Filtered by category: News & Updates Clear Filter

President's Message October 2021

Rob LeeAutumn is such a vibrant, visual reminder of the changes that inevitably occur in our lives. A great many things have changed over the last couple of years, and our industry is now facing the challenges that have resulted — including how to accomplish the vast amount of work that needs to get done while dealing with worker shortages, supply chain issues, escalating construction costs, and navigating the virtual work environment. We know that some of the most passionate volunteers and members of PNCWA are feeling the strain of these challenges, so I wanted to pause and tell you that we understand, we feel similarly, and we are immensely grateful for those of you who continue to advance the mission of PNCWA.

PNCWA is a nonprofit organization that exists to provide people with top-notch education, opportunities to learn about the ever-changing tools and technology in our industry, and the chance to network and connect with others. Our work is critical, and it cannot be done without the tireless efforts of so many of you.

Read More

President's Message September 2021

As we enter into this new year for PNCWA, I’m incredibly humbled and honored to step into the role of President of the Board of Directors. PNCWA is such a critical nonprofit organization essential to the future of our region and the water industry. The 2021 Conference was an amazing reminder of that, and I personally am feeling reenergized and reminded of the importance of community, geography, and, of course, water.

Thank you to Haley Falconer, Immediate Past President, for her amazing leadership and sacrifice over the past year. Thank you to our conference committee, sponsors, manufacturers and exhibitors, the board, our dedicated committee chairs, section leads, and to the countless dedicated and talented people in the Pacific Northwest that have given so much to PNCWA.

Read More

President's Message August 2021

haley falconer and familyPNCWA Members –

As I write this, I am less than a month away from the end of my role as PNCWA President. It has been a tumultuous year but one that I will look back on with pride. We are an organization made up of passionate, creative people, including our Board who provides strategic direction and financial oversight; the committees where members share experience and interest to advance the goals of the organization, and individual members who are vital to the success of all our activities. In spite of the tumult, we have accomplished much and moved our organization forward. Here are a few highlights from this year:

  • Summit Series – a great way to connect and learn as an organization. The lessons learned from these events will be carried forward into future virtual programming.
  • Mission Statement and Critical Objectives – the Board refined the Mission Statement to better reflect the current and future work of our organization. We also crafted several critical objectives that will serve as the basis of future strategic planning efforts.
  • Partnership with Water Reuse Association – we are thrilled to be partnered with WRA-PNW for PNCWA2021 where they will be providing a technical track for two days focused on water reuse and their members will be invited to participate in our conference. This partnership is hopefully the beginning of other activities and efforts to advance recycled water in the northwest.
  • Racial and Social Justice Subcommittee – PNCWA created a new subcommittee which, “strives to empower PNCWA membership by providing education and resources, collaborating with impacted communities, and advocating for enduring racial and social justice in water resource organizations, programs, and projects that bring about lasting change.”
  • CONFERENCE! – For many, myself included, the annual conference is a highlight. Planning in the unknown has been an overwhelming challenge at times, but we are so excited with where we’ve landed. We hope to see many of you in person for this year’s conference in Boise. For those who cannot make it in person, we invite you to join us virtually and view the live streamed sessions.

To the volunteers who have led, participated in, and provided feedback for these activities and many others that we’ve accomplished this year, THANK YOU! We succeed as an organization because of you. To the Board, newly created Conference Committee, and other committee leaders who exhibited grace, trust, and leadership, you truly captured lightning in a bottle this year.

Read More

Women of Water/Energy Recognition

Women Group

The Women of Water Summit is coming up next month, and the aquafficiency team is excited to hear from so many of our industry leaders! Of course, because we’re all about energy efficiency, we wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge and highlight some of the women who have done so much to help move the needle in wastewater facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our sponsorship is in honor of the women listed below, whose knowledge, hard work, and support of making wastewater treatment more energy efficient have saved millions of kilowatt-hours (not to mention dollars!) over the years. In alphabetical order (because you can’t rank superstars), they are:

Read More

President's Message Oct 2020

Flashback to PNCWA 2009: I was a grad student at Washington State (Go Cougs!) and attended my first PNCWA Conference in Boise. I was there to present my graduate research on phosphorus removal using biogenic iron oxides (a terrifying endeavor, but that’s a different story). Nutrient removal and management is as important as ever and continues to drive utility upgrades and operational challenges that many Pacific Northwest cities are facing. Because nutrients is such an important topic, PNCWA is hosting the Nutrients Summit on October 28 to provide members with high quality continuing education. I recommend you join us to connect with members and learn from leading experts.

