In 2019, the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) launched its InFLOW (Introducing Future Leaders to Opportunities in Water) program modeled after the WEF program of the same name. The InFLOW program engages underrepresented groups in the form of sponsorships to attend the annual conference and 11 students and emerging professionals had the opportunity to attend PNCWA19 in Portland, OR. Building off the successes and the lessons learned from the first year of the program, PNCWA continued in its mission to empower the future leaders of the water industry and help build a more diverse and inclusive world. Following the cancellation of the 2020 conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 cohort was invited to attend the virtual PNCWA Summit Series. To ensure the participants could still attend in an in-person Conference, the 2020 cohort continued into 2021 and the PNCWA InFLOW subcommittee restructured the program to include a five-part workshop series in preparation for the 2021 PNCWA Conference. These five workshops focused on an introduction to the various paths within the water industry, networking, skills development, employment opportunities, and conference preparation. In 2022, the PNCWA InFLOW program successfully held its 2nd year of workshops and six scholarships were awarded for participants to attend PNCWA22 in Spokane, WA. Each year, the participants present at conference, sharing their perspectives on the industry they are entering.  


The PNCWA program has grown into a unique entity that operates differently than WEF's InFLOW. In order to continue developing our program to best serve our region, we have rebranded for the 2023 cohort. This year we are introducing the PNCWA WAVE Program: Leading the Future of Water. The WAVE Program will continue to engage students and emerging professionals from diverse backgrounds with the water industry. The cohort will participate in the five skills building workshops developed in 2020 and receive sponsored attendance to the PNCWA annual conference. After a competitive application process, we accepted 15 individuals to this year’s cohort. Keep an eye out for profiles on each participant which will be posted in the Digest over the next 6 months! Fun fact: ever since the inaugural 2019 class, an InFLOW participant has stepped into the Vice Chair role for the InFLOW (now WAVE) Sub-Committee! 


Here's what past InFLOW participants have to say about the program. 

“Attending PNCWA as a part of the InFLOW cohort was such a rewarding experience. The conference opened my eyes to new and exciting opportunities, expanded my network to the greater PNW area, and reaffirmed my interests in pursuing a career in the water industry. I hope to always be a part of PNCWA and do my part in giving back to future InFLOW cohorts.” - Geneva Schlepp 

“I loved how friendly and welcoming the PNCWA community was toward our InFLOW group. Post-conference I'm feeling very encouraged in my choice to pursue a career in water and happy to be included by my fellow water industry members. As we look toward a more diverse and equitable future in our industry however, I pose the question of not just how do you get people involved and excited, but how to you retain them and make them feel welcome in the long term.” - Madison Whitlow-Hewett 

“I loved being present at PNCWA for the very first time! The people and workshops were great. I think the main thing I kept thinking about at the conference is how, probably, in a few years' time, I'll be a seasoned water professional talking to the inFLOW class about my experience.” - Edgar Sanchez Fausto 

If you're interested in helping support the WAVE Program cohort, contact the WAVE subcommittee here.