Chris Wilker, President WQA
Happy New Year! The new year brings in the 116th Congress to Washington, DC. Those elected will be faced with tough decisions about issues such as the trade, economy, infrastructure, drinking water and US EPA directives. The impact on businesses could be significant. Further complicating the issues will be the fact that many of those elected will have little background on drinking water chemistry, alternatives to centralized treatment and the challenges facing our industry today. Therefore, I am addressing you to discuss ways you can actively participate in our political dialogue.
1. Learn about the Water Quality Association’s Political Action Committee (WQA-PAC). The WQA-PAC was created from feedback WQA leadership received from members to enhance the association’s presence in DC. It is an opportunity to share the water treatment industry story. Check out the WQA-PAC webpage (https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/government-affairs/pac).
2. Sign up for the 2019 Water Resources Congressional Summit on March 5-6. Coordinated by WQA, this two-day event in DC offers you the opportunity to meet with congressional offices. With a better understanding of the role we play in helping those who work and live in America, Congress can provide the framework to improve the quality of life for Americans. As we have seen in years past, continuing this dialogue has brought our industry into the fold as a primary provider of solutions to drinking water issues. To register, visit this link: https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/government-affairs and https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/regulatory-affairs.
3. Attend the WQA Convention & Exposition from April 23-25. Along with a full education program and tradeshow, attendees can observe WQA committee meetings as a chance to keep informed on industry issues. On the government affairs side, be sure to check out the Federal Government Affairs Committee and the Regional & State Government Affairs Committee meetings.
4. Visit the Government Affairs and Regulatory Affairs webpages (https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/government-affairs and https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/regulatory-affairs). Access additional resources and updates on government affairs and regulations, including China/US tariffs and counterfeiting.
In 2018, we saw several wins for the industry, including securing federal funding for the CDC to conduct a nationwide study on PFASs; securing federal funding for POU/POE installations in rural water systems and private wells, and multiple states embracing the final-barrier concept by requiring water filters be installed to protect consumers from lead. To learn more about our achievements in 2018, I encourage you to read the 2018 Government Affairs Recap Report at https://www.wqa.org/programs-services/government-affairs/updates-and-bills-list.
Let’s take advantage of this momentum! Our WQA Government Affairs Team is here to help and answer your questions. Please direct those questions to WQA Global Government Affairs Manager, Kathleen Fultz, firstname.lastname@example.org.