While I am optimistic that we are going to have an outstanding year, I also want to share with you that it will not be easy. As a non-profit, volunteer board, we are working to provide education, stay connected to you, and build a resilient organization. Our members, supporting organizations, and commitment and enthusiasm to improve the world around us is what will make us successful this year and beyond. A huge thank you to our Summit Series sponsors who are supporting a new endeavor and incredible way for us to learn and connect. Because sponsors are as important now as pre-COVID, we are creating as much value as possible. If you have any input on how we can better serve you, please let me know.

Read More

President's Message Sept 2020

Before I introduce myself, I want to thank Adam for leading us through this tumultuous year. We had no idea what this year would bring, but Adam was the leader PNCWA needed. He is thoughtful, strong, and, most of all, kind. He carried us through with his stability, diligence, and grace. I am proud to follow in Adam’s footsteps and lead PNCWA forward.

My name is Haley Falconer and I am the Environmental Division Manager at the City of Boise, ID. I grew up in Montana, where I learned to value and protect the environment. When I studied environmental engineering in college, I knew that I could find meaningful work in something that I was good at and where I could make a difference in the world. I started volunteering for WEF in college and ultimately found PNCWA when I moved to Washington for grad school. Now, I live and work in Boise with my husband, two little boys, and rescue pup, Harriet.

Read More

The PNCWA Board Reflects on a Year of Firsts and What Lies Ahead


The Annual Business Meeting held via Zoom on September 15 was well-attended and packed with information. Outgoing president, Adam McClymont, kicked off the meeting with a list of the past year’s accomplishments. Prior to the pandemic, PNCWA was already in the process of overhauling its budgeting and accounting processes. When COVID escalated, we drastically cut our program budgets and greatly reduced travel. Our committees developed and produced informative webinars. Those virtual opportunities will continue to grow and will be featured in the upcoming Summit Series.

PNCWA hit many firsts this year. We distributed WEF Wastewater Treatment Fundamental books to our sections. We formally made the Young Professional Representative Position a voting position. The Idaho Section created the new Pat Brown Memorial Scholarship. We planned a WEFMAX in Boise in 2021. The Construction Committee was made official with a Charter. And we will continue to experience more firsts as we navigate this new normal. The business meeting was followed by a fast-paced awards ceremony, complete with virtual applause, that recognized some of our incredible members for their hard work, dedication, and innovation in the face of adversity this past year. Check out the awards ceremony on the PNCWA YouTube channel. 

Climate Impact Survey

The University of Washington Climate Impacts Group is engaging staff and operators in the water sector in the broader Northwest region (WA, OR, ID, AK) in a series of conversations about how to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change. With support from the Water Research Foundation, they will be organizing several focus group calls, followed by a series of webinars, which will include training on how to access and use regionally relevant climate data and tools. To support peer-to-peer learning, UW Climate Impacts Group also plans to include case studies from regional operators that showcase how climate science is being used in support of building climate resilient water systems across the Northwest.  

Please help UW Climate Impacts Group tailor these sessions to fit your needs and interests by completing this brief survey. They are interested in hearing from water utilities and operators of all stripes—including drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and combined utilities—and are hoping to focus on small- to medium-sized utilities (serving populations <200,000).

Read More

PNCWA Statement Against Racism

PNCWA exists for the, “education… increased public understanding, and promotion of sound public laws and programs in the water resources and related environmental fields.” Like all of our members, PNCWA believes that the right to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, just like the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. And yet the recent senseless murders of Black Americans such as George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have shown us that we cannot talk about protecting human health and the environment without talking about the systemic racism and injustice that has existed from our nation’s beginning and still exists today. We realize our silence and inaction makes us complicit in denying certain segments of our population, like the Black Community, of their basic rights, not just to clean water but to life itself. We have much to learn.

