Last week, I had a great experience while walking into the 2018 US Water Alliance One Water Summit held in Minneapolis. As co-presenter for a discussion addressing “Utility Strengthening Through Cooperation,” I focused on the benefits of regionalization and examples of how it became available, as well as the speed bumps associated with it. It was awesome to experience the sheer number of people who weren’t only present at the summit but also eager to hear every insight that was shared, to consider every idea put on the table, to delve deeply into the myriad topics discussed and to be part of the solution, moving us toward the vision of one sustainable water future for all.
For those of us in the water industry, the One Water Summit is similar to a “big game” experience. It has it all: anticipation, excitement and the thrill of not knowing exactly where discussions will lead but nonetheless being certain that significant things are going to happen. The summit is the culmination of a year’s worth of each participant’s experiences, discoveries and advances acquired by special initiatives or in the course doing everyday jobs. Thousands come together for three days to make the most of the opportunities to learn and share, and to return to our communities and industries empowered to serve them—as well as the planet—even better. Much like the teams coming out of the tunnel at the Super Bowl, we all come out of the summit energized and ready to take on our biggest challenges.
Needless to say, a lot goes on at every One Water Summit—far too much for me to even scratch the surface in this blog. However, the US Water Alliance does explain a lot with the four things they aim to provide for attendees: ideas, strategies, skills and tools.
You can get a better idea of the types of initiatives the alliance is currently working on by taking a look at this year’s themes. You’ll find everything from One Water’s contribution to thriving cities to the ways data and technology transform water availability for the largest and smallest communities around the world. And you can get an idea of just how far-reaching the summit’s impact is by the fact that there are nearly 100 US Water Alliance members from public utilities/agencies, private water companies, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations and research institutions.
So, what is the point of me telling you all this? So that you, too, will get excited about the One Water Summit and what it achieves—making sure that safe, clean water will always be available to you and generations to follow.