is not taken to address it. Magee began touring the U.S. to spread this message and launched the Healthy Waters Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness about the vital importance of clean water to public health and to generate action on water-related issues.