Conferences: WEFTEC 2011 Attracts Strong Crowd to Los Angeles

A total of 16,961 water professionals and 923 exhibiting companies from around the world attended WEFTEC 2011, the Water Environment Federation?s (WEF) 84th annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, which was held Oct. 16-19 in Los Angeles

The conference offered attendees their choice of more than 900 presentations in 114 technical sessions, 37 workshops, eight local facility tours, as well as several high profile events. Key sessions and workshops featured in-depth topics such as private sewer system management, innovative applications of recycled water, water infrastructure investment, recent developments in membrane bioreactor technology, and improved energy efficiency for wastewater treatment plants and processes.

Of particular interest was a high-powered Water Leaders Session that featured a panel of top leaders in the water community?s consulting, finance, and public service sectors. The group shared their perspectives on water in the coming decade, including some of the anticipated challenges and innovations in policy, governance, finance, infrastructure, public safety and health, technology and R&D. Moderated by former U.S. EPA Administrator G. Tracy Mehan III (Principal of the Cadmus Group), the panel included Gretchen McClain (President of ITT Fluid and Motion Control), Laurent Auguste (President and CEO of Veolia Water North Americas), Dan McCarthy (President and CEO of Black & Veatch Water), David Gray (Managing Director of Global Industrial Services for Credit Suisse), and Jeff Eger (WEF Executive Director).

Another highlight was the Utility Executives Forum that examined the challenges faced by utilities during this time of economic uncertainty. Attendees heard about the outlook for the water sector as well as opportunities for innovation by using new approaches to financing, organization and technology through firsthand accounts by venture capitalist David Henderson (Managing Director of XPV Capital Corp.), Richard Fox (Chairman & CEO of Camp Dresser & McKee) and top executives representing three utilities from across the country, Tim Houghton (Executive Assistant for the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii), Bill Gaffi (General Manager of Clean Water Services, Hillsboro, Ore.), and George Hawkins (General Manager of DC Water, Washington, D.C.).

WEFTEC 2012 is scheduled for Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 in New Orleans, La.

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