Our theme for the WQA Convention and Exposition in Orlando April 1-3 is Vision 20/20 and there is no better time to peer into the future and begin to plan for the changes our dealers, manufacturers and suppliers will face in the coming decade. Every year I look forward to convention because of the discussions and debates that drive our vision for the future. It doesn’t matter if these engaging ideas come from private conversations or public discussions, together they help us set the vision of who we are as individuals and as the WQA, and that helps us make a more robust industry and a better world for us all.
Technology will play a key role in promoting the betterment of water quality around the world. To that end, we are launching an Innovation Showcase at this year’s convention. Exhibitors can display new products or leading-edge innovations in a special area on the trade-show floor. More than 240 companies will be exhibiting at this convention and we’ll also offer a wide range of education sessions on water quality issues, emerging contaminants and treatment solutions. By doing so, we expect to expose convention goers to many new ideas and innovations as part of their Vision 20/20.
Speaking of technology, we are concerned about consumer confusion and that our products and their performance capabilities are clearly explained and marketed. That is why, starting this year, a revised WQA Code of Ethics guides members in using marketing terms as defined in the WQA Knowledge Base Glossary. We want to make sure, for example, that member companies avoid using the term ‘water softener’ in ways that are inconsistent with how our industry has defined it.
We also continue to battle marketing scams that cause harm to consumers and our industry’s reputation. We want to be able to talk about legitimate water quality concerns and trustworthy solutions without crossing the line into scare tactics or violating the Code of Ethics marketing guidelines. Expect to hear more about that at the convention and beyond.
When it comes to legitimate water quality concerns, WQA will continue to monitor and speak authoritatively about issues such as lead, per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) and other contaminants in the news. We remain vigilant about lead. In October, we supported the city of Newark, NJ (and WQA member PUR) in their efforts to educate the public on the use of certified products to protect against lead in drinking water.
We continue to reach out to regulators and legislators, serving as a valuable source of information and expertise on water quality issues. WQA’s Government and Regulatory Affairs department has been successfully building recognition for WQA and its members on Capitol Hill, within federal agencies and in key state legislatures. We’ll be in Washington, DC again in March for our annual Water Resources Congressional Summit with the Irrigation Association and National Groundwater Association. At this event (known more informally as the DC Fly-In) members have a unique opportunity to have their voices heard in the halls and offices of the Capitol.
Lastly, we envision continued growth in professional and product certification as we train the next generation of water treatment professionals, while testing and certifiying the products that consumers will need to address the growing water quality challenges across our nation and around the world. The vision is clear, bold and exciting. We invite those in the industry who are not yet members to join with us and help us meet these new opportunities head on. Let’s make our 20/20 vision a reality.


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