LIFT Applications Accepted
The Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) is now accepting applications for the Scholarship Exchange Experience for Innovation & Technology (SEE IT) program. Supported by The Water Research Foundation (WRF), Water Environment Federation (WEF) and National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), SEE IT scholarships provide travel support for utility personnel to visit other utilities with innovations of interest, providing hands-on interaction and information to accelerate technology adoption at their own facilities. LIFT SEE IT applications are due March 12, 2021 by 5:00 PM ET. Winners will be notified by the end of April 2021.
Applicants may apply to visit innovations that include new technologies and processes, or novel approaches to service, operations and finance. LIFT has identified 13 technology Focus Areas as priorities, although applicants are not necessarily limited to these topics. Scholarship recipients will be required to record and share their experiences with peer utilities and others.
Should COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in 2021, any trip that is awarded in this round of applications would be postponed until it is safe to travel. Alternatively, applicants may consider using SEE IT funds to undertake virtual trips to facilities of interest and using the SEE IT scholarship funds to create video recordings of their experiences.
If you have questions about the SEE IT program or the application process, please contact David Morroni, LIFT Program Coordinator, [email protected].
UN Water Partnership Announced
WEF is now an official partner of UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of United Nations (UN) entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. The designation comes as WEF continues to focus on its role as a global water organization, with members in 78 countries, member associations and corresponding associations representing 36 countries and partnering organizations on every continent (except Antarctica).
Last year the WEF Board of Trustees unanimously approved a position statement in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Water professionals have a direct role in meeting SDG 6, which calls for sustainable, universal access to water and sanitation. Some of the targets associated with SDG 6 include water-reuse volumes, reductions in untreated wastewater and water-supply resilience, which WEF members help address every day.
There is no single UN entity dedicated exclusively to water issues. Over 30 UN organizations carry out water and sanitation programs, reflecting the fact that water issues run through all of the UN’s main focus areas. UN-Water’s role is to coordinate so that the UN family delivers a unified response to water related challenges. The overarching focus of members and partners, like WEF, is to support UN Member States to sustainably manage water and sanitation.
UN-Water’s members and partners have helped place water and sanitation at the heart of recent milestone agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development and the 2015 Paris Agreement within the UN Convention Framework on Climate Change.
UN-Water’s consolidated technical advice from UN entities and external organizations helped shape Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” As a result, SDG 6 and its various targets take the entire water and sanitation cycle into account.
More information about UN-Water can be found at https://www.unwater.org/. More information about WEF, the United Nations and SDGs can be found at https://www.wef.org/advocacy/global-programs/wef-the-united-nations-and-sdgs/.