From the CWEA President

Wastewater News

Debi Lewis, P.E., Stantec took office as CWEA’s President at the Annual Conference business meeting.

Dear CWEA Member,

I wanted to share with you the news the Legislature has created California Water Professionals Appreciation Week for the first full week of October each year. This year it’s October 7-15th.

“Resolved by the Senate of California, and the Assembly concurring, the Legislature designates Water Professionals Appreciation Week during October. The Legislature encourages residents to learn about the water and wastewater industries in California and consider careers in this important field.” – Resolution SCR 80 (Dodd)

It’s exciting to get an entire week dedicated to us. More importantly, I want to acknowledge your courage, sacrifices and dedication to the profession. We are all working on more projects and more quickly than we have in the past. We have to balance our family life, our personal lives and find time to volunteer for CWEA and our other professional associations. For doing it all and more – I applaud you!

In two weeks all Californians will applaud and thank you.

We all deserve a pat on the back. As water professionals we helped navigate the State through one of the worst droughts in modern history. Immediately followed by record flooding.  The State not only survived, it did pretty well through the extremes.  Whatever gets thrown at us these days, we are keeping up and ensuring California’s water stays clean.

This legislation moved forward thanks to a team effort. The Association of California Water Agencies and California Association of Sanitation Agencies worked on the legislation and we jumped in to assist with public outreach. To me this again demonstrates we are stronger together when we work together.

Enjoy the accolades during Water Professionals Appreciation Week! And, please take a moment to consider what you can do to give back. Even small efforts make a big difference. With over 10,000 members we have a wide reach.

Here are just a few outreach ideas for Oct 7-15th:

  • View and download CWEA’s social media graphics you can use
  • Post on social media what you love about your water career and use the hash tags #cawaterweek and #workforwater
  • Offer to mentor one of the new gals or guys on the team – help a young person succeed by being a friend they can turn to for advice
  • If you know someone who might be interested in a water job (particularly mechanics, instrumentation techs and electricians), tap them on the shoulder and tell them about all the great opportunities in water. Share the website

So, those are a few ideas to celebrate Water Professionals Appreciation Week!

Our profession is in a unique moment. We are facing extreme weather events, a generational turnover in the workforce and aging infrastructure that is deteriorating. Public recognition of the role we play in keeping California running is important, but we must also work together to face challenges. Let’s stick together, let’s propose new ideas and work together on them. For truly, we are stronger together when we stand together.


Debi Lewis
CWEA President

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