WEFTEC 2014 Heads Back to New Orleans

On Sept. 27-Oct. 1, the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La., will host the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 87th annual WEFTEC show, a premier event for thousands of water and wastewater professionals looking for best practices, innovative technologies and solutions for sustainable and effective water management.

This year’s event is expected to build upon the excellence of WEFTEC 2013, which was recently ranked number 69 on the Tradeshow News Network’s Top 250 Trade Shows list.

“To remain the best value for our members and the water sector-at-large, WEF makes a conscious effort to ensure that WEFTEC evolves with the diverse and changing landscape of sustainable water management,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “This year is no exception. With expanded programming on resource recovery, including a new focus on the gas and oil industry, the depth and breadth of our high quality educational programming makes WEFTEC a must attend event for professionals from every segment of the water sector. With thousands of water professionals expected in New Orleans this fall, WEFTEC 2014 is the place where the world of water meets.”

As the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition in the world, WEFTEC 2014 will use nearly one million net square feet of exhibition and meeting space at New Orleans? famed New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The 2014 technical program includes approximately 1,000 expert speakers, 140 technical sessions, more than 30 workshops and several local facility tours. A wide range of topics and focus areas allow attendees to design their own, unique learning experience with the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

The 2014 focus areas include: resource recovery including nutrients and energy; energy management; stormwater; collection systems; wastewater treatment design; facility operations and maintenance; utility management and leadership; residuals and biosolids management; water reclamation, reuse, and desalination; disinfection and public health; watershed management and sustainability; industrial issues including petrochemical, refinery, and food/beverage industries; and innovation across all topics.

WEFTEC’s exhibition will complement the technical program by providing access to more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and their technical experts who will show the latest developments, research, solutions and cutting-edge technologies in the field. Also featured on the exhibition floor will be increased opportunities to interact directly with the experts, mobile sessions and special exhibitor demonstrations; the popular Innovation Showcase and Pavilion; and the Stormwater Pavilion.

Providing the best of both worlds for stormwater professionals will be the second annual Stormwater Congress. Once again co-located with WEFTEC, it will feature focused programming on everything related to stormwater and provide access to all conference exhibitors, including those in the Stormwater Pavilion.

Other conference highlights will include the Opening General Session and the Water Leaders Session on Mon., Sept. 29; the annual community outreach project, special sessions for the oil and gas industry, poster sessions, the design competition, the 27th annual Operations Challenge competition, and more.

Author Luke Williams to Deliver WEFTEC Keynote
Luke Williams, a best-selling author and globally recognized authority on innovation leadership, will deliver the keynote address during the Opening General Session of WEFTEC to kick off the five-day event.

Williams is the author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business; a professor of innovation and executive director of the Berkley Entrepreneurship Center at New York University’s Stern School of Business; and a fellow at frog, one of the world?s most influential innovation companies. His opening session keynote will help water professionals learn how to thrive in an era of constant change by encouraging a new approach to innovation leadership that goes against conventional wisdom in favor of counter-intuitive ideas and solutions that can more efficiently and sustainably address evolving, and often unpredictable, water management challenges.

“Luke’s message about innovative leadership is perfectly timed with the technical programming and events we have planned for WEFTEC 2014,” said WEF President Sandra Ralston. “We encourage every water professional, from all segments of the profession, to come to New Orleans in September and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to explore how we can use disruptive changes to form new business models and new relationships with our stakeholders.”

“The water industry is in the midst of a sea change that over the next several decades will bring increases in population, urbanization and waste loads that will be complicated by the dramatic effects of climate change,” continued Ralston. “All of these factors will make it difficult to achieve success unless we embrace a new paradigm for water. WEF is fortunate to have a diverse membership that represents the connected water industry, used water, stormwater, and water reuse, which makes us well-positioned to adopt a new integrated model that will sustain our shared environmental mission.”

Ralston will help frame the program theme of “Embracing Change in a Disruptive Age” by highlighting some of WEF’s own efforts to adopt this progressive business model such as seeking out cross-sector collaboration with non-traditional partners and spearheading a cultural shift to recognize wastewater treatment not as waste disposal but as resource recovery that produces clean water, reusable byproducts, and renewable energy.

Also expected at the Opening General Session will be remarks from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (invited) and recognition of the Water Environment Research Foundation’s 25th anniversary. For more information on WEFTEC 2014, the coinciding Stormwater Congress, and any information on the current technical program or exhibitors, please visit weftec.org.

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