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AMWA’s 2023 Water Policy Conference has concluded after two jam-packed days in Washington, D.C. The conference gathered water executives from around the country to discuss the industry’s legislative and regulatory issues through various presentations from thought leaders, congressional leaders, and EPA officials.

The first day kicked off with a successful Board of Directors meeting where members approved several updates to the association’s bylaws. The formal programming began with a presentation from Bureau Chief and Senior Political Columnist for POLITICO, Jonathan Martin, who discussed the relationship between Congress and the White House.

Next, Radhika Fox, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, discussed the agency’s future goals, stating that “we all do better when we have access to clean water.” She also received the 2022 Donald R. Boyd Award from AMWA President John Entsminger, General Manager of Las Vegas Valley Water District. 

The second day began with a presentation from Manny Teodoro, Associate Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “The Profits of Distrust: Citizen Consumers, Drinking Water, and the Crisis of Confidence in American Government,” who shared his insights on customer faith in drinking water quality.

“Water agencies are pillars of our civilization. They sustain our lives and our democracy,” said Teodoro. “Distrust in the tap is dangerous as it can lead to distrust in the government.”

Additionally, AMWA members heard from Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) about his water policy agenda for the year, and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MIch.), who announced the introduction of the Financing Lead Out of Water (FLOW) Act, Rep. Ed. Markey (D-Mass.) also delivered a message to the group about his new legislation to promote participation in WaterISAC.

The conference concluded on Tuesday afternoon with an interactive discussion between AMWA CEO Tom Dobbins and conference participants regarding their thoughts on the sector’s future.

“We will definitely be leaving this conference with a sense of urgency on how we can better serve our communities,” said Tad Bohannon, CEO of Central Arkansas Water.