We all remember the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans in 2005. It was one of the deadliest and most destructive natural disasters in the history of the United States with millions of gallons of water flooding the city.
In addition to playing havoc with the city’s potable water supply, it also devastated the lucrative local convention industry. That’s why it was both ironic and heart warming to see 18,000 water and wastewater professionals filling the aisles of the convention center atWEFTEC 2012 this past week.
Billed as the largest annual water quality conference and exhibition in North America, WEFTEC 2012 was a great place to discover new solutions to water challenges and discuss “best in practices” during the many technical and educational sessions. The show floor was also a great place to actually see the cutting-edge products in action.
At the Xylem booth we showcased an impressive array of new products and innovative solutions from Flygt, Wedeco, Godwin, and Sanitaire. Visitors to our booth learned about some innovative solutions for moving, treating and analyzing water and wastewater.
One of the special highlights of the show was the Water Leaders Seminar, “Rethinking Water Services”. Gretchen McClain, Xylem’s Chief Executive Officer, joined a panel of industry thought leaders to share their perspectives and vision for the future of water services.
This seminar and WEFTEC in general reinforces the fact that the water sector is at a crossroads. We are stewards of the most critical of our natural resources and we recognize that we must find smarter ways of managing water to meet the challenges of growing populations, climate change and contaminants. Many of us must also deal with an aging infrastructure and the challenge of constrained budgets.
The good news is we know that there are better ways of managing water and providing water services. We are thinking more holistically, using data to make better decisions and recovering the value of resources in wastewater. We know that new thinking in technology, policy, and practices can help save water and other precious resources.
New Orleans has done a wonderful job of recovering since Hurricane Katrina and it’s no coincidence that many of the companies and people participating in WEFTEC played a part in helping with the recovery over the last seven years. So as they say in ‘Nawlins, “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” let the good times roll.
If you did not have a chance to attend, take a moment and enjoy a few videos showing activities during the show.