How Utilities Benefit from AWWA Membership
Friday, August 31, 2018
Posted by: Ann Guiberson
Why AWWA Utility Membership?
By Andy Chase, AWWA Utility Relationship Manager
Utility membership in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) comes with many benefits that are not included with an individual membership. In addition to the benefits individuals receive, AWWA provides utilities with resources to help manage a utility—tools for assessing infrastructure needs, rate-setting, training and certification programs, communicating the value of water service to the public, and opportunities to craft regulatory policy.
I’m Andy Chase, and I’m incredibly proud to be the first Utility Relationship Manager in the 137-year history of AWWA. I joined the Member Engagement & Development team in January 2015, and I was charged with developing AWWA’s utility recruitment process. I realized, early on, the power of partnering with AWWA Sections and recruiting volunteers to join me in meetings with utilities and municipalities. Our process: We identify nonmember utilities through a variety of sources and group them geographically. I reach out to Section leaders and ask for volunteers to commit one day to visiting utilities with me.
When meeting with utilities, we discuss how each water utility benefits from its AWWA membership differently; for most, at least three areas of value rise to the top.
1. AWWA is a preeminent forum for knowledge and solutions to help water professionals – and water utilities do their jobs better and more efficiently. Through its international and local conferences, peer-reviewed journal and other publications, and online training and webcasts, AWWA helps its members discover the right technologies, management strategies, and operational tactics to ensure each customer dollar is being spent efficiently and in a way that best protects public health.
2. AWWA is the entity that produces water industry standards for materials, equipment, and practices used in water treatment and supply. AWWA members have a voice in the creation of these standards, and utility members always have access to the full, updated set. AWWA also produces a robust set of manuals of practice to complement the standards. Members further enjoy substantial discounts on a vast collection of handbooks, reports, and other tools created through the intellectual capital of AWWA’s members.
3. AWWA provides the water sector with a critical voice in Washington, D.C., where legislative and regulatory decisions can dramatically affect each of America’s more than 52,000 community water systems. Working closely with its utility members, AWWA’s Government Affairs group and Water Utility Council bring sound science and the real-life experience of water utilities to the public policy dialogue. AWWA brings critical technical information to the regulatory process and frequently testifies before Congress on legislative and other matters. Utility members stay informed through regular public affairs, legislative, and regulatory advisories, and a bi-weekly Water Utility Insider newsletter.
We’ve recently had substantial success with utilities in AWWA’s Southwest Section. The AWWA Membership Engagement & Development Team has been working closely with the Section to recruit new utility members. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with 12 utilities with Executive Director Don Broussard, and we are excited to welcome Baton Rouge Water Company, the City of Shreveport, and the City of Monroe, LA, as new utility members. From Arkansas, we welcome Benton/Washington Regional Public Water Authority as new utility members. We also hosted a luncheon in Oklahoma City, an active utility member, and we welcomed the City of Norman and the City of Broken Arrow, OK, as new utility members. Utilities benefit from their utility membership and the Section benefits as well, since a portion of membership dues is returned to the Section for operations to maintain member services locally.
Successes such as this help maintain AWWA as the largest nonprofit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With its 51,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and enhance our quality of life.
To learn more about AWWA utility membership in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico or to schedule an AWWA visit to your utility contact:
Andy Chase, AWWA Utility Relationship Manager
phone: 303-734-3408 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Guiberson, Rocky Mountain Section AWWA Executive Director
phone: 720-404-0818 or email: email@example.com