WEFTEC18: Resource Recovery, ReGeneration and Relaunch of Water’s Worth It


Winners of the on-site, individual student competitions included 2 Californians.

The annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) was held in New Orleans Oct 1-3. With over 20,000 attendees it is one of the world’s largest clean water conventions. There are over 1,000 technology displays inside the 1-mile long New Orleans exhibit hall.

California had an outstanding showing with over 150 Californians serving as speakers or workshop facilitators. For the first time ever, we also had a team competing in the Student Design Competition this year. A team from UC Irvine placed first in two separate, individual competitions that were held on site.

CWEA was represented at WEFTEC by WEF Senior Delegate Director Ian Mackenzie; Delegate Matt Winkelman; and incoming WEF Delegate Brian Peck. Also attending were CWEA’s President Connie Leonard, incoming President Kevin Calderwood, House of Delegate Directors Chris Stacklin, Brian Villacorta and WEF Membership Committee Chair Doug Wing.

During the opening session WEF President Jenny Hartfelder announced several initiatives.

First – WEF is compiling a resource recovery dashboard called the ReNEW Water project. WEF is beginning to track the percentage of water, energy, nitrogen, phosphorus and biosolids that are recovered by communities in America. We’ll need to start compiling the statistics for California.

Jenny noted that clean water professionals are involved in the “regeneration” of water and our environment. The definition fits perfectly with the mission and purpose of WEF members, she said.

WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neil outlined WEF’s interpretation of ReGeneration as “A diverse group of globally-connected, innovative and like minded individuals of all ages and nationalisites who share a common interest in renewable resources, recycling and other means of sustaining the earth’s natural environment.”

“ReGeneration capture who we are and why we do it,” said Jenny. Both women encouraged WEF members to join the ReGeneration!

Jenny also announced the relaunch of the Water’s Worth It public outreach campaign. The successful campaign from 2012 is coming back. WEF has developed all new public outreach materials that agencies and water professionals can use. The materials are available on the website Water’s Worth It website.

“All of you are the everyday heroes that we need everyday,” said Jenny

You can contribute your ideas by using the hash tag #watersworthit

Next year’s WEFTEC will be held in Chicago, September 21-25, 2019.