Speaking before an estimated crowd of 2,000 water professionals during a packed opening general session of the American Water Works Assn.’s (AWWA) 131st Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE12), AWWA President Jerry Stevens urged attendees to renew their commitment to assuring safe water and reliable service for future generations.
“The American Water Works Assn. has a long and renowned history of serving and protecting the public health, a record we all can and should be proud of,” Stevens said. “Now it is our turn to continue that work and make sure that the highest water quality is preserved for future generations.”
Quoting former President Theodore Roosevelt, he added that: “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value.”
ACE12 features more than 100 professional sessions comprising more than 550 presentations. More than 500 service providers are exhibiting at the event, showcasing the latest products and services for all aspects of the water community.
Well-known Washington, D.C. pundit Steve Roberts also provided a keynote during the opening session, providing insights into the U.S. political landscape leading up to the Fall 2012 presidential election. He commented on advantages and disadvantages for each major candidate and discussed the difficulty in getting people to pay for needed water infrastructure upgrades.
“You can make the case for public health protection or increased economic activity, but part of the problem you run into, is that Americans are profoundly ambivalent…on the issue of government spending,” he said.