Utility-Focused Programming at WEFTEC 2016 Looks Toward the Future

Emphasis on forward-thinking approaches & solutions; Utility of the Future Today recipients will be recognized during special ceremony

Emerging water quality issues, stringent regulatory requirements, and shrinking resources require an increasingly diverse set of skills from today’s utility managers. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) will help address the current and future needs of modern utilities at WEFTEC 2016—WEF’s 89th Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference—held Sept. 24-28 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.

While managing budgets, retention of staff knowledge, and personnel management still remain important tasks, modern utility managers must also simultaneously manage communications with external stakeholders such as boards and governments, ratepayers, media, and the public. As the largest and most valuable water quality conference in the world, WEFTEC is the place to be for utility leaders seeking the latest information and solutions for effective utility management.

Designed to reinforce the Five Keys of Effective Utility Management—Leadership, Strategic Business Planning, Organizational Approaches, Measurement, and Continual Improvement—this year’s programming will feature seven workshops and more than 20 technical sessions on the following key topics: financial viability; infrastructure stability; customer satisfaction; operational resiliency; employee and leadership development; community sustainability; operational optimization; water resource adequacy; product quality; and stakeholder understanding and support.

Attendees can further share information and problem-solve with other leaders and managers at the Utility Leaders Morning, sponsored by WEF and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 8:30 a.m. in Great Hall A. The breakfast discussion will feature a dialogue with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with opening remarks by Joel Beauvais, the agency’s deputy assistant administrator for water. The panel discussion will be moderated by Rudolph Chow, director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works.

The Utilities’ Morning will also include recognition of the 61 inaugural Utilities of Future Today recipients. The Utilities of the Future Today program is a partnership of WEF, NACWA, the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation, the WateReuse Association, with input from the U.S. EPA. It recognizes utilities that have shown progress and exceptional performance while embracing the Utility of the Future business model.

Later in the day, The Utility Manager’s Toolbox session will offer a slate of discussions that address leadership, enhancing capabilities and technology. The session is designed to equip leaders with tools for a more efficient and effective utility.