By The Value of Water Campaign

May 24, 2019

Infrastructure Week continues to deliver a high-caliber week of thought-provoking dialogues—unifying industry professionals, policy leaders, and elected officials around one message: it’s time to #BuildForTomorrow. Starting Now! Now in its seventh year, IWeek has expanded to 527 affiliate organizations encompassing 125 events across the country. With launch events in Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Washington, DC and beyond – this was the biggest IWeek yet!
As we unite with one voice during this national week of action, our activities amplify our message, not only to our local communities, but also to elected officials and the media. Our collective efforts help elevate infrastructure as a top national priority. As a member of the Infrastructure Week Steering Committee, the Value of Water (VOW) Campaign continues to ensure water infrastructure is an integral component of IWeek and remains at the forefront of the dialogue. In fact, representation by the water sector, hosting or participating in IWeek events, has grown to over 40% of all IWeek events.
Many thanks to our VOW supporters for banding together on social media, orchestrating events, and developing countless press releases, blog articles, op-eds, and videos – all which raised awareness about the importance of water and elevated the conversation around the critical need to reinvest in our nation’s water infrastructure. Our social media campaign and related hashtags reached more than 40 million users making more than 180 million impressions!
Please enjoy these highlights from the week!

Infrastructure Week Kicks Off in Washington, DC

Infrastructure Week 2019 kicked off in Washington, DC with a powerful event hosted by the steering committee and keynoted by Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer. He expressed that there is unity in the House for infrastructure investment, but the takeaway was clear: The President needs to take the lead. Attendees heard from a myriad of speakers, from mayors and county executives, to a former NASA engineer, labor leaders, and CEOs. While a lot of different points were raised, from the importance of rebuilding schools for healthy communities to the potential of building bridges that have an intended lifespan of a century, one consistent theme was the need for a strong federal partner to join the action already happening at the state and local levels.

The Future is Now: Smart Water Infrastructure Panel

Our Infrastructure Week 2019 panel, The Future is Now: Smart Water Infrastructure, hosted in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), delivered a thought-provoking conversation about how smart water solutions are being deployed to answer our most pressing water infrastructure challenges nationwide. The panel took place on Wednesday, May 15 at the NLC and NACo headquarters, just a few blocks from the Capitol. The panel featured Albert Cho, Vice President and General Manager of Advanced Infrastructure Analytics at Xylem Inc., Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, CEO of NEORSD, and Ted Henifin, General Manager HRSD, Andrew Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management of the US EPA. The engaging conversation took place in front of a packed house, and the live stream video was viewed over 430 times. Combined with shares, the panel reached over 1400 people!

Building a More Resilient Houston: Southeastern Summit

This year IWeek has expanded to reach nearly 50 cities across America! Summits and events spanned from Washington, DC all the way to Juneau, Alaska, including vital hubs such as Atlanta, Lansing, Little Rock, and Houston. In partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers Texas Section and TAG Houston Region, the Infrastructure Week Southeastern Summit took place on the morning of May 17 at the Petroleum Club of Houston. The robust line-up of speakers included the Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston, Rich Byrnes, Chief Port Infrastructure Officer at the Port of Houston, Chris Cornell, Global

Practice Leader for Ports and Waterways at WSP, and Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance. Speakers discussed topics on the future of infrastructure in Houston including developing a regional strategy for economic success, the future of funding and financing infrastructure, and enhancing regional connectivity. In addition to the summit, Fox joined an IWeek helicopter tour, guided by Carol Haddock, Director of Houston Public Works, featuring Houston’s infrastructure assets, many in need of upgrades as the city prepares for future flooding events. | Full article here.

VOW Supporters also hosted an array of IWeek-related activities throughout the nation:

AlexRenew: Held three tours to educate city staff, regional elected officials, and the public about AlexRenew and the RiverRenew program.

American Water: Featured Infrastructure Week on its blog and in its new podcast, WaveLenghts. American Water also released its State and Subsidiaries Toolkit, complete with key messages, key campaign activities, guide for engaging local schools, multiple media templates, and sample social media messaging.

Atlanta Department of Watershed Management: Had a full calendar of events including a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Week Panel Discussion, History of Atlanta’s Water Infrastructure Presentation, and much more!

Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA):  One hundred twenty 6th grade students learned from BSA employees, participate in demonstrations and tour BSA and Buffalo Water facilities. BSA also will released its Rain Check 2.0 report.

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department: Conducted media interviews on the benefits of upcoming system improvements and ways they are decreasing water shutoffs.

Hampton Roads Sanitation District: Featured content on their upcoming capital improvement projects and Did You Know facts in their blog and on social media, as well as run an internal HRSD Employees SharePoint feature.

KC Water: Participated in a city news conference highlighting two years of Kansas City’s General Obligation Bonds and flood control project updates.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago: Celebrated its 130th Anniversary and hosted open houses in Chicago, Skokie, and Cicero featuring tours, free compost, kid-friendly activities, and a chance to win a free Chicago River boat tour.

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District: Hosted a “Fred Walk” outfall tour a Edgewater Beach, and a Media and Elected Officials Tour of the Westerly Storage Tunnel where guests were able to enter the tunnel 200 feet underground.

Philadelphia Water Department: Unveiled a recently completed Drinking Water Master Plan, highlighted Schuykill River Dredging on their blog, featured city hall pop-up events and much more!

LA Sanitation and Tucson Water: Used the IWeek #BuildForTomorrow on social media!

Catch Up on Infrastructure Week Blogs, Podcasts, and More!

IoT Evolution World (blog), Infrastructure Week in Washington, DC Paves New Roads to Safer, Cleaner, More Livable. By John Rodrigues, Correspondent. | Read here.

New Jersey Future (blog), New Toolkit From New Jersey Future Helps Municipal Leaders Fight Pollution and Flooding. By Louise Wilson. | Read here.

Final Communicators (webinar), hosted by Infrastructure Week, including leaders from Accelerator for AmericaFred Yang and ASCE Texas. | Watch here.