PNCWA2022 Call for Committee Collaborators

Join us as a key member of the 2022 conference committee to continue shaping the future of our annual conference.

conference pictures

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President's Message November 2021

Rob Lee

During this time of year, I’m reminded of the importance of being thankful — or “aware and appreciative of a benefit,” as it’s defined.

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Another Successful Communications Camp

Comms Camp 2021

On October 28, 2021, the Communications and Outreach Committee held its annual communications camp, a one-day specialty conference focused on communications skills, in Springfield, Oregon. This year’s event was a big success, with 13 campers in attendance and a mix of virtual and in-person presenters. Proceeds from the camp help fund PNCWA’s Adopt-a-School grant program.

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Adopt-a-School Program


We are now accepting applications for the 2022 Adopt-a-School grant program! Grants fund K-12 educational projects focused on water and the environment. In the past, this program has funded field trips, sampling kits, garden boxes, stream cleanups, laboratory equipment, and even rubber boots. The average grant award is $500, and the only requirement is that the students involved tour a local treatment facility or watch a presentation from a water professional. Visit here for more information and the online application. Applications are due January 14, 2022. If you know an educator, please share this program info with them. It’s a chance to get tomorrow’s water professionals engaged today.

InFLOW 2022

InFLOW logo

Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water

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WLI Change Leadership Series

As part of their final project, the Water Leadership Institute (WLI) 2021 cohort has developed a YouTube series focusing on different aspects of Change Leadership in the water sector, where each group focused on a single area of excellence. Presented in the style of a TED-Talk, each group created two videos expanding on each of the nine topics.

Join the WLI groups during the roundtable discussions on Nov. 3, 8, and 10 to delve into the topics further. Click here to sign up.

2021 Oregon Operators Conference

The Umpqua Basin Operators Section (UBOS) is pleased to host the 2021 Oregon Operators Conference in beautiful Southern Oregon on Nov. 16-18. PNCWA and AWWA have partnered with UBOS to organize an outstanding conference for people to network, receive quality training and education, learn about products and services in the field, and enjoy the Umpqua Valley and Douglas County Fairgrounds. Your three-day registration includes a conference dinner on Wednesday evening, as well as breakfast and lunch on each day of the event. Click here to learn more and to register for the event.

Resource Recovery Committee Update

City of Boise Receiving the Resource Recovery Award

Congratulations to the City of Boise for being awarded the 2021 PNCWA Excellence in Resource Recovery Award! As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, the City of Boise knows that protecting natural resources is vital to maintaining livability. The City has embarked on the following efforts that demonstrate their commitment to resource recovery in the Pacific Northwest.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Oct 2021

The Puget Sound Nutrient Reduction Grants Program has available grants. Check out their website for more info.

Download the Report to Congress on Integrated Plans to Comply with the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2019 here.

President's Message October 2021

Rob LeeAutumn is such a vibrant, visual reminder of the changes that inevitably occur in our lives. A great many things have changed over the last couple of years, and our industry is now facing the challenges that have resulted — including how to accomplish the vast amount of work that needs to get done while dealing with worker shortages, supply chain issues, escalating construction costs, and navigating the virtual work environment. We know that some of the most passionate volunteers and members of PNCWA are feeling the strain of these challenges, so I wanted to pause and tell you that we understand, we feel similarly, and we are immensely grateful for those of you who continue to advance the mission of PNCWA.

PNCWA is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide people with top-notch education, opportunities to learn about the ever-changing tools and technology in our industry, and the chance to network and connect with others. Our work is critical, and it cannot be done without the tireless efforts of so many of you.

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2021 Opening General Session Recap

What an absolute treat it was to host Dr. Dan Prinzing and Tai Simpson at our Opening Session. These eloquent speakers spoke to us about the changes we must make to create the future we want to see.

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Fundraising for Water For People

The Water For People Committee would like to thank all those who participated in our conference fundraising event, Move For Water, and those who helped us “rinse a regulator” (and our Past President, Haley Falconer) at the Monday Night Networking Dunk Tank. Because of you, we were able to raise nearly $1,000 for Water For People! Also, sincere thank yous to Preservation Idaho, who provided a wonderful walking tour of Boise and made it easy and educational to get our steps in, and WaterReuse Pacific Northwest for their wonderful collaboration on the Dunk Tank.

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2021 Communication Camp

No matter what our daily work looks like as water professionals, clear and effective communication makes us better at getting that work done. The Communications and Outreach Committee’s annual Communications Camp focuses on precisely that. A one-day workshop focused on building skills and sharing knowledge about effective communications strategies, the camp will be held on October 28, 2021 in Springfield, Oregon.

This year, the camp features presentations on crisis communications, virtual outreach, engaging public speaking, and project management. We’ll also tour Springfield’s Mill Race Stormwater Facility. While the event will be solely in person, in 2022, we plan to offer an online version of the event as well.

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PNCWA2021 Conference Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who attended and engaged in PNCWA 2021! The annual conference has a way of filling people with hope for the future of our industry and reinvigorating passion for the work we do and the communities we serve. This year was no different. Nearly 400 of you joined us in person in Boise for more than 150 technical presentations. Over 200 of you were involved virtually this year, and for a whopping 167 of you, this was the first time you had attended the conference.

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated support of our sponsors, vendors, and planning teams. Thank you all for making PNCWA 2021 such a success!

