The Future Looks Bright: WWEMA Builds on Milestones from the Past Year in New Strategic Plan

Jan. 23, 2015
Vanessa Leiby, WWEMA executive director, reflects on the Association's accomplishments in 2014 and outlines some details of its 2015-2017 Strategic Plan. Further, she explained that WWEMA plans to build on many of these successes and expand on its efforts in the areas of "Advocate, Inform and Connect" -- the three themes of the plan

By Vanessa Leiby

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since I became the new executive director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA). It has been a very busy year filled with meeting members, expanding my knowledge about the water and wastewater equipment industry, relocating the office, and helping to craft our 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.

Highlighted below are just a few of WWEMA's accomplishments this past year:
  • WWEMA members worked together to secure exemptions for a host of products from the restrictive "American Iron and Steel" (AIS) language in the 2014 Appropriations Act and the newly passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act. Pumps, blowers, SCADA equipment, membrane filtration systems, filters, clarifiers, rakes, grinders, disinfection systems, and more were specifically designated as exempt, resulting in significant savings in time, money and bureaucratic hassles for many of our members.
  • As a member of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Coalition, WWEMA supported the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act of 2014 to amend the U.S. Internal Revenue Code to exempt private activity bonds from state volume caps for water and wastewater projects and worked on several other legislative initiatives.
  • WWEMA co-chaired a technical session at American Water Works Association's (AWWA) 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE) on innovative technology and continues to collaborate with AWWA, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the states, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to advance members' concerns and ideas on breaking down barriers to adopting new technologies within our industry.
  • WWEMA provided input into ongoing international trade discussions through our participation on the Department of Commerce Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee and development of a list of environmental goods for tariff reduction trade negotiations.
  • WWEMA and its members actively engaged with EPA rule managers and division directors on a plethora of regulatory issues.
  • Through the efforts of WWEMA's Marketing & Member Services Committee, we introduced a new member benefit: a quarterly WWEMA/Janney Leading Demand Index to provide insight into market and funding conditions related to municipal water and wastewater projects -- insights that offer real marketing and operational advantages.
  • To further enhance member communication, we formalized the publication of a weekly email Member Bulletin and added a "Market Watch" section to keep members apprised of local and state funding for water and wastewater projects. We also improved the timeliness and quality of articles for our bi-monthly Washington Analysis newsletter.
  • We hosted several meetings, including our Washington Forum, the Finance and Contracts Administration Council, the Presidents Council, and our Annual Member meeting, as well as exhibited at ACE, WEF's 2014 Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Annual Meeting.

So where do we go in 2015? We plan to build on many of the aforementioned actions as well as expand our efforts in the areas of "Advocate, Inform and Connect" -- the three themes of our Strategic Plan.

We will do this by providing new member services such as webinars; connecting more intentionally with state regulators and engineering firms to provide opportunities for education and reduce barriers to technology acceptance; and exploring new business opportunities not only in the water and wastewater municipal markets but also in new markets such as water reuse and the industrial sector.

Most importantly, we will continue to raise our voices for equipment manufacturers and their representatives who are supplying the leading-edge environmental solutions for today and tomorrow.

Join WWEMA today and add your voice to those of your colleagues and peers. Together we can make an even brighter future. Visit us at

About the Author: Vanessa Leiby is the executive director of WWEMA, located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1908, WWEMA has been representing the interests of equipment manufacturers to Congress, federal agencies and other stakeholders for over 106 years.

More WaterWorld Current Issue Articles
More WaterWorld Archives Issue Articles

Sponsored Recommendations

ArmorBlock 5000: Boost Automation Efficiency

April 25, 2024
Discover the transformative benefits of leveraging a scalable On-Machine I/O to improve flexibility, enhance reliability and streamline operations.

Rising Cyber Threats and the Impact on Risk and Resiliency Operations

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

State of Smart Manufacturing Report Series

April 25, 2024
The world of manufacturing is changing, and Generative AI is one of the many change agents. The 2024 State of Smart Manufacturing Report takes a deep dive into how Generative ...

SmartSights WIN-911 Alarm Notification Software Enables Faster Response

March 15, 2024
Alarm notification software enables faster response for customers, keeping production on track