The world’s largest annual water quality event will be held September 21to 25 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.

The Water Environment Federation’s 92nd Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, known as WEFTEC, provides the latest developments, technologies, and services for the water sector. This year’s event, ReGeneration: Workforce, will bring together more than 20,000 water professionals and 1,000 water companies from around the world to learn, connect, and work toward a better future for water.

Water Palooza (Sept. 20) & WEF Community Service Project (Sept. 21 from 9a.m. to 4 p.m.) Before WEFTEC even begins, Water Environment Federation (WEF) staff, volunteers, students, and locals will uniteto make a positive and lasting impact on the local communitywith two special events. On Friday, the Students and YoungProfessionals Committee (SYPC) will host its annualfun-filled, hands-on eventfor students at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academyto help educate themabout the value of water through engaging activitiesand displays from WEF and other water-conscious organizations and companies.SYPC members, volunteers, and residents will return the next day to put “knowledge into action” with the12thannualcommunity service project. Working in collaboration with the OPEN Center for the Arts, the team will transform the school’s entryway into a beautiful, welcoming green space, which will provide better stormwater management and educational components for the community.

Opening General Session (Sept. 23from 8:30 a.m. to 9:40 a.m. in Room S100) WEFTEC’s kick-off event will feature a keynote presentation fromDr. Lera Boroditsky,an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California San Diego and Editor-in-Chief ofFrontiers in Cultural Psychology. Boroditsky will bring a unique perspective to the topics of workforce development, diversity,and inclusion by sharing her research into how differences in language can shape the way we think, perceive,and respond to each other. The program will also feature a local welcome from Commissioner and President of the Metropolitan Water District of Greater ChicagoKari Steele,a preview of theBrave Blue Worlddocumentary,and an inspirational performance from renowned Chicago vocal group, Musicality.Also available via

Master Lecturer (Sept. 23 from 10:30 12:00 p.m. in Room S504d) Come hear Bruce Logan, the Evan Pugh Professor in Engineering and the Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, share the broad lessons he has learned from decades of research on renewable energy technologies and achieving an energy sustainable water infrastructure.

The Value of Water: Water’s Priceless! (Sept. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Room S405b) Many believe we know the true value of water but whatif we werefaced withthe prospect of no wateron a permanent basis?Or a future where the‘cost’ becomes much less relevant to findingsustainable water sources that are essentialtosurvival on earthand in space.Hear how NASA and the people of Singapore have faced suchchallenges and found innovative solutions that we may all haveto use in the future.

Scientists’ Luncheon (Sept. 23 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room S405b. Cost $40) As one of the brightest minds in the water sector, Dr. David Dzombak, the Hamerschlag University Professor and head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, will discuss the timely issue of water risk in the context of demand.

Other notable Monday plenaries:

  • Exploring Solutions Within the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Session 101)
  • Intelligent Water Systems Challenge: The Finals (Session 102)
  • From Research to Full-Scale Systems in a Decade: The Rapid Rise of Peracetic Acid for Wastewater Disinfection (Session 103)
  • Peak Flow Management: Where Do We Stand? (Session 104)
  • State and Future of Stormwater (Session 105)
  • Reuse on the Storm: Opening the Doors for
  • Stormwater Reclamation Across America (Session 106)

NEW in 2019: Workforce Pavilion (Booth 7761, North Hall B) Thebrand-newWorkforce Pavilion is designedto address some of the water sector’skey issues in recruiting, retaining, and developinga prepared workforce. Exhibitors working in key workforce areas–changing skillsets, diversity, inclusion, and attracting new talent–will offer their proven strategies to help youturn thesechallenges into opportunities. Additionally, a series of specialized but related WEFChats will facilitate informal discussions to give youa chance to share your ideas and meet experts withpotential solutions.

Utility Leaders Morning (Sept. 24.from 7:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. in Room S406a) Forward-thinking water leaders from around the world will discuss the most critical issues facing the sector. The program will also honor recipients of the 2019Utility of the Future Today recognitionreceived for work in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and resource recovery.

Operations Challenge (Sept. 23-24in Booths7007 and 7027, North Hall B) Someof the most elite operators in the world go head-to-head in this fast-paced, skills-based competition for wastewater and maintenance professionals. Now celebrating its 32ndevent, teams compete in five timed events that test specific abilities.

WEF Awards & Presidential Celebration (Sept. 24, from 4:30 to 5 p.m. in S100 Lobby) The WEF Awards honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the water environment profession, WEF, and its Member Associations. 2018-19 WEF President Tom Kunetzwill alsopass leadership to 2019-2020 WEF President Jackie Jarrell.

NEW in 2019: Closing Session (Sept. 25 from 2:30 3:30 p.m. in Room S401) If you have an opening, you need a closing! New this yearis a fun and light-hearted wrap of the 2019 experience that will feature a special “WEFTEC through the Years” performance from Kunetz and his friends from Chicago’sfamed Second City improv group.

For more information about WEFTEC and other featured events:

Download the WEFTEC Mobile App,

Podcast: Listen to a preview episode.

Twitter: @WEFTEC, #WEFTEC19

For the Media:Visit the WEFTEC media page for information on registration, the press room, and other resources.

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