| Water Matters! Fly-In to transition to online event in 2021
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Water Matters! Fly-In to transition to online event in 2021

The AWWA Water Matters! Fly-In will transition from an in-person gathering to an online event in April 2021, maintaining the direct connection between AWWA members and the representatives and senators serving them in the U.S. Congress. 

Washington, D.C. CapitolWhile the physical fly-in in Washington D.C. will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AWWA delegates will schedule virtual meetings with members of Congress the week of April 26. In the weeks leading up to the event, staff from the AWWA Government Affairs Office will brief delegates, distribute issue papers and provide guidance and suggestions for the on-line meetings format. 

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout hampering face-to-face meetings and many employers’ travel policies, AWWA still felt it was important to provide a forum for grassroots activism on behalf of the drinking water community,” said Tracy Mehan, AWWA’s executive director of government affairs. “While in-person meetings are always preferable, we can maintain our presence on Capitol Hill this way until the country is in a more normal state.”

AWWA’s Fly-In typically occurs in the spring and brings about 150 members to Washington to meet directly with their members of Congress. This event has gone far in advancing AWWA legislative goals and in making AWWA a known resource for information on drinking water in the halls of Congress. The Fly-In has helped AWWA achieve policy victories in arenas such as water infrastructure finance, protecting source water quality via agricultural programs, chemical facility security legislation and in preserving the ability for utilities to seek damages from MTBE contamination. 

Water Matters! Fly-InFollowing past practices for Fly-Ins, AWWA Section leaders – typically the Section chair with Water Utility Council or Government Affairs chair – are urged to designate specific delegates and a delegate coordinator for the Fly-In. (Pictured, past WUC Chair Kurt Vause at a Fly-In)

There will be a debriefing/lessons-learned webinar the week after the Fly-In week, similar to what has occurred in past Fly-Ins. More details and registration information will be provided in the weeks ahead.

“A new Congress will be seated in January, and a new presidential term will begin,” Mehan said. “This will make the 2021 Fly-In a particularly influential one.”

For more information, contact AWWA Government Affairs staff members Tommy Holmes or Nate Norris.