From the President: Driving Innovation to Water Resource Recovery

October 15, 2014


Ed McCormick, WEF President 2014–2015

Ed McCormick, WEF President 2014–2015

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) recently convened its 87th annual technical exhibition and conference, WEFTEC® 2014, in New Orleans. During this annual water quality event, WEF did what we do best – drive innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage water knowledge – for water professionals from more than 100 countries around the globe.

WEFTEC has grown to become the largest conference of its kind in the world for one reason — what happens during the event’s awe-inspiring 5 days simply is too important for water professionals to miss.

The innovative new ideas and technologies unveiled each year, the opportunity to connect with thought leaders from across the globe, and the exceptional knowledge delivery provided by 35 extensive and hands-on workshops, 145 technical sessions, 28,156 m2 (303,075 ft2) of exhibition, and special events combine to provide an exceptional return-on-investment on your organization’s professional development budget.

McCormick stands with WEF's Niles the Crocodile mascot during WEFTEC 2014. Photo courtesy of McCormick.

McCormick stands with WEF’s Niles the Crocodile mascot during WEFTEC 2014. Photo courtesy of McCormick.

WEF’s return on investment is most tangible through our state-of-the-art programming and products related to driving innovation that supports water resource recovery. Water resource recovery is helping the water sector reduce costs and increase revenue, or “save green,” while becoming more sustainable and “being green.”

Currently, we are experiencing the leading edge of a major evolutionary leap in the water sector, a renaissance in our role as water stewards. Collectively, we are transforming our world of treatment into one of resource recovery. We are working to capture valuable resources and produce useful products for society such as clean renewable energy, recycled water, fertilizer, nutrients, heat, and even transportation fuel. Rapidly we are becoming manufacturing facilities, or “green factories.”

WEF has helped lead this sea of change, working collaboratively with our Utility of the Future partners, the Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria, Va.) and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.). We have changed the term “wastewater treatment facilities” to “water resource recovery facilities” in all WEF publications. And WEF has initiated our new roadmap series, starting with The Energy Roadmap released last year. WEF’s Nutrient Roadmap will be released within 5 months.

Energy Roadmap CoverThe Energy Roadmap – A Water and Wastewater Utility Guide to More Sustainable Energy Management quickly has become a WEF bestseller. But much more importantly, the roadmap is packed with practical, game-changing ideas for utilities across North America and beyond. This must-read for utility leaders consolidates the best thinking of dozens of leading water and energy professionals, and boils it down to a succinct, easy-to-read, and eye-catching energy leadership guide full of practical ideas for becoming more energy efficient and sustainable. The payoff for water sector organizations is the financial benefit to ratepayers, as well as our sector’s significant contribution to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

I very much look forward to hearing your ideas during my year as WEF president. Please contact me at with your thoughts on how WEF can continually improve as we drive innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage water knowledge from around the world.

— Ed McCormick, WEF President 2014–2015

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