AWWA Holds Successful ACE12 in Dallas, Texas

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) held its Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE12) in Dallas, Texas last week, gathering water professionals from across the country and the globe to see the latest services and products available and to discuss some of the major issues across the water industry.

The annual water event, which ran from June 10-13, featured more than 100 professional sessions comprising of more than 550 presentations. More than 500 service providers exhibited at the event, showcasing the latest developments in all aspects of the water community.

Speaking before an estimated crowd of 2,000 water professionals during a packed opening general session, AWWA President Jerry Stevens urged attendees to renew their commitment to assuring safe water and reliable service for future generations.

?The American Water Works Association 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.?

Among the hot topics on the exhibition floor was efficiency, particularly on the side of energy efficiency, operations and maintenance, and billing and work order efficiency. Water meters and products and services related to water loss management were also a hot topic. Companies and service providers stressed the importance of new technology and how utilities can utilize it to make the best decisions possible in terms of managing resources and spending for infrastructure projects in a climate where budgets are stretched thin.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and well-known Washington, D.C. pundit Steve Roberts also gave keynote speeches during the show, providing insight into the U.S. political landscape leading up to the fall 2012 presidential election. Roberts 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,? Roberts said.

Several individual awards were given out at the event. Among them was the A.P. Black Research Awardee, presented to Dr. Steve E. Hrudey. 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. Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship for American Water in Voorhees, N.J. was awarded the Abel Wolman Award of Excellence.

After a successful 2012 show, water professionals are looking ahead to next year?s AWWA ACE13 which will be held in Denver, Colo., June 9-13.

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