Partnering with the World
While CWWA was established to be the voice of Canadian water utilities at a national level, we have also become your representative to the world. Our very structure is designed to ensure a relationship with our American partners at the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). We recognize that, as individual water professionals, your first membership is with WEF or AWWA. It is through your provincial/regional WEF member association or AWWA section that you get critical training, resources, and start to build your local networks for support. Part of that individual membership fee in each organization goes toward advocacy efforts in Washington, DC. That doesn’t make sense for Canadian members, so that is where your CWWA comes into play.
CWWA was created some 35 years ago to take on that advocacy role here in Canada. We are a completely separate organization, but we receive support from both WEF (direct funding) and AWWA (indirect funding through sections). Each of the 6 provincial/regional associations have a seat on our CWWA Board of Directors. Then both WEF and AWWA have created Canadian Affairs Councils to represent the interests of their Canadian members, and CWWA has an ex-officio seat on each council. Further, as executive director, I sit in on the WEF Government Affairs Committee and the AWWA Utility Leadership Council, reporting news from Canada.
This has been a very healthy and productive partnership. CWWA does not try to duplicate the services and resources of WEF or AWWA, but tackles the unique governance systems of Canada between federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal bodies. But together, we have tackled common issues such as lead pipes, corrosion control, effluent regulations, cyber security, flushable wipes and more.
As Canada prepares to host the IWA’s World Water Congress & Exhibition in Toronto in 2024, we do so with the support and partnership of WEF and AWWA.
…….but I’ll tell you about that IWA global relationship next month!