Rafael Dautant Strives for 40-Year Perfect WEFTEC Attendance

February 14, 2018

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During WEFTEC 2017, Rafael A. Dautant celebrated his 49th time attending the event by taking a #MyWaterLegacy photo. Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) photo/Camille Sanders.

During WEFTEC 2017, Rafael A. Dautant celebrated his 39th appearance at the event by taking a #MyWaterLegacy photo. Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) photo/Camille Sanders.

For decades, Rafael A. Dautant has maintained a perfect WEFTEC attendance record. When he arrives in New Orleans later this year, Dautant will mark a 40-year-milestone for WEFTEC appearances.

Dautant joined the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and WEF’s Venezuelan Member Association, Asociación Venezolana de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental (AVISA), in 1979. While he became a member 38 years ago, his participation in WEFTEC began a year earlier. Unparalleled access to technical water resources offered at WEFTEC enticed Dautant to the event.

“The best part is the exchange of technical education, workshops, technical sessions, technical trips, equipment exhibitions, and the bookstore,” Dautant said. “[WEFTEC is] very much concerned with problems created by water pollution discharged into the environment.” The event provides access to technical books, manuals, and other materials that can be used to help design and control processes for water resource recovery facilities, he said.

Dautant (left) takes a photo Dale Jacobson (right), WEF president from 1997 to 1998, and Dale’s wife Debora (middle) during the 2008 International Water Association (London) World Water Congress in Austria. Photo courtesy of Dautant.

Dautant (left) takes a photo with Dale Jacobson (right), WEF president from 1997 to 1998, and Dale’s wife, Debora (middle), during the 2008 International Water Association (London) World Water Congress in Austria. Photo courtesy of Dautant.

As the president of AVISA, Dautant serves as a representative for the association on WEF’s House of Delegates. He also previously served as a member of WEF’s Board of Trustees for about 10 years, he said. The WEF life member also served as president of the Asociación Interamericana de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental (AIDIS; São Paulo, Brazil) from 2010 to 2012.

WEF membership and participation in its events have provided Dautant with valuable resources and connections that have enhanced his career. “WEF has allowed me to take part for 39 consecutive years in the annual convention, technical sessions, inspection trips, and exhibition,” Dautant said. “[WEF] is a real technical association, it involves high levels of professionals.”

Dautant (right) and his wife attend the 2006 IWA World Water Congress in Beijing. Photo courtesy of Dautant.

Dautant (right) and his wife attend the 2006 IWA World Water Congress in Beijing. Photo courtesy of Dautant.

Dautant looks forward to continuing the tradition of participation by coming to his 40th WEFTEC in September. “I will plan on attending WEFTEC 2018 in New Orleans,” he said.

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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