Water Environment Federation
Water Environment Federation
Dedicated to "the preservation and enhancement of water quality worldwide," the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is an international professional organization of water quality experts. WEF is made up of 38,000 water professionals, including engineers, biologists, government officials, treatment plant managers and operators, laboratory technicians, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and educators.
WEF was founded in 1928 as the Federation of Sewage Works Associations and served as the publisher of the Sewage Works Journal. The organization has also been known as the Water Pollution Control Federation. Its scope has broadened significantly since its inception, and WEF currently publishes a variety of materials relating to the water industry. WEF also sponsors seminars, conferences, and briefings; offers technical training and education; produces informational videos for students; and provides input on environmental legislation and regulations to government bodies.
The publications issued by WEF cover a multitude of topics and are geared toward a variety of readers. Technical publications, including manuals developed by WEF's Technical Practice Committee, brief water-quality professionals on design, operation, and management innovations in the field. Periodicals and newsletters address such issues as industry trends, research findings, water analysis topics, job safety, regulatory and legislative developments, and job openings in the profession.
WEF's technical training and educational programs are geared toward both professionals and students. Audiovisual training courses and study guides are available on such topics as wastewater treatment, waste stabilization ponds, and wastewater facility management. The federation also distributes health and safety videos developed by municipalities. For students, WEF offers The Water Environment Curriculum, a series of videos and guides outlining water quality issues geared toward children in fifth through ninth grades. The Water Environment Curriculum includes lessons on surface water, groundwater , wastewater, and water conservation . WEF also publishes guides on water quality issues for the general public.
WEF's major event is its annual conference, the largest water quality and pollution control exposition in North America. The conference features technical sessions, expert speakers, and exhibits run by companies in the water quality industry. The federation also holds specialty conferences on such topics as toxicity, landfills, and surface water quality. Two other noteworthy briefings are WEF's Pacific Rim Conference and the Washington Briefing. The Pacific Rim Conference gathers representatives from Pacific Rim countries to discuss environmental problems in that area. The Washington Briefing convenes government officials and water quality experts to discuss current issues affecting the industry.
In addition to its publications, educational tools, and conferences, WEF sponsors an affiliate, the Water Environment Research Foundation, which works to develop and implement water quality innovations. The research foundation's programs strive to find ways to enhance water quality, develop broad-based approaches to water quality that encompass all aspects of the environment, use new technology, and promote interaction among individuals involved in the water quality profession.
WEF is also associated with Water Quality 2000, a cooperative effort involving a variety of professional and scientific organizations, industry representatives, environmental groups, academic institutions, and government officials working on water quality standards and goals for the United States for the twenty-first century.
[Kristin Palm ]