Dec 15, 2020

Editorial Letter: Planning for the Future of Water & Wastewater

This originally appeared in WWD December 2020 issue as "Planning for the Future"

Bob Crossen, senior managing editor
Bob Crossen, senior managing editor

2020 has lobbed challenge after challenge at national and global societies. It has strained our lives, local economies and even water and wastewater utilities. While water and wastewater workers were deemed essential during the pandemic, the mandated moratorium on water shutoffs will likely be felt for years to come.

Despite all of this however, industry outlook appears to mirror that of 2018, which was also an election year. Responses to the 2020 WWD State of the Industry Survey highlight this feeling and expectation, as many still deemed 2020 to be a good year with even more expecting next year to be as good or better.

With the onset of the Lead and Copper Rule Revision and the acceleration of digital and smart water technologies, we also noted that Monitoring, Pipe/Distribution and Collection Systems are where many respondents expect to spend their budgets in 2021.

There are several other insights we gleaned from the responses to the survey. The report in this issue is not fully comprehensive of that survey however, and we will be releasing full details of the survey results in early January for those interested. Make sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter at as I will provide a link in those transmission to the full report when it is available. This report will include data points for all 31 questions of the survey, an extended written report with interviews, exclusive insights from the WWD Editorial Advisory Board, and other web-exclusive content from WWD. Do not miss out!

I also want to take a moment to congratulate the winners of the 2020 WWD Top Projects! You all did excellent work on these long-term projects, several of which are capstones for your communities. In a year where professional life has been considerably disrupted, it is all the more important to showcase your tremendous achievements, so congratulations once again! 

Starting on page 12, each project has a respective article with details on its purpose, challenges and outcomes. Additionally, each one also has a video interview with the project owners and designers for further detail and information. You can access our video playlist of those interviews at or by visiting the WWD website, Facebook page or YouTube page.

Much like the industry has this year, WWD has evolved its online presence, including more web-exclusive content, and I encourage you to seek us out online for daily news updates, weekly newsletters and videos, and web exclusive articles you will not find in the pages here.


About the author

Bob Crossen is senior managing editor of WWD. Crossen can be reached at [email protected].