AWWA Annual Conference Comes to a Close

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022

The American Water Works Association wrapped its 2022 Annual Conference & Exposition, or ACE22, earlier this week in San Antonio. ACE22 showcased innovation, smart technologies and new programs that address critical issues to protect one of the world's most important resources: the water sector.

The conference featured technical sessions, keynotes and an exhibit hall, as well as several competitions, education sessions and networking events from June 12-15.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall opened on Monday (June 15), and featured over 400 exhibitors, including Technology Publishing Company’s Water BidTracker and the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings. A full list of exhibitors can be found here.

ACE22 also featured its Innovation Hub, a “curated space designed to celebrate and embrace change.” Here, attendees came together to share ideas and designs on topics such as technology, water treatment and protection, resource recovery and more.

“At ACE22 the hub-and-spoke concept formed the basis for the Innovation Hub, which is also projected in Isle Utilities’ logo, our partner in innovation,” wrote the association. “The center of the Hub is a space for people to come together and share ideas.

“Branching out of the Hub are the Spokes which attendees navigate throughout the Hub. Each year the Innovation Hub continues to grow and offers exciting new professional sessions meant to stimulate innovative thinking and best practices.”


Throughout the conference, AWWA hosted several annual competitions to challenge professionals in water infrastructure and their skills.

Hydrant Hysteria is a fast-paced competition where two-member teams assemble a specified hydrant as quickly as they can. The women’s section was awarded to the Hydrant Honeys from the North Carolina Section and first place men’s went to Wauconda/Des Plaines from the Illinois Section.

According to AWWA, Top Ops is the “college bowl” of the water industry, where AWWA sections compete against each other in a question-and-answer tournament with technical questions and math problems. This year, the winners were The East Bay Ozonators from California and Nevada.

The AWWA National Tapping Competition is a timed competition to open a cement-lined, ductile iron pipe and install a tap. First place at ACE22 went to the Big D Lady Tappers from Texas in the Women’s competition and the SADM Apodaca from Mexico in the Men’s section.

AWWA also hosted its Meter Challenge, where contestants assemble a specified water meter from a bucket of parts. First place was awarded to David Marinella of the Ohio Section at 32.87.

Education, Networking

ACE22 included events for seasoned and young professionals alike throughout the week, such as technical sessions and continuing education. Networking events also featured receptions, a networking happy hour and cookies with AWWA’s mascot, Eddy.

Some topics covered at the conference included cybersecurity in the water sector, managing lead in water, PFAS and water plant operations. ACE22 also hosted an interactive discussion with Radhika Fox from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water covering the bipartisan infrastructure law, the lead and copper rule and more.

AWWA’s Water 2050 initiative was also officially launched on June 13 at the event, with a goal to stablish a long-term vision of the future of water. A keynote panel, “The Last Drop,” closed the event to focus on the new initiative and a video, “The Future We Create,” premiered at the conference featuring AWWA Young Professionals.

Water 2050 aims to engage in meaningful conversations, enlist strategic partners, foster intergenerational responsibility and capture collective knowledge. AWWA notes that this supports the critical mission of the water community: safe water, healthy people and a sustainable planet.

If you were unable to attend the conference but still wish to participate, AWWA is offering ACE22 Virtual through mid-July. Over 30 hours of curated content from 25 select sessions were recorded at the event and are available for purchase to be accessed 24/7.

Next year, ACE23 is anticipated to be held in Toronto from June 11-14.


Tagged categories: AWWA; AWWA Annual Conference; Conferences; Education; Infrastructure; JPCL; NA; Networking; North America; Program/Project Management; Technology Publishing Co.; Water BidTracker; Water/Wastewater

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