Water Week draws hundreds to D.C. in support of water infrastructure


An array of water sector association partners gathered in Washington, D.C., in March to celebrate Water Week 2017, bringing  hundreds of water infrastructure professionals from around the country to the nation’s capital to elevate water as a national priority.

Drinking and clean water utility participants also met with their representatives in Congress, spoke with officials from EPA, and took advantage of numerous networking opportunities as they sought to educate national policymakers on critical water issues.

Water Week 2017 constituted the largest gathering since the meeting’s inception and was highlighted by the first ever Rally for Water, which drew  an energized crowd  to Capitol Hill’s Upper Senate Park to hear remarks in support from Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment, Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), along with municipal utility and state leaders from across the country.  All of the speakers emphasized the crucial role that clean water plays economically and environmentally at the national, state and local community level.  All speakers highlighted the importance of a continued partnership in funding water infrastructure.

The week also featured a widely attended Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill on March 22, which brought all participating water sector groups together to celebrate a strong, unified commitment to water and water advocacy. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Boozman (R-AR), James Inhofe (R-OK), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Gary Peters (D-MI) and several members of the House of Representatives spoke at the Reception, echoing a bipartisan message of support for investing in the nation’s aging water infrastructure and water’s importance to our daily lives.

The anchor event of Water Week was the Nation Water Policy Fly-In, jointly hosted by NACWA, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the WateReuse Association.  The Fly-In featured speakers from EPA and congressional staff discussing current regulatory and legislative priorities at the national level.  Participants also engaged in discussion with EPA staff via roundtable discussions on a number of key issue areas.

Other national groups collaborating on Water Week included the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the U.S. Water Alliance, the Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA), and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA).  A broad coalition of state and regional groups supported the effort as well.

Some information contained in this news was compiled from a release by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies following Water Week 2017. 

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