Water Environment Federation Announces White House Water Commitments

WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill will attend today’s White House Water Summit in Washington, DC

In celebration of World Water Day, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) announces its participation in today’s White House Water Summit and specific contributions to this long-term effort. The White House is hosting a special water summit from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT to raise awareness of the national importance of water, and to highlight new commitments and announcements that the Administration and non-federal institutions are making to build a sustainable water future.

The Summit, which builds on a December 15, 2015 White House Roundtable on Water Innovation and other Administration activities, will bring together more than 200 representatives from federal, state, regional, local and tribal levels, and from other stakeholder groups, to discuss and advance progress in this important area.

As part of this effort, the White House issued a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and institutions from all sectors to take new, specific, and measurable steps to address key water issues, such as drought or flooding; water availability or quality; water-use efficiency; water security; ecosystem requirements; or others. As a recognized leader in the water sector, WEF was an invited participant in the December meeting and submitted three commitments for consideration, of which the following two were accepted:

Commitment #1: National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP)
As announced in early February, WEF and DC Water are developing the NGICP to promote a skilled green infrastructure workforce and help support community-based job creation in U.S. cities. The program will provide certifications to individuals performing the installation, inspection, and maintenance of GI as having the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to support long-term performance and sustainability of GI systems, which can help reduce combined sewer overflows and provide triple-bottom-line benefits. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and other TBA partners, will help WEF implement and advance the certification in communities across the country. The first certifications are expected in January 2017.

Commitment #2: The Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) Water Reuse Focus Area and Water Reuse Roadmap
As a joint initiative by WEF and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), LIFT helps accelerate water sector innovation. WEF and WERF are announcing the launch of a new LIFT Technology Focus Area on Water Reuse, which will establish a new network of water users identifying, evaluating, and demonstrating innovative technologies to help improve the effectiveness and reduce the costs of water reuse. The two organizations will also collaborate with WateReuse on implementing the new Focus Area. As a separate but related effort, WEF will also release a new Water Reuse Roadmap at WEFTEC 2016 in September to promote water reuse—specifically recovering resources from wastewater—as an important part of a diverse and resilient water management strategy.

“WEF is honored to be working in collaboration with our nation’s leaders, our water sector colleagues, and many stakeholders from across the country to explore and advance resilient and sustainable water management strategies that work for us today and protect our water for the future,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “We are excited and encouraged by the increased awareness of the value and importance of water and the very real steps we are taking together to make it a national priority.”