Elevating the Water Industry

April 4, 2013
AWWA heads to Denver for annual conference & expo

About the author: Elizabeth Lisican is managing editor of Water & Wastes Digest. Lisican can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1012.

The American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) is heading Rocky Mountain high to host its 2013 Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE13) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver June 9 to 13.

This year’s event will offer more than 900 expert presenters addressing a full spectrum of issues and an exposition of 500-plus vendors. Workshops, forums, competitions, facility tours, receptions and other learning and networking opportunities round out ACE13’s comprehensive program.  

Workshops & Sessions

AWWA will kick off ACE13 with a variety of half- and full-day workshops on Sunday, June 9. Additional registration and payment are required. 

The association will host its standard education sessions June 11 to 14. Presentations will follow timely, defined tracks: 

  • Utility Management – Tactical Solutions;
  • Technology for Utility Management and Operations;
  • Asset Management – Field-Tested Solutions;
  • Contaminants – Identification and Treatment;
  • Water Treatment – Enhanced Design Principles;
  • Innovative Processes – Biotreatment and Membranes;
  • Distribution Systems Optimization
  • Keynote Sessions;
  • Communicating the Value of Water;
  • Regulatory Compliance – Approaches and Innovations;
  • Utility Management – Strategic Leadership;
  • Collaborating Across Political Boundaries;
  • Solutions to Unique Utility Challenges;
  • Capital Projects – Design, Financing, and Delivery;
  • Sustainability – Finding a Balance;
  • Comprehensive Approaches to Disinfection;
  • University Forum;
  • Poster Sessions;
  • Special Events; and
  • Water Conservation and Efficiency – Practical Applications.

Speakers & Forums

Get your ACE13 experience off to a great start at the Opening General Session. There will be dynamic presentations by AWWA’s top leadership and a keynote presentation (speaker to be announced). Later in the day, at the opening of the professional program, R. Scott Summers, 2013 recipient of the A.P. Black Research Award, will give the Monday Keynote Address. The award, established in 1967 in honor of Alvin P. Black, is given in recognition of outstanding research contributions to water science and water supply over an appreciable period of time. Summers is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

The H2Open Forum will bring water utility management leaders together midday June 11 to talk about their experiences and lessons learned. Audience members are encouraged to share their questions and insights. 


Conference registrants can catch a sneak peek of the ACE13 exhibit hall the evening of June 9. The morning of June 10, immediately following the conclusion of the Opening General Session, the exhibit hall will officially open its doors. Exhibition hours also will be offered on June 11 and 12. A designated New Product Technology Showcase area will feature AWWA volunteer-selected organizations and solutions. New on the show floor this year is People’s Choice Tasting on June 10 at 10 a.m. preceding the “Best of the Best” Tap Water Taste Test Finals on Tuesday, June 11, at 3 p.m. At People’s Choice, see how your vote stacks up against a panel of experts to determine who has the best-tasting water in North America.

Also new this year are Roundtable Solution Sessions on June 10 and 11. ACE13 exhibitors and sponsors will lead discussions in a variety of topic and interest areas. 

Popular favorites are back this year as well. Leading metering, operations and pipe tapping teams will compete for 2013 Meter Madness (June 10 to 11), Top Ops (June 10 to 11) and Pipe Tapping Contest (June 10 to 12) honors. 

Site Seeing

AWWA encourages ACE13 attendees to see the sights when visiting Denver, and that includes its water sites. Several tours will be offered on June 11 and 12. Host facilities include the Aurora Griswold Water Treatment Plant, the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District/Denver Water Recycling Plant and the Colorado Springs Southern Delivery System. Additional registration and payment are required.


ACE13 will offer a networking event for every water professional. First-time attendees and new association members will assemble bright and early on June 10 to gather information and advice, and an international visitors’ reception will be held that evening, encouraging a diverse group of water professionals to discuss international issues. Students and job seekers can attend the afternoon Career Fair on June 11 to discuss opportunities in the water profession. 

Water for People and AWWA will host a free Festival for Water event on June 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. in Civic Center Park. 

All attendees are invited to welcome incoming AWWA President Charlie Anderson at the Annual President’s Reception, offering food, drinks and mingling the evening of June 12 for $40.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Lisican

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