Show Preview: ACE20

May 15, 2020
Water and wastewater professionals from around the globe will convene in Orlando, Fla., next month for the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) 139th Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE20).

Exhibit Floor Hours
Monday, June 14 | 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 15 | 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 16 | 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) 139th Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE20) will be held June 14–17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.* Each year, the world’s largest and longest-running utility conference in the United States welcomes water and wastewater professionals from across the globe, including leaders in drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and water reuse, who will network and learn together during educational workshops, sessions and facility tours.

Professional sessions fall into several categories, including advances in water treatment, asset management, distribution and plant operations and management, emerging contaminants, infrastructure design and project delivery, management, potable reuse, small systems operation and management, utility risk and resilience, infrastructure design and project delivery, water quality challenges and more.

One of the show’s highlights this year is the Water Industry Luncheon, which on Tuesday will feature keynote speaker Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African-American female combat pilot. Armour has inspired countless organizations and individuals throughout her lifetime. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she holds two honorary doctorates, was a Diversity Liaison Officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps and is a member of the COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She has received numerous awards as a pioneering pilot for her commanding role in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Preregistration and a $60 registration fee is required for this event.

The latest technologies and innovations in the industry will be on display in nearly 2,000 booths in the exhibit hall. Attendees will get the chance to view the latest products and services while they meet with multiple vendors under one roof (for a sneak peek at what will be on display, see our ACE Exhibitor Showcase on the following pages).

Be sure to stop by the Innovation Lounge at Booth 2922. As in previous years, the Lounge features emerging technologies and innovation resources, a robust lineup of programming and speakers, and networking events. Powered by Isle Utilities, some of the topics being touched on this year include: cyber and data security, novel approaches to resiliency, global trends in non-revenue water, resource recovery, application of drone technology, and leveraging artificial intelligence for optimization.

There are numerous competitions on the exhibit hall floor at ACE, too. The World Water Cup, an international drilling and tapping competition among champion men’s teams from North America, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will be held on Monday, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Organizations host national competitions at their conventions: AWWA in North America, the Institute of Water in the UK, and Waternetwerk in the Netherlands. National champions are then invited to compete for the World Water Cup champion title. Hydrant Hysteria (Finals Wednesday), Meter Madness (Monday), Pipe Tapping (Finals Wednesday), and Top Ops (Finals Wednesday) bring a little more excitement to the exhibit hall floor — you don’t want to miss them! See the official ACE20 program for additional details and times.

Facility tours (available for an additional fee) always draw a large crowd because of their exciting locations and a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at some major attractions’ water operations. Options this year include: the Claude H. Dyal Water Treatment Plant (City of Cocoa), Potable Reuse Pilot (City of Altamonte Springs), Stanton Energy Plant (Orlando Utilities Commission), the Orlando Wetlands Park, and Tampa Bay Water’s Surface Water Treatment Plant, to name a few.

To register or learn more about ACE20, visit the official show website at WW

*Editor’s Note: As we were going to press on this issue of WaterWorld, AWWA announced it had officially canceled its annual conference and exposition. Please visit for the latest information.