BOSTON —Last month in Boston more than 11,000 water professionals and water technology providers filled the Boston Convention and Exposition Center for the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) five-day, 134th Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE14).

 ACE14, which took place June 8-12, held a recurring theme of “uniting the world of water,” with a goal of addressing timely topics and solutions for global water professionals.

Overall attendance increased by 4.5 percent from last year, with more than 900 expert presenters, 120 professional sessions and six professional workshops; 116 utility presenters and 485 exhibiting companies, a seven percent increase over ACE13, representing 1,162 booths; and 4,500 CEU submissions for the ACE14 professional program, a 5.5 percent increase from last year, according to AWWA’s ACE14 recap.

Opening ACE14 was guest keynote speaker and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose keynote address highlighted the challenges municipal leaders face today as well as emphasized the importance of confronting North America’s impending water infrastructure problem — with over 1.7 trillion gallons of water being lost through broken or leaking pipes each year, calling for water utility leaders and public officials to reinvest in water infrastructure.

“Mayor Giuliani understands from his unique experience the critical role that our water systems — and those who build and care for them — play in the health and safety of our communities,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “His presence at the ACE14 opening general session underscores the importance of the work water professionals accomplish 24/7, every day of the year.”

Also discussed during ACE14 was former AWWA President Jim Chaffee’s announcement of the association’s plan to open an office in India as well as John Donahue, chief executive officer of North Park Illinois Water District, accepting the ceremonial AWWA gavel, marking the start of his term as president.

“We will utilize the combined strength of the Association and Sections to form one AWWA,” said Donahue. “We will work together to combine our brands and align our strategic plans, which will allow us to look like one AWWA. We will work together to provide educational opportunities to our members, especially rural and small systems with the Association preparing the content and the sections delivering it.”

ACE14 competition winners include, but are not limited to: Lansing Lethal Ladies, Women’s pipe Tapping Winner; SADAM San Miguel, Men’s Pip Tapping Winner; Boston Water and Sewer Commission “Best of the Best” Taste Test Winner; City of Kalama, Wash. Water, “People’s Choice” Taste Test Winner; and Dan Cannistraci, Student Poster Competition Winner.

You can find more ACE14 highlights here.