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2004 State of the Industry Report (PDF)

  • Author(s): Murphy, Maripat
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: December 2004
  • Volume / Number: 96, Number 12
  • Page(s): 60-62, 64, 66-72
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0060861
Full Text: pdf

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When AWWA members asked for more trend information about where the drinking water industry was headed, the association responded with the State of the Industry (SOTI) survey. The objectives of this first survey were to begin the process of recognizing and tracking significant trends within the water industry; to identify critical concerns, especially emerging issues and those not being adequately addressed; to establish a baseline of information that would facilitate tracking these trends from year to year; to gauge water professionals' perception of the relative health of the industry; to collect specific data that could help the industry prioritize programs and services, and to expand on the association's role as a source of information and a facilitator of an industry-wide forum addressing essential water issues. In April 2004, surveys were mailed to more than 10,000 AWWA members, and responses were received from more than 1,500 utility personnel, service providers, and individuals. When asked which issues were the most critical facing the water profession, respondents cited five areas of concern: regulatory factors, security, business factors (especially funding), source water supply, and water storage/distribution. Despite the major challenges confronting them, however, survey respondents rated the industry relatively sound overall. Although this inaugural survey provides a wealth of information, the real value of the SOTI study will only become apparent in years to come. By conducting the survey on an annual basis, AWWA will be able to track trends, create a yearly snapshot of where the industry has focused its resources in the past 12 months, and help determine where those resources would be most effectively directed in the future.

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