What a heat wave this summer! For the first time in quite a few years most water supplies actually pumped more water than was anticipated. Between "green” initiatives, more efficient water devices, and extremely wet summers the last few years, pumpage in most Illinois communities has been trending down steadily for the last 5 years. While this summer could very well be an anomaly, it certainly was a change from the last few years.
Visitation Day this year was held in Champaign. It was a great success and the weather was perfect. Thanks go to all who attended the golf outing and tours and to Illinois American Water Company for the outstanding job hosting the 2-day event. We are still looking for locations for 2013 and 2014. If anyone is interested, please contact the Laurie Dougherty, the ISAWWA Executive Director. While hosting this event can be a lot of work, it is very rewarding and a great opportunity to show off your facility!
AWWA’s Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE) was held in Dallas this year; and, while attendance was down, those who were there indicated that both the educational seminars and exposition were excellent. The conference next year will be held in Denver. This conference is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world, as well as to attend sessions that provide learning opportunities in every aspect of our industry. I was also fortunate enough to attend the AWWA Summer Workshop for section officers and staff in late July. The workshop was very informative and provided a unique venue for AWWA leaders from across the country to meet, discuss and brainstorm ideas to address the critical issues facing our association and our industry.
Recently, the Section Board and staff met to discuss two very important issues that are confronting the water industry and also our Section. One is the rapidly advancing average age of our members and subsequent retirement of these people; and the other is the meteoric speed at which technology is changing around us. I feel that the timing of the Summer Workshop was perfect, as these issues were discussed at length. There were some fresh ideas on how to continue to improve what the Illinois Section has to offer, and how to challenge our long term members to become mentors and work on more ways to encourage the young professionals in our industry to get involved. In terms of technology, the Illinois Section has taken a giant step in staying ahead of the curve with our new website. If you have not had a chance to use the site, I encourage you to log in and check it out. The tools available for making communication and information sharing more efficient are incredible. Look for more interaction on the social media sites as well, especially Twitter, as we look to continue to improve communication in this rapid paced world!
Remember to check out the training schedule for the period of July through December of this year. These educational activities truly are one of the cornerstones of the Section and continue to get better each year. The Evanston Water Utility volunteered to host a Section training event, and it was a very rewarding experience. This helps the ISAWWA to place training sessions in convenient locations throughout the State, and also to reduce costs in terms of renting meeting facilities. Keep in mind that either you or some of your staff can then attend the training for no cost in return for hosting the event. Remember... "Training, Training, Training”!
Have a great rest of the summer and fall!