Water Online

November 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

Issue link: https://wateronline.epubxp.com/i/896704

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Page 8 of 29

wateronline.com n Water Innovations Hopes And Fears For Our Water Legacy EDITOR'S LETTER By Kevin Westerling Chief Editor, editor@wateronline.com 6 I n early October, I covered the annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) for Water Online, as I have for the past nine years. That makes me a mere rookie relative to most of the attendees, and yet I'm an industry veteran to many others. This age disparity is a major talking point in the water industry, and it took center stage at WEFTEC17. The concern is that the workforce, particularly water/wastewater treatment plant operators, skews older and is set to retire at a higher rate over the next decade than the national average compared to other industries. Some have termed it "brain drain," referring to the institutional knowledge that goes out the door as retirees hang up their hard hats. So how does that knowledge get transferred to the next generation of operators? How do we attract young people to the cause and vocation of water stewardship at a time when water issues are more critical than ever? And are they ready for the challenge? The hopes and fears of water professionals of all ages were on display — literally — at WEFTEC17, in the midst of Chicago's McCormick Place concourse. Attendees were asked "What is your hope for your Water Legacy?" as well as "What is your greatest fear around your Water Legacy?" These simple questions summoned responses that reflect all that is good and worrisome about our industry and must have been an especially emotional exercise for those just embarking on a career or leaving one behind. The ballot-box responses were artistically rendered onto a giant chalkboard, creating an enlightening collage that developed as the show progressed. The world's largest annual water quality event provides the setting for a public display of water affection — and anxiety. 101 Gibraltar Road, Suite 100 Horsham, PA 19044 PH: (215) 675-1800 FX: (814) 899-5587 Email: info@wateronline.com Website: www.wateronline.com CHIEF EDITOR Kevin Westerling (215) 675-1800 ext. 120 kwesterling@vertmarkets.com PUBLISHER Travis Kennedy (215) 675-1800 ext. 122 tkennedy@vertmarkets.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Patrick Gallagher (215) 675-1800 ext. 129 pgallagher@vertmarkets.com PRODUCT MANAGER Bill King (215) 675-1800 ext. 100 bking@vertmarkets.com MANAGING EDITOR Angel Clark (814) 897-9000 ext. 285 aclark@vertmarkets.com PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Lynn Netkowicz (814) 897-9000 ext. 205 lnetkowicz@vertmarkets.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Susan Day (215) 675-1800 ext. 101 sday@vertmarkets.com DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Martin Zapolski (814) 897-9000 ext. 337 mzapolski@vertmarkets.com DIRECTOR OF ONLINE DEVELOPMENT Art Glenn aglenn@vertmarkets.com Reprints, Eprints, and NXTprints The YGS Group (800) 290-5460 VertMarketsReprints@theYGSgroup.com www.theYGSgroup.com ADDRESS CORRECTIONS Send to Water Online at above address, or email circ@vertmarkets.com. Please give old and new address, and enclose or reference your latest mailing label. Copyright © 2017, VertMarkets, Inc.

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