Texas Water Show 2022 Recap

logo_headerRecently, Safe-T-Cover had the pleasure of attending the annual Texas Water Show, held this year in beautiful San Antonio. The TX Water Show is the largest of the regional AWWA-associated trade shows and features over 660 exhibitor booths throughout the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. This was the first year the conference was held in person since the pandemic, so there was a palpable buzz and excitement coursing through the convention center. Safe-T-Cover did not have an exhibitor booth at the conference, but a three-year-long waiting list will do that!

The Technical sessions are always the highlight of the conference, and this year’s assortment of educational talks did not disappoint. Obviously, the protection and distribution of our precious water supply dominates the session list, but several other topics required standing-room-only locations to attend. The sessions on legislation and public policy were  white-hot throughout the conference. Julie Nahrgang of the Water Environment Association spoke at length about the recent Texas legislation concerning the winterization of all power and water plants throughout Texas. These laws are already in place and the planning phase deadlines are rapidly approaching (Spring ’22).  If you need assistance with your freeze protection plans, please contact Safe-T-Cover right away: We have solutions for all your winterization needs!

Another popular legislation session concerned the massive $550 billion infrastructure bill passed by Congress earlier this year. Appropriated money has already started flowing and one session focused on how municipalities can access these funds for projects in their territory. Tommy Holmes from the AWWA office in Washington D.C. had sage advice and provided preliminary actions to stay ahead of the curve to bring a portion of those billions to your neighborhood. More details to come as the OMB guidelines will be released before the May 14th deadline.

IMG_5417-1My personal favorite session was on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the waterworks workplace.  For all of us who have been in the water industry for 20+ years, it is well established that the vast majority of the industry is Caucasian males.  In order to grow and access the strengths of every generation, we need to focus on DE&I and bring all genders and races into the wonderful world of water. Aisha Niang of Houston Public Works shared some excellent examples of the DE&I templates from her workplace and ways to take them back to our areas of influence. It was very educational and I look forward to sharing the ideas at Safe-T-Cover and the other water industry organizations we belong to.

Finally, as a happy coincidence, the annual Fiesta celebration was also in San Antonio at the same time as the Water Show.  Fiesta is an annual tradition that started way back in the 1800s with a parade to honor the battles at The Alamo and San Jacinto.  The “battle of flowers” is a ginormous parade that is second in size only to Pasadena’s Rose Parade, and people from all over the country come to San Antonio to celebrate. With the big trade show and big Fiesta in town at the same time, it did cause for some long restaurant wait times, but the overall celebratory vibe made for a great atmosphere. We look forward to attending every year, and who knows, maybe we’ll climb the waiting list and actually be able to exhibit!

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