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President's Message September 2021

As we enter into this new year for PNCWA, I’m incredibly humbled and honored to step into the role of President of the Board of Directors. PNCWA is such a critical nonprofit organization essential to the future of our region and the water industry. The 2021 Conference was an amazing reminder of that, and I personally am feeling reenergized and reminded of the importance of community, geography, and, of course, water.

Thank you to Haley Falconer, Immediate Past President, for her amazing leadership and sacrifice over the past year. Thank you to our conference committee, sponsors, manufacturers and exhibitors, the board, our dedicated committee chairs, section leads, and to the countless dedicated and talented people in the Pacific Northwest that have given so much to PNCWA.

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RSJ Subcommittee Newsletter - Aug 2021

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee August newsletter contains links to resources on our PNCWA2021 keynote speakers, the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, and more. The newsletter’s goal is to highlight diversity, equity, and inclusion projects and collect multimedia resources and book recommendations to advance learning and awareness of history, perspective, and action for environmental, racial, economic, and social justice.

The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcasts, etc.); membership organization RSJ/DEI program (i.e. agencies, consulting firms); projects with RSJ elements; and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your ideas and suggestions.

President's Message August 2021

haley falconer and familyPNCWA Members –

As I write this, I am less than a month away from the end of my role as PNCWA President. It has been a tumultuous year but one that I will look back on with pride. We are an organization made up of passionate, creative people, including our Board who provides strategic direction and financial oversight; the committees where members share experience and interest to advance the goals of the organization, and individual members who are vital to the success of all our activities. In spite of the tumult, we have accomplished much and moved our organization forward. Here are a few highlights from this year:

  • Summit Series – a great way to connect and learn as an organization. The lessons learned from these events will be carried forward into future virtual programming.
  • Mission Statement and Critical Objectives – the Board refined the Mission Statement to better reflect the current and future work of our organization. We also crafted several critical objectives that will serve as the basis of future strategic planning efforts.
  • Partnership with Water Reuse Association – we are thrilled to be partnered with WRA-PNW for PNCWA2021 where they will be providing a technical track for two days focused on water reuse and their members will be invited to participate in our conference. This partnership is hopefully the beginning of other activities and efforts to advance recycled water in the northwest.
  • Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee – PNCWA created a new subcommittee which, “strives to empower PNCWA membership by providing education and resources, collaborating with impacted communities, and advocating for enduring racial and social justice in water resource organizations, programs, and projects that bring about lasting change.”
  • CONFERENCE! – For many, myself included, the annual conference is a highlight. Planning in the unknown has been an overwhelming challenge at times, but we are so excited with where we’ve landed. We hope to see many of you in person for this year’s conference in Boise. For those who cannot make it in person, we invite you to join us virtually and view the live streamed sessions.

To the volunteers who have led, participated in, and provided feedback for these activities and many others that we’ve accomplished this year, THANK YOU! We succeed as an organization because of you. To the Board, newly created Conference Committee, and other committee leaders who exhibited grace, trust, and leadership, you truly captured lightning in a bottle this year.

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Save the Date for the Communications Camp

The Communications Camp is returning October 28, 2021 in Springfield, Oregon! All water professionals need to communicate effectively whether presenting at a public meeting, calling a customer to answer their questions, emailing a design project team, or talking with a coworker at a treatment facility. No matter what our work looks like, clear and effective communication makes us better at getting that work done. That’s why PNCWA’s Communication and Outreach Committee puts on its annual Communications Camp, a one-day workshop focused on building skills and sharing knowledge about effective communications strategies.

In past years, the Camp has featured speakers and demonstrations with a wide range of specialties, from graphic design to writing an RFP. This year, we’re featuring presentations on crisis communications, virtual outreach, engaging public speaking, and project management. We’ll also feature a tour of Springfield’s Mill Race Stormwater Facility. Our focus is maximizing interactivity at the Camp and we’ve designed opportunities to practice your communications skills and network with industry peers regardless of your career level.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Aug 2021

A preliminary class action lawsuit settlement between the Charleston Water System (Charleston, South Carolina) and wipes manufacturer Kimberly-Clark could affect any entity that owned and/or operated wastewater conveyance and treatment systems since January 6, 2018. Class members need to be aware of this settlement and how it may affect them.

According to court filings in two cases EPA intends to reconsider approval of certain Washington water quality rules, including for PCBs, and initiate a federal notice-and-comment rulemaking to propose a rule establishing protective federal human health criteria applicable to Washington State’s surface waters. EPA intends to sign this proposed rule within nine months of the date that the Court grants the proposed order, after which time the proposed rule would be subject to public comment.

30 PSA Motion for abeyance
84 WA Motion for abeyance

Idaho has assumed primacy over the remaining two areas of NPDES permitting, Biosolids and Stormwater, completing the multi-year transfer of authority from EPA.

Leadership Corner Aug 2021

The Leadership Development Committee is composed of life-long learners. We’d like to share the following resources recommended by our committee members.

A behavioral economist explains how your calendar is messing up your priorities
From Amy Dammarell: I came across this video that rings so true to me. Especially now, when I strive to maintain connections with others and what used to be incidental office conversations are now scheduled in. I appreciated this short video that has a few reminders of how deceptive the calendar can be and how to adjust accordingly.

What Daydreaming Does to Your Mind
From Karen DeBaker: You think you’re productive by staying busy—and stressed. Imagine your productivity increasing if you scheduled time to relax and simply succumb to boredom.