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
I am honored, and if I am at all honest, a bit nervous, to be serving as your Hawaii Section Chair for the 2018-2019 term. Do not get me wrong in that statement—it is my duty to advocate for our membership and for the water that supplies our ohana’s homes, which I will do vigorously over the next year without hesitation. But I am nervous because I have found myself in the seat of giants in our industry and our community. The list of the first 22 Chairs of the Hawaii Section over our 44-year history (in order from the first) includes revered names like: Edward Hirata, Francis Mau, Brian Gray, James Kumagai, Edward Lau, R.H.F Young, William Thompson, Kazu Hayashida, Melvin Koizumi, William Sewake, Raymond Sato, Robert Akinaka, Manabu Tagomori, Royce Fukunaga, Thomas Arizumi, Melvin Waki, Carl Nagami, George Tengan, Kenneth Yonamine, Paul Seitz, Linda Bauer and Ivan Nakatsuka. See?? Can you seriously say that you have not seen one of these names on a plaque somewhere in your office or in your community? Can you see the source of my nervousness?
In all seriousness, those that know me, know that I am humbled by and appreciate the past (that is why I am often caught humming “before I was born” music or I can dominate “random” trivia, which is the code word for “old,” over my peers). In that same vein, I just wanted to take the time to have our membership learn and appreciate those that have shaped the organization that we have become, especially our most recent 2017-2018 Executive Committee: Chair (now Past Chair) Juanita Colon, Treasurer Audrey Yokota, Secretary (now Treasurer) Susan Uyesugi, and Director (continuing) Daryl Hiromoto. I also wanted to thank our new additions to the 2018-2019 Executive Committee, Vice Chair Kevin Ihu and Secretary Kapiolani Street, for joining us in our mission to make this organization better while maintaining the legacy of those that came before us. I also wanted to point out that our Hawaii Section website (https://hiawwa.org) has changed over the last year thanks to the hard work of our Website Committee Chair Joanna Seto. On the website, you will not only find out the latest happenings and events of our organization, but there is a nifty “Archives” link to see where the Hawaii Section has its roots.
A big mahalo to our Board of Trustees, Committee Chairs and committee members for coming together and setting the course for this coming year at our Strategic Planning Meeting, held in April. There was great and very honest discussion on what the Hawaii Section has been and can be in the future. This is your Section, so there are no secrets when I tell you that the results of that discussion boiled down to the following focus points: reviving island-by-island workshops and operator training, increasing member value, Board succession planning, membership retention and investing for the future of the organization. If you would like to be involved in these discussions or have suggestions on how we can meet these goals, please don’t hesitate to contact me or anyone on the Board of Trustees.
I am excited to meet you all over the next year, so feel free to introduce yourself and say, “howzit?!”
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