Welcome to the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Hawaii Section. AWWA is an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world. Its more than 50,000 members represent the full spectrum of the drinking water community: treatment plant operators and managers, scientists, environmentalists, manufacturers, academicians, regulators, and others who hold genuine interest in water supply and public health. Membership includes more than 4,000 utilities that supply water to roughly 180 million people in North America.
Membership is divided into 43 sections that conduct seminars and lectures throughout the year for both the members and the public. Technical papers and presentations are given and discussed at the annual meeting.
The AWWA HAWAII SECTION
The AWWA Hawaii Section was established in 1975 and is dedicated to the promotion of public health and welfare in the provision of drinking water of unquestionable quality and sufficient quantity for Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and other Pacific American Commonwealths, Trusts, Territories, and possessions.
The purpose of the AWWA Hawaii Section is the advancement and dissemination of knowledge concerning the improvement of practice in the design, construction, operation and management of water works and all related activities. The AWWA Hawaii Section must be proactive and effective in advancing the technology, science, management, and government policies relative to the stewardship of water.
CHAIR'S MESSAGE - Mark Ohigashi
As I am writing to you from California during the most devastating wildfires that I remember in my lifetime, I am reminded about how precious water really is and how, in Hawaii, due to the conscientious management of our Hawaii Section water utility members, we are blessed to have a true water “supply.” In my hotel room, a sign explains bluntly and directly that from Northern to Southern California, the whole state has been experiencing and will continue to experience crippling drought, so all too politely management requests to “please reuse your towels and take short showers instead of tub baths.” Mark, besides the fact that you are probably not going to honor this request, where are you going with this? Is this leading into a discussion on climate change? Or drought? Or conservation? Or water rights? Or, perhaps even, hotel management?
And that is my point, water is more than just a drop in the bucket, it is complex: it is a necessity and a commodity, it is abundant and scarce, it can be cheap or valuable, it can be good and bad in both large and small quantities, and it is fragile in that a small drop can poison an entire well or is strong enough to cut steel. Playing devil’s advocate, only a handful of people think that water conservation, while a great thing for protecting the supply of a source, comes at a cost — conservation can cause a dip in revenue for a water utility, putting a strain on a capital improvement budget for replacing a pipeline that keeps breaking (and most would argue that that is a bad thing). The complexity of water is a collection of fine lines that we, as water professionals and humans that rely on water, walk each day.
So my message is, as the approaching holiday season reminds us to be thankful for what we have, let’s remind each other (even beyond our membership) to not only be thankful for every drop that comes out of our faucets, but to also be thankful for how it got there.
In that same spirit, I would love to hear about our everyday water heroes (doesn’t have to be about an AWWA member). Please send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe it will be published in our next newsletter.
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