A Message from the Chair of the AWE Board of Directors

thumb_IMG_0474_10242017 was a milestone year for the Alliance. While we were able to take a bit of time to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with our members, the year also provided a long list of important initiatives and accomplishments. Ready or not, 2018 is here and brings with it a renewed sense of commitment and a new set of objectives that will require that we redouble our efforts towards ensuring a more water secure future.

Looking back at 2017, AWE continued its legacy of directly confronting and addressing critically important policy related threats directed at the water efficiency community. Early in the year, the U.S. EPA released a tentative budget calling for the discontinuation of the incredibly successful WaterSense® program. AWE worked tirelessly to help coordinate a multi-industry coalition and letter writing campaign that convincingly illustrated that the WaterSense program is not only worthy of ongoing government funding, but that, due to its incredible effectiveness, should be held up as a model for public- private-sector partnerships. These efforts have proven to be productive. As of this writing, it seems very likely that WaterSense will survive the axe at the EPA. The Alliance will continue to monitor this issue and work towards the ultimate authorization of the program, which will help protect it from future threats of discontinuance. 

Going forward, AWE will be advocating for the reinstitution of the Plumbing Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an amendment to the tax code to allow for tax-free status on utility rebates on water efficiency products and systems. Additional information on AWE’s legislative and regulatory initiatives are detailed on our website

The Alliance also completed several market-based initiatives, noteworthy among them are Net Blue Toolkit and the very timely “Why Are My Water Rates Going Up?” video

Among the most important 2018 objectives for the AWE is the formalization of the California Water Efficiency Partnership’s AWE Chapter status. The Alliance is excited about the synergies that will be realized through the partnership with the CalWEP and expects that the capabilities and influence of both organizations will be considerably enhanced as a result. 

On a personal note, I was very happy to be in attendance at the 2017 WaterSmart Innovations Conference & Expo to witness the Alliance’s first Board Chair, Carole Baker, receive AWE’s Water Star Award. Those of us that have worked over the years with Carole know first-hand how tirelessly and tenaciously she approached her duties as Board Chair, which certainly have been an inspiration to me and, I’m sure, other Board members as well. 

Having completed a very thoughtful and well-crafted Board strategy meeting this past September, AWE staff is hard at work to ensure that as we go forward in 2018, we’re working effectively and strategically on the issues and activities that have been prioritized by you, our members. In this regard, we need to keep hearing from you. How are we doing? What can we do better? I personally look forward to hearing from our members with ideas on how we can be of greater value to you and your organization. Thank you in advance for your ongoing commitment to water efficiency and to the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

 

P-DeMarco-Signature 
Pete DeMarco
Chair, AWE Board of Directors