Your Opinions Wanted

I would like to know what you think about WaterWorld. Do we provide useful information? Can we make the magazine better?

by James Laughlin

I would like to know what you think about WaterWorld. Do we provide useful information? Can we make the magazine better? How?

I have been editor of WaterWorld magazine for just over 10 years. During that time I’ve attended dozens of conferences & exhibitions, toured several drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, and talked with hundreds of people working in the water industry.

I believe I have a pretty good handle on the general state of the industry and the topics of discussion out there in the water world, but I know very little about how you, the reader, view our magazine.

WaterWorld is aimed specifically at the Municipal drinking water and wastewater market in the U.S. and Canada. Our coverage typically starts where water is drawn from the environment and ends when it is discharged from a wastewater plant. Although we do write about broader environmental issues, our focus is on technologies, regulations, management issues and other topics directly related to water treatment and distribution/collection.

As you probably know, WaterWorld is not an association magazine with high-level technical content. We strive to provide moderately technical articles that tell you about products and systems being used in the municipal water industry.

While we love to receive articles from utilities and engineers working in the industry, many of the articles that appear in WaterWorld come directly or indirectly from manufacturers. It can be a challenge to write about a specific product without the article sounding like a sales pitch, but my goal is to present information about the technology in a non-commercial and informative manner.

On a personal note, I like to read car magazines in my spare time. I don’t mind when an article tells me that someone installed a Holley carburetor on an Edelbrock manifold and used Torquer heads to make 400 horsepower out of a Chevy small block. It’s nice to know those systems work together. My eyes start to glaze over, however, when I see phrases like highest-flowing, lowest maintenance, cost-effective, user-friendly, gold-plated wonder machine.

In another regard, putting together an issue of WaterWorld can be a balancing act. The “balance” comes from devoting equal time and space to drinking water versus wastewater topics, and treatment plant versus distribution/collection system issues. I’ve been accused of leaning toward drinking water, or more toward the treatment side of things at the expense of the distribution system. I’m sure that’s true at times.

So, let me know what you think. Are there subjects that we are missing? Projects or new technologies you would like to see featured? More of this, and less of that? Good or bad, I want to hear what you think.

Send your comments via e-mail to me at jamesl@pennwell.com. Depending on the response, I will publish select e-mails in the May issue of WaterWorld. If you don’t want your comments published, feel free to say so.

(By the way, if you tell me you would like to see an article on a specific project or technology being used by your water utility, don’t be surprised if I ask you to write one!)

James Laughlin, Editor

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