Our membership is comprised of people who joined this industry to be a part of something greater than themselves – wanting and willing to make the world a better place. As PNCWA leaders, we promise that the Black Community does not simply have our solidarity but our enduring voices, resolved to help carry the burden of fighting institutional racism, discrimination, and bias. This is not a Black problem, but a human problem. And we call on all of our members to use their privilege and platforms to lessen the burden off of the shoulders of those who are the subject of these injustices.  This will take each and every one of us, committed to this hard work that must endure even after the protests have quieted and the headlines have faded.

Read More

Meet Mark Walter, PNCWA Contract Manager

When the Covid-19 crisis broke it impacted us all a little differently, but it was a reminder to all of us about the power of human connection. Mark Walter is the new PNCWA Contract Manager. His role is to facilitate connection between contracted vendors as well as to connect PNCWA members to the resources and support they need. While not a stranger to PNCWA involvement, we asked Mark to tell us a little more about himself, in his own words.

It has been exciting to serve as Contract Manager for the PNCWA as the association transitions to new business management practices. My experience with the PNCWA has been a wonderful part of my career in water quality. I cannot imagine a better group of people to be around. No matter what the challenge, PNCWA members rally together to solve some of the most complex water quality challenges.

I became a WEF member in 1988 as an Operator at Irvine Ranch Water District in California. My local Section was the Santa Ana River Basin Section, where I competed in the Scott Air Pack Challenge. This was a timed response to a simulated gas leak, back when gaseous chlorine was used for disinfection. I moved back to Oregon in the early ’90s and became a member of the NW Oregon Operators Section (now Lower Columbia Section), where I became an active Operations Challenge competitor. After several years competing, I served as the PNCWA Ops Challenge Chair, Oregon Region Director, and went on to serve on the PNCWA Board. I was elected as the PNCWA President in 2000. Throughout the 2000s, I dedicated my volunteer time to the Oregon Water Environment Foundation’s Water Environment School. In 2015, I was asked to establish the PNCWA Awards Committee. The Awards program exposed me again to the great contributions of the members of the PNW. The PNCWA Awards program continues to evolve as new members bring their “style” into the committee. We sure know how to have fun!

Read More

Bridging Connections: What's Your PNCWA Story?

With the PNCWA annual conference just around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to reflect on the myriad of reasons why membership and involvement are so important. Membership not only impacts our own professional development, but the connections we make have the potential to create ripples across the region. We asked a few PNCWA members to tell us their story and why PNCWA matters so much to them in their own words. We also hear from the Membership Committee Chair, Brittany Burch, about an exciting initiative PNCWA is taking on to build diversity in our member association. Read their story here.

WEF 2018 Progress Report

CARRY ON FOR CLEAN WATER: A MESSAGE FROM WEF LEADERSHIP

WE ARE THE REGENERATION
WE are The ReGeneration. What does it mean, and why did we choose it? It started with a mission to land on a unifying theme and call to action for WEFTEC that would clearly define why WEF and WEFTEC exist. The reason we are driven to achieve our shared purpose: to be a community of empowered professionals, who work together to create a healthy global water environment, by recovering, renewing, and reusing our water resources.

The ReGeneration is defined as a modern movement that’s made up of a diverse group of globally connected, innovative, and like-minded individuals of all ages and nationalities who share a common interest in renewable resources, recycling, and other means of sustaining the earth’s natural environment. It’s about harnessing the power of individuals working together for something greater. We didn’t make it up, nor do we know who did, but we can’t think of a better definition of who we are, what we do, and why we do it. What started off as a search for a catchy buzzword to inspire and unify turned into so much more. Among the many accomplishments that we achieved together in 2018, one that we are particularly proud of, ties very closely to the above definition. Last fall, the Board of Trustees approved new strategic goals. Among them is this: “Increase diversity and inclusiveness in the water sector through engagement and membership growth.”  Continue

Executive Director Search

The Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) is accepting proposals for an Executive Director (ED). We are looking for an inspirational leader to manage and grow this organization into the future. This position will report directly to the Board of Directors (Board) and is responsible for working with the Board to set strategic direction, represent member interests, promote educational opportunities for members, and perform outreach to current and potential members. Proposals are due to Jim Baird, PNCWA President, at [email protected], no later than the end of the day June 14th, 2019. Read about the position and search.

