DENVER — Stressing that “every conversation about water should begin with conservation,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper urged water professionals to foster collaboration among agricultural, recreational and urban water interests, according to a press release.
Hickenlooper spoke before more than 2,000 water experts in the opening session of the 132nd Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE13) of the American Water Works Association. The conference is expected to bring more than 11,000 water professionals to Denver June 9-13 for training and access to the world’s cutting-edge water technology, stated the release.
Noting that much of the West — and especially Colorado — is in the grips of prolonged drought, Hickenlooper noted that “water is the key to everything out here.”
AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance began the session by reading a proclamation from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock that declared June 9-15 “Water Professionals’ Week” in Denver. The proclamation said in part that water “delivers public health protection, fire protection, support for our economy and the quality of life we enjoy” and that “we are all thankful for the hardworking water professionals who provide this service to us each day and are proud to welcome them to the City of Denver.”
AWWA President Charlie Anderson, a consultant with CDM Smith in Arlington, Texas, urged attendees to remember the legacy they will leave. “Legacies are generated when people unite around a challenge with a specific vision for solving it to make the world they live in better,” Anderson said. “That’s exactly what we’ll do over the next few days together — we come together, bringing all our unique expertise and talents, and we solve problems that are common to all of us.”
The AWWA conference continues Tuesday, June 11 with hundreds of presentations on pressing water issues in North America and beyond. Among the day’s highlights is the 3 p.m. “Best of the Best Water Taste Test,” a competition for the best-tasting water in North America. Winners from approximately 21 regional taste contests will compete, noted the release.