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President's Letter

Wednesday, September 9, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shana Schwarz
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Infrastructure Report Card

All 2,200 of us in AZ Water are, as we say, “Professionals dedicated to Arizona’s water.” The fact is , there are other professionals out there who also care about Arizona’s water, and while we hope they all eventually become AZ Water members, many of them already are members of the Arizona chapters of other professional organizations such as American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Arizona Hydrologic Society. These organizations also work to advance water-related issues, and many AZ Water members are members of these other organizations as well. Something we have wanted to work on as an association is looking for opportunities to collaborate with our peer organizations to advance Arizona water-related issues.

ASCE of Arizona does our state a tremendous service once every five years by preparing the Arizona Infrastructure Report Card, and the 2020 edition is about to be released. The intent of the report card is to build public support for investment in our all-important public infrastructure by providing “grades” for the current condition of various categories of infrastructure ranging from airports to flood control and also including drinking water and wastewater. The grades, which are based on thorough research and review of the available data, provide a convenient reference point for the overall status of our infrastructure in each of the categories, and they are often quoted by the news media when they report on infrastructure and public works issues.  Five years ago, our current AZ Water Vice President, Mike Worlton, led preparation of the report card and I had the opportunity to help with the wastewater chapter. This time around, Frederick Tack, Andy Brown, and others who happen to be both AZ Water and ASCE members worked on the water and wastewater chapters. While we all are justifiably proud of the hard work we put in every day to design, build, operate and maintain first-class water and wastewater facilities to serve our fellow Arizonans, the fact is that better funding and proactive investment could go a long way to further strengthen this infrastructure and invest to position our state to address future challenges. So the Report Card is a terrific opportunity to get the word out to people outside our group.
ASCE will be holding a virtual release event on September 16 via Zoom meeting. All are welcome to participate, and AZ Water has offered to help ASCE spread the word. You can RSVP for the event here.

I encourage you to participate in the launch event and let others, especially folks outside our profession, know about it. The ASCE report card has proven to be an effective public outreach tool, and it would be great for us in AZ Water to support the success of this new release.

Keep Going

Just one more thing-- I have been asked a number of times lately what our committees should be doing during this crazy time period of the COVID pandemic. Should they play it safe and go dormant until this thing is over?  The answer is: Heck no! -- keep going. “Dormant is not an option.”
Our committees should continue to look for opportunities to be active, to hold events (virtually), to keep delivering for our members. As our virtual conference now is moving into the past, we need to continue providing services and value for each other as AZ Water members. Keep at it! We need to keep AZ Water the great value it always has been as a source of professional advancement for our members.

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