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Monday, July 22, 2024

Water Consciousness in the Valley

By Shelby Tuttle

The 97th Annual AZ Water Conference and Exhibition, held at the Phoenix Convention Center from April 23 to 25, brought together nearly 3,000 water professionals from across Arizona. This premier water industry event served as a central hub for leaders, professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders.


Celebrating Arizona’s Water Professionals

Coinciding with Arizona Water Professionals Appreciation Week, the conference highlighted the vital role these professionals play in the state’s water security. Senator Priya Sundareshan and Representative Betty Villegas presented a proclamation recognizing Arizona Water Professionals, further honoring 13 individuals from AZ Water Association.


A Diverse Program for Learning and Development

The conference offered a comprehensive program featuring keynote presentations, panel discussions, technical sessions, learning exchanges, and exhibition hall tours. Attendees gained valuable insights from over 180 technical presentations, four panels, five learning exchanges, and a new conservation workshop. These sessions covered a wide range of topics including water management, water and wastewater operations, the use of AI and new technologies, communication, leadership, and conservation.

Inspiring Keynotes and a Vibrant Exhibition Hall

The event featured prominent keynote speakers, including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, water sanitation expert Jack Sim (“Mr. Toilet”), AWWA Delegate Randy Moore, and WEF Delegate Howard Carter. These experts shared their knowledge on water management, wastewater operations, and the importance of water resources. Senator Mark Kelly delivered a video message emphasizing the critical role of water and the professionals who manage it.

The vibrant exhibition hall showcased over 260 vendors — providing attendees with a chance to explore cutting-edge advancements and technologies in water and wastewater treatment — and fostered valuable connections between attendees and product vendors.

Building Connections and Fostering Camaraderie

Beyond the educational offerings, the conference featured special events to create a sense of community among participants. These included a service project at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, a golf tournament and awards ceremony, dinner at The Churchill, operator competitions, and several sponsored hospitality events.

Looking Ahead

The 97th Annual AZ Water Conference and Exhibition was a resounding success, thanks to the tireless efforts of organizers, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees. The event leaves participants with valuable knowledge, inspiration, and a renewed commitment to all things water in Arizona.

The 98th Annual AZ Water Conference will return to Phoenix on April 15-17, 2025. For more information, visit www.azwater.org


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