Windy City Water Event

April 2, 2018

About the author: Elizabeth Lisican is associate editor for Water & Wastes Digest. Lisican can be reached at 847.954.7958 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Few tradeshows in the water arena share the size and scope of the American Water Works Assn.’s (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE), and, against the backdrop of the third-largest city in the U.S., this year’s event will be no exception. Over the past 129 years, AWWA and ACE have aimed to serve as the source of knowledge and information for water professionals who work to improve the supply and quality of water worldwide. Utility managers, public works officers, consulting engineers and researchers alike will take away a lot from this event.

AWWA ACE09 attracted 11,392 attendees and 502 exhibiting companies in 1,117 booths in San Diego. AWWA ACE10, which takes place from June 20 to 24 at McCormick Place, will showcase 500 exhibiting companies and the knowledge of more than 1,000 water industry experts speaking and presenting.

Interactive Workshops

This year’s event will feature 14 interactive workshops that provide comprehensive hands-on opportunities to more thoroughly examine topics pertinent to industry professionals and their work. Industry leaders will conduct all workshops, giving showgoers the latest information needed to assist their careers. Some workshop topics include:
• “AWWA’s Revised M36 Manual: Everything You Need to Know About the New Water Audit Methods and Water Loss Management;”
• “Distribution System Model Integration–Pulling the Various Data Silos Together;” and
• “Hot Topics in Distribution System Infrastructure: Asset Management, Water Quality & Financial Renewal in a Sustainable Fashion.”

Professional Program

The ACE10 professional program is comprised of more than 100 half-day sessions organized by AWWA’s Technical & Educational Council. Oral presentations are typically 20 minutes long, followed by a short discussion period. The organization of each session is delegated to one or more of the AWWA divisions and committees, which have the sole discretion of determining the format and content. Each group reviews all pertinent abstracts submitted, although they may select some of the speakers from other sources. The program represents the work and knowledge of more than 1,000 water industry professionals.


An excellent way to kick off the week’s events and receive a first look at all of the featured products and technology is by attending the Attendee Reception, taking place June 20 from 4 to 6 p.m. It will be an opportunity to meet and greet new friends and familiar faces, visit the exhibits and see new products.

On June 21 at 10 a.m., following the Opening General Session, the exposition officially kicks off with its Grand Opening. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 21 and 22, and 9 a.m. to noon on June 23. An exclusive area in the exhibit hall will be devoted to its New Product Technology Showcase, with some of the most innovative technologies to address today’s challenges. Opportunities to speak with representatives of the participating companies will present themselves during select hours.

Facility Tours
Beyond the walls of the host facility will be special opportunities to get educated on the workings of area technical facilities. On June 22 and 23, choose to tour one of the following:
• Jardine Water Purification Plant and Lexington Pumping Station;
• Water Treatment Plant/West Chicago Water Treatment Plant;
• Shedd Aquarium Backstage/Chicago Center for Green Technology;
• Chicago Center for Green Technology/Shedd Aquarium Backstage;
• Argonne National Laboratory—Laboratory Tour/DuPage Water Commission Pumping Station; or
• Lake Forest Treatment Plant/Central Lake County JAWA.

Special Events
A slew of additional events will be offered at AWWA ACE10, with chances to network, socialize and have fun. They include:
• Monday Keynote Address. This program, which will feature an update from Chair of the Technical & Educational Council Joe Jacangelo and the presentation of association awards, includes a special conference keynote address.
• “Best of the Best” Water Taste Test. Who has the best-tasting water in North America? Come watch on June 22 from 3 to 4 p.m. as AWWA Section taste-test winners from last year compete for the title of “Best of the Best.”
• Career Fair. Last year’s event successfully connected more than 275 job seekers with 20 hiring companies. This year expect more opportunities, with a variety of companies covering all aspects of the water profession, on June 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.
• Canadian Water Forum. The forum is a cocktail party with finger foods (two drink tickets are included) and a cash bar, sponsored by the Canadian Affairs Committee. The forum also is a fund-raiser for Water For People Canada. The event takes place June 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
• H2Open Forum. Taking place June 23 from 8 to 9:30 a.m., this discussion features a distinguished panel of experts about what sustainability means to drinking water utilities and their associated suppliers and service providers.
• Annual President’s Reception. Taking place June 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., this fun event features live music as AWWA ACE10 welcomes incoming President Joe Mantua.
For more information on this event, please visit the AWWA website at

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About the Author

Elizabeth Lisican

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