President's Message December 2021

Rob LeeChristmas. Hanukkah. Kwanzaa. Rohatsu. All of these holidays celebrate the strength of the human spirit in the midst of trials and tribulations. They remind us of the hope that is possible for the future and that, by joining with others, there can be something greater than our own individual lives. This is the time of year to pause, reflect, and celebrate.

For those of us in the water industry here in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. We have made tremendous progress in creating awareness of the importance and interconnectivity of our water resources, more funding is headed our way to inject much-needed investment into our aging infrastructure, and the past year has brought a greater understanding of the impact that infrastructure has on social justice and equity.

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Save the Date: Stormwater Learning Hour

Stormwater Learning Hour

***UPDATE: click here to register*** Please save the date for the Stormwater Committee’s next learning hour on Wednesday, January 26 at 12 p.m. PDT. Kaela Mansfield and Kevin Flanagan with Osborn Consulting will present on the West Plains Stormwater Action Plan completed for the rapidly developing West Plains area near Spokane, Washington. The study addressed the question of whether regional stormwater planning can be a catalyst for growth by blurring the interface between public and private stormwater management. The presentation will cover an approach to creating beneficial management strategies that incentivize developers to maximize their footprint by paying stormwater fees for off-site stormwater treatment. A sign-up link will be provided in the January PNCWA digital digest.

Save the Date: Emerging Technologies Webinar in March


One of the latest technologies that’s gaining interest, and which was recently introduced at the 2021 annual conference, uses sludge as a resource. Called pyrolysis, this process is typically used to transform woody biomass into fuels, soil amendments, and filtration media, but could be a potential alternative to sludge disposal.

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Government Affairs Committee Update Dec 2021

gov't updateSave the date for the Watershed-Based Water Quality Management webinar, which will be held January 25-26, 2022.

The White House released updated state and territory fact sheets that highlight the nationwide impact of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century. The fact sheets detail how the historic legislation will allow states and territories across the country to repair roads and bridges, improve transportation options, build a network of electric vehicles (EV) chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, help connect every American to reliable high-speed internet, eliminate the nation’s lead service lines and pipes for clean drinking water, protect against extreme weather events and cyberattacks, and improve our nation’s airports. You can download the fact sheets by state here: Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

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Message from the 2022 Conference Chairs


A Message from Vicky Hollingsworth, PNCWA 2022 Conference Chair

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Member Spotlight: Erica Haide

erica haide

The Member Services Committee is excited to promote our amazing volunteers in our section of the monthly digest. If you know someone we should feature in the “Member Spotlight,” send an email to committee Vice Chair Jen Murphy. For our next spotlight, we would like to introduce you to Erica Haide. Take it away, Erica.

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Get the Word Out on Adopt-a-School


Share this image and message on Facebook or Instagram. Help us increase our reach by tagging a teacher or your kids’ schools.

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RSJ Subcommittee Dec 2021 Update

The Racial & Social Justice (RSJ) Subcommittee will be collecting information on current diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices that our member associations are implementing. Keep your eyes out for a short survey from the subcommittee in the coming weeks. The next RSJ newsletter is planned for the new year. The subcommittee welcomes your suggestions for content, such as educational materials (i.e. essays, books, podcasts, etc.), membership organization RSJ/DEI programs (i.e. agencies, consulting firms), projects with RSJ elements, and volunteer opportunities. Email Frank Dick with your ideas and suggestions at [email protected].

PNCWA2021 Donations


The PNCWA 2021 Conference undoubtedly made several changes in how we chose to meet. One of the most notable ways the conference evolved was by reallocating the money spent on attendee swag, which often has a high carbon footprint. Instead, we asked attendees to select one of these worthy causes to give the money to:

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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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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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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.

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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InFLOW 2022

InFLOW logo

Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water

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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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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