With 20,740 registrants, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) 91st annual technical exhibition and conference drew the most registrants ever for New Orleans, Louisiana, United States (U.S.) and lived up to its billing as the world’s largest annual water quality event.
WEFTEC 2018 also featured 1,019 exhibitors over 299,850 net square feet of space to showcase the latest developments, technologies and services for the water sector.
“We are extremely proud to continue delivering the kind of experience that attracts and engages thousands of water professionals each year,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “It was truly gratifying to see and feel the high energy and excitement surrounding WEFTEC 2018.”
WEFTEC 2018 highlights included:
- The refreshed WATER’S WORTH IT® campaign, which WEF updated with a clean, modern look, expanded messaging platform, a new set of outreach resources, and a video “Why Water’s Worth It”
- Unveiling of the ReNEW Water Project, the first-ever assessment of the amount of resource recovery at U.S water utilities, including in the areas of water reuse, energy generation, and nutrient recovery
- Texas teams sweeping the Operations Challenge Competition, which pits some of the most elite operators in the world in a fast-paced, skills-based contest for wastewater and maintenance professionals
- The debut of the Intelligent Water Systems Challenge, won by a team from the Great Lakes Water Authority and University of Michigan. The challenge had teams use innovation and data to help solve some of the most difficult issues facing water and wastewater utilities
- The recognition of 32 Utility of the Future Today recipients for transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients
- Twenty-two municipalities receiving recognition in the National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Awards, which celebrate administrators of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) that perform beyond regulatory requirements
- A beer garden to showcase Pure Water Brew, the world’s most sustainable beer made from recycled water. The beer is a result of collaboration between pioneering brewers and water utilities
- The 12th annual Community Service Project, which involved the installation of a rain garden and educational graphic about green infrastructure at Treme Recreational Community Centre.
WEFTEC 2019 will be held from September 21-25 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Planning is already underway. Already, more than 847 companies have reserved more than 289,000 net square feet of space and the 2019 Call for Abstracts is now open. Submissions will be accepted through to December 3, 2018. Registration and housing will open in spring 2019.