Challenges Are Opportunities

Feb. 7, 2023
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I have been reflecting often on a quote from the 2022 WWD Industry Icon Dr. Majid Khan in which he said he chooses to see challenges as opportunities. 2022 illuminated numerous challenges for industry professionals, often surrounding strain on the workforce, changes in regulations, and funding.

Wastewater Digest (WWD) faced changes as well. You’ve opened the cover, so you’ve seen our new brand name and logo. With this change, we are refocusing our efforts on the municipal wastewater market. If you are looking for the best drinking water content, I encourage you to seek out and subscribe to our sister publication, WaterWorld.

As for challenges for the industry, quite a few things still hang in the balance. Regulations related to PFAS continue to move forward. We are awaiting the results of a U.S. EPA study on the human health impacts of PFAS in biosolids, especially in regards to beneficial reuse applications. We are also are preparing for Effluent Limitation Guidelines updates, which are expected to include PFAS provisions.

The industry is also still without Build America, Buy America guidance. While major industry associations and companies co-signed a letter requesting a two-year delay on implementation, there is still no clear answer on how this domestic preference law is to be instituted and carried out. And the longer the guidance is delayed, the longer we expect to see time lines for projects stretch. This poses a serious challenge for spending the infrastructure funding of which the presidential administration and the EPA are so proud.

Let’s heed the words of Dr. Khan. These challenges are opportunities. When the dust settles, the hard work we do now will have positioned us well ahead of where we were before. And that is yet another moment of opportunity to seize.

About the Author

Bob Crossen

Bob Crossen is the editorial director for the Endeavor Business Media Water Group, which publishes WaterWorld, Wastewater Digest and Stormwater Solutions. Crossen graduated from Illinois State University in Dec. 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in German and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He worked for Campbell Publications, a weekly newspaper company in rural Illinois outside St. Louis for four years as a reporter and regional editor. 

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