NEW YORK — Recently, the American Water Works Association announced various events in the coming weeks that should be of interest to members of the water community. For example, the opening week of May in the water sector involves the celebration of Drinking Water Week.

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its members have celebrated drinking water, which enables both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together and recognize the critically important role that water plays in everyday life. Communities across the country need to better care for the country’s precious water supplies and systems in order to better guarantee that municipalities can deliver safe drinking water for generations to come.

The month of May also serves as part of the run-up weeks to the annual water conference that is hosted by AWWA and known as ACE.  

The upcoming ACE14 will take place in Boston, Mass. at the beginning of June (8-12th). It will involve a mixture of workshops, seminars and keynote addresses as well as special events for public officials, a first time attendee/new members program and a number of interesting facility tours.

There will also be an impressive exhibit area complete with a sneak peak reception scheduled on the Sunday evening prior to the official Monday morning start of the ACE14 conference program.

Notes AWWA Deputy Executive Director Paula MacIlwaine, “We are very excited about having ACE in Boston this year, and I’m looking forward to a great show. With the updates we’ve made to the professional program, the keynote speakers and great exhibitors who are attending, we will have something for everyone in the water sector.”

The ACE14 agenda features speakers on hundreds of critical water issues.

Technical sessions of ACE14 will address a number of interesting timely topics that are critical when it comes to successful operations of drinking water systems. The 2014 topics include: Strategic leadership for utility management; solutions to keep your utility thriving; utility project implementation; regulatory compliance; integrated resource management; potable reuse; resource conservation; infrastructure replacement and renewal; enhanced design principles for water treatment; and identifying/monitoring emerging contaminants.

As part of the technical sessions, there will also be a track that focuses on global water issues. Water professionals that are part of this track will discuss experiences learned abroad. It will give U.S. professionals the opportunity to learn more about global perspectives that could be applicable in U.S. municipalities. It will also give U.S. professionals the opportunity to learn more about international business development opportunities. One of the sessions that will be part of the international track will discuss the leveraging of international development projects. It will be presented by AWWA in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Commerce. There will also be a session focused on doing business in foreign countries.

The opening general session of ACE14 will take place on Monday morning. It will include a presentation by the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. He will use his speaking time to share his insights on the numerous challenges currently facing municipal leaders around the country. He will discuss the risks facing American water and wastewater infrastructure and will seek to inspire the water community attendees to take on the challenge of leading U.S. utilities down the road to a proper infrastructure renewal.

The AWWA 2014 Water Industry Luncheon to be hosted on Tuesday will feature Rick Pitino as a speaker. He is the head coach for the Louisville Cardinals, a basketball team.

The Fuller Award breakfast program will take place on Wednesday morning and will involve the presentation of awards to AWWA Sections’ selected members for their distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill, the brilliant diplomatic talent and the constructive leadership.

ACE14 will also include a number of interesting lively evening social events.

For example, the Canadian Water Forum event is scheduled for Monday evening at the Cheers Restaurant in Faneuil Hall. It will enable individuals involved with Canadian water operations around the country to become re-acquainted.

And do not forget the Water for People Fundraiser that is also scheduled on Monday evening. It will take place at the Whiskey Priest Pub & Grill that is located within the Boston scenic Seaport area. The Water for People Change The Game Bash will be presented by CDM Smith. Notes Darwin Nelson who is the president of CDM Smith’s North American Unit and a member of the Water for People board of directors, “CDM Smith has supported Water For People since its founding in 1991. No other charitable organization aligns itself more closely with our mission of improving the environment and infrastructure than Water For People. We are proud of our continuing partnership with Water For People and thrilled to present the Water For People Change The Game Bash.”It is useful to remind readers of the mission of Water for People — to empower communities around the world to build and maintain their own reliable safe water systems.

Finally, the Presidential Gavel Passing presentation and celebration will take place on Wednesday evening at the Boston Convention Center. It will provide ACE attendees an opportunity to hear AWWA leaders talk about the future of AWWA and new initiatives that are being reviewed.

ACE14 is clearly a conference program not to be missed! According to Ned Breslin, the well regarded CEO of Water for People, “Where else can you spend such quality time with heroes that keep water flowing for everyone, learn about new innovations and audacious solutions to complex problems and mix all that with fun and excitement to highlight the value of water and celebrate the professionals that transform lives every day? ACE is unique and I can’t wait!”

As a consulting professional working in the water/wastewater infrastructure sector, I agree. ACE14 is an upcoming conference program not to pass up.

Visit the conference website to learn more about the various sessions of the conference and to register.  More information about the upcoming ACE14 can be found at: http://www.awwa.org/conferences-education/conferences/annual-conference/program.aspx#6071241-professional-program.

See you in Boston!!