By Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor

Successful shows, websites and Wall Street: It’s all about value

You’ll find a full review of the Water Quality Association convention in this issue and online at the magazine’s website—www.wcp.net—under the “Feature Story” button.

For the last couple of years, we’ve found there’s so much discussed at the show it’s not feasible to include it all in the magazine itself. Therefore, we use our website—where space is generally not at a premium—to augment our traditional print outlet. We’re kind of proud of it here because nowhere will you find broader coverage of the convention…

…which brings me to point No. 2. Hopefully, the revamped WQA website is now online and we have a bit more competition for filling you in on the trade show. The current site, from the get-go, has been clunky and a bit unprofessional in appearance. It’s earlier incarnation presented a much better image of the industry to the public. If a new site hasn’t been put online by the time you read this, the WQA will have missed a perfect opportunity to coordinate release of the long-promised, fully interactive site with National Drinking Water Week—which also coincides with a major PR campaign planned by the association the first week of this month. For all WQA executive director Peter Censky’s talk at the past two conventions of creating a “virtual water industry community” on the Internet, this issue needs some virtual reality.

At the convention, WC&P did the Roundtable Reception of its Technical Review Committee a little differently this year. With the group going into it’s fifth year (and the millennium and all), we invited all past members to join us. We’d like to recognize them because their expertise and dedication is a big part of what buoys the magazine’s reputation. As well as the people in the column to the right on this page, past members include: John Beauchamp, Frank Borowski, James Dallan, Jerry Davis, Gil Dhawan, Mike Gottlieb, Bob Hidell, David Kronmiller, David Martin, C.F. “Chubb” Michaud, Ken Mouw, Phil Olsen, Mike Pedersen, Kathy Ransome, Jesse Rodriguez, Bill Sax, Steve Singer and Jack Slovak.

Not everyone could make it, but the 20 people that were present were well spoken. There was a lively discussion about the importance of getting back to the basics on articles, i.e., that 3-to-5 year cycle of presenting fundamentals of various technologies over again. A debate on the tradeoffs of promoting ion exchange for arsenic removal got a bit heated since it requires special oversight because of the risks. Other topics included: commercial/industrial niche markets, the Water Quality Society, affects of industry consolidation and more large manufacturers going past the dealer direct to the end user.

After the convention, we all got back to the to-do lists and stacks of paper back at our offices. And in scanning headlines of week-old stories on the stock market and water industry in particular, I was a little distraught that—with all the ups and downs on Wall Street—water industry stocks seem to be floundering. Then, I did a mindset check and realized that lacking the wild swings in value of the “dotcoms” wasn’t necessarily a negative. After all, who wants to earn a bundle one day only to lose it the next. As Osmonics’ Dean Spatz predicted a few months ago, though, investors are once again looking for value. Let’s give it to them.

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