| AWWA highlights strong Korean partnership as key to international efforts
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AWWA highlights strong Korean partnership as key to international efforts

In support of the global water community’s efforts to collaborate and share knowledge, the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) CEO David LaFrance recently took part in the Water Korea conference in Seoul, South Korea, hosted by the Korea Water and Wastewater Works Association (KWWA).

AWWA’s International Council, including chair Colin Chung, who attended Water Korea with LaFrance, has prioritized building a strong collaboration with South Korea’s innovative water sector. During the Water Korea conference Aug. 31 - Sept. 3, LaFrance and KWWA Vice President Jin, Kwang-Hyun signed a memorandum of understanding to continue the productive partnership between the organizations and promote healthy drinking water globally. 

AWWA's David LaFrance and KWWA's Jin, Kwang-HyunKWWA is a public agency under Korea’s Ministry of Environment. Its membership includes more than 170 water providers, 340 companies, 20 associations and local government groups. KWWA has hosted Water Korea since 2002, with around 200 domestic and international organizations typically represented at the country’s largest water sector event. 

Ongoing collaborative efforts include the translation of AWWA periodical articles into Korean to publish in KWWA journals, the attendance of KWWA representatives at AWWA annual conferences and expositions, and establishment of an active AWWA student chapter at Korea University.

“AWWA is proud to bring together Korean and other international perspectives and talents to inspire innovative solutions for water’s most urgent challenges,” said LaFrance (pictured above with Jin, Kwang-Hyun). “The united water community is improving the practice, elevating the standards, and advancing the cause of safe and clean water globally.”

Also, this month an AWWA contingent attended the opening of a Washington, D.C., office of another Korean water partner, K-water. Participants included LaFrance, Chung and Matt Roberts, the International Council’s development committee chair, as well as Chris Moody, AWWA’s regulatory technical manager in government affairs, and Rebecca Wheeler, senior manager of international programs.

In November, AWWA President Joe Jacangelo and Wheeler plan to attend Korean International Water Week in South Korea. In 2019, Paula MacIlwaine, AWWA’s deputy director, and Chung participated in several events marking Korea International Water Week, including the World Water Cities Forum held in Daegu, Korea.

“AWWA’s partnership with Korea and the broader international water community is very important in so many ways,” said Chung. “Being exposed to this wide spectrum of knowledge and perspective is key to our members continuing to develop innovative solutions and protect the world’s most important resource of water.”