A Message from the Chair of the AWE Board of Directors

Here's to an Energizing and Exciting 2023

2022 continued to show the effectiveness and necessity for conservation, proper value of water, equity, and better sourcing and usage of our precious water resources. Each new year continues to show the promise of more progress toward sustainable water matched with a stronger sense of urgency and purpose. At the same time, the challenges around water infrastructure, accelerating effects of climate change, and widening issues on equitable access and quality of water continue to push the need for greater collaborations, partnerships, technology, and innovative approaches to bringing affordable water solutions and water efficiency and conservation (WEC) to consumers, utilities and businesses. 

In 2022, AWE showed the blueprint on tackling these big challenges head on and how our members and partners are a driving force in the conversations, policy, and approaches stakeholders can take to work together, achieving long term sustainable WEC. As we look at new partnerships to bring advanced water tracking devices to unlock information and knowledge for consumers, utilities, and governmental agencies, we are truly understanding that knowledge is power, and the diversity and scale of our membership is one of our greatest assets. Our strategic plan was updated to show the roadmap and areas to achieve further success, along with our recently published DEIJ statement, bringing equity to the forefront of affordable water solutions. These important blueprints highlighted new perspectives from partner outreach, listening to our members, and bringing together these insights from our stakeholders. Throughout the year, AWE staff and partners published our cooling tower study, state scorecards, launched new utility technology programs, and a new version of our Water Conservation Tracking Tool. Late in 2022, we also saw the first in the exciting collaboration of high efficiency water fixtures and appliances being made available to economically depressed communities. These retrofits are saving precious water resources and dramatically reducing consumer costs, via partnerships between utilities, municipalities, and corporations. A true win-win-win, a harbinger of what is possible when our collective strengths are combined to make sustainable, efficient, affordable water a reality for ALL.  

In 2023, we will use these blueprints as a springboard to action, creating exciting new pathways that bring collective value to our members, real impact to our ecosystems, and fresh new peer-to-peer collaborations that will culminate at our inaugural Water Conservation & Efficiency Symposium in August. This is only possible due to our key strength in bringing actionable, rigorous research to our members, while onboarding outstanding new staff, expanding the skills of our team. Not only did we add cutting edge research and tools, but we built new capabilities around programs, communications, and policy, strengthening our ability to further address the pressing issues on water conservation, sustainable water sourcing, efficiency, and rates. I am excited to see all of these new investments and focus lead to the impact we all know is badly needed.  

We enter 2023 with a new hope as we see more state and federal funding and focus on water. We see the heightened dialogue in the private and public sector, seeking new ways to bring a sustainable water future for everyone. I know our shared passion for water will result in a 2023 of great strides and one in which our actions will speak louder than our words. 
To an energizing and exciting 2023,

Ron Voglewede
Chair, AWE Board of Directors