Adopt-A-School Grant Applications Due Dec. 21

Adopt-A-School Grant Applications Are Being Accepted

The Adopt-A-School program was established to support water science education, involvement and restoration activities by 4th-12th grade students in Oregon, Washington and Idaho who are working toward clean water education goals. The average project funding level is $500 per application/applicant, and will vary depending on the number of applicants and funding level request.Who should apply? Teachers, Schools, School Districts!

Read More

WEF Recognizes PNCWA With Outstanding Member Association Award:

Outstanding Member Association Award: Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association
The Member Association (MA) Awards were established to recognize outstanding Member Associations and MAs that excel in areas of membership retention, financial strength, new memberships, scholarship programs, student achievement and support, technology transfers, and/or award programs. The Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) has shown outstanding growth in conference attendance and membership and is a creative, forward-looking WEF Member Association. Their onboarding programs to drive new membership and new member involvement have resulted in steady increases in both membership and annual conference attendance. This MA has developed several new programs for students and young professionals in recent years, including a popular summit, an adopt-a-school program to support water science education, and a strong and growing scholarship fund. PNCWA is actively working to increase the diversity of its membership and leadership, and has also developed a strong financial position. WEF is honored to recognize the PNCWA Member Association for its achievements in developing a growing, energized and diverse membership of clean water professionals in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Financial Strength

PNCWA has grown over the past several years to a position of financial strength (23% increase in end of year balance since 2008). Total assets at the beginning of 2018 are over $250,000. The association budgets an increase in reserve (5% increase per year) which has allowed for increased growth in the reserves to $134,010. In 2013, PNCWA initiated the purchase of event insurance for its annual conference ensuring protection of the main revenue source for the association. At the same time, a site selection committee began to secure future conference locations. The Site Selection Committee completed a thorough investigation of conference venues in the Northwest, especially focusing on exhibitor space. New contracts for venues allow for adequate growth, protecting the future financial success of the annual conference. And in 2016, PNCWA developed a financial modelling tool to assist with budgeting and rate setting, allowing for thoughtful rate setting discussions.

Read More

WEF Asks You to Write Your Members of Congress!

Please write your Members of Congress today in support of the National Priorities Water Research Grant Program in FY 2019!  The Senate has given the program a slight boost to $5 million in FY 2019 in Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, while the House gave the program level funding of $4.1 million in their bill!  Please write your Members today in support of the Senate number!

Click here to learn more and reach out to your Members through our Water Advocates website today!

Calendar Photo Submissions—Who's Will Be Included?

These are looking pretty good...we need your entries too!

Read More

2018 Oregon Operators Conference Early Bird Registration Ends July 26

Oregon Operators Conference Aug 14-16 Canyonville OR

Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 8:00 AM to Thursday, August 16, 2018, 5:00 PM PDT

Read More

PNCWA2018 Gets Its Own Website

PNCWA2018 is now at conference.pncwa.org

The PNCWA Annual Conferences and Exhibitions have grown so much...more people, more exhibitors, more pretensions, and you guessed it, more information...that we have transitioned PNCWA2018 to its own website: conference.pncwa.org.

Call for Photos for the 2019 PNCWA Calendar

Back by popular demand, the PNCWA Member Services Committee is creating a calendar for 2019 which we will distribute at the PNCWA Annual Conference this fall. 

We put together amazing calendars for 2017 and for 2018 and we want to do it again. As a family of outstanding professionals who work hard to protect the environment and recover our resources, PNCWA wants to highlight the people, projects, and facilities that show the best of our industry in the Pacific Northwest.
Read on for your chance to be in the 2019 PNCWA Calendar!
 
Photo Requirements: 
  • The types of photos we are looking for include PNW water professionals in the office or in the field, PNW water professionals participating in water-related community programs, wastewater facilities, pump/lift stations, stormwater infrastructure, collection systems, etc. Be creative, be silly, be yourself. This calendar is intended to be a celebration of our industry and the work we all do as professionals protecting our most important resource: water! 
  • The photo must show water quality infrastructure and/or people from the Pacific Northwest
  • Also, the photo must be owned with no copyrights attached or where permission can be granted to PNCWA.
  • The photo must be digital and a printable quality of at least 300 dpi.
How to Submit:  
  • Use this form: Photo Submission form  and include a  caption for each photograph, describing who, what, and where 
When to Submit: 
  • Submissions are due by Aug 15, 2018.
For any additional questions, contact Brittany Burch.