| AWWA councils to guide priorities, strategize future at October Summit
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AWWA councils to guide priorities, strategize future at October Summit

What new water-related challenge or practice requires an industry standard? How can water utilities communicate with their communities to strengthen trust? Where can utilities get guidance for cybersecurity best practices?

These are the type of questions on the table when water professionals representing the highest level of expertise and knowledge across the sector convene at the annual Council Summit of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

AWWA’s six councils have met each year since 2013 to coordinate and guide AWWA’s activities to support its mission: providing solutions to effectively manage water, the world’s most vital resource.

This year’s Council Summit is taking place in Denver, Colo., beginning Oct. 26, in conjunction with meetings of the Association’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Last year’s council meeting was held virtually due to the pandemic, and this year a broad swath of AWWA’s leadership will come together both in-person and virtually. As with all of its in-person events, AWWA is committed to protecting public health and safety and will follow federal and local government requirements and guidance, including masks, physical distancing, hand sanitizing and other recommended procedures.

The opportunity to finally interact in-person with AWWA colleagues is gratifying for AWWA Immediate Past President Melissa Elliott, the only AWWA president to conduct an entirely virtual term.

“It was incredibly disappointing not to be able to engage with the water professionals who make up this Association at in-person meetings and conferences because I wanted to help connect all of us,” she said. “However, the efforts we still took to collaborate on solutions through a computer, even in the midst of a global disaster, say a lot about why AWWA matters now more than ever.” 

AWWA’s councils include the International Council, Manufacturers/Associates Council, Public Affairs Council, Standards Council, Technical & Educational Council, and the Water Utility Council. Each council and its committees, as well as AWWA standing committees and divisions, are staffed by volunteers who apply for the positions and work to achieve the goals established by each council.
IC Council member Alice Chow and Colin Chung
For example, the International Council (IC) develops and coordinates AWWA’s international policies and activities and promotes AWWA in the global water community. Its goals are to enhance AWWA’s international presence, facilitate the sharing of water-related knowledge and best practices across the globe, provide value to AWWA members globally, and advance diversity and inclusion among AWWA members and partners. (Pictured right, IC members Alice Chow and Colin Chung at the 2018 Council Summit)

“AWWA has access to so many professionals with wonderful knowledge and experience, and we support the international exchange of this information through training and access to our quality materials,” said IC Chair Colin Chung.