DENVER — Continuing a signed commitment to explore enhanced collaboration, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) have agreed to work together on promoting value of water among the public and key decision-makers. The decision follows an analysis of a broad range of models for collaboration, a process that began in June when the organizations signed an agreement to examine how they might work together more closely for the benefit of their members. The Exploratory Committee members are optimistic that the enhanced collaboration between the organizations will lead to more future partnerships, potentially resulting in the integration of additional programs and services.

An Exploratory Committee of AWWA and WEF leaders considered options ranging from efficiencies in some combined business practices and member services to full integration of the two organizations. At a Sept. 30 meeting in New Orleans, the committee selected a “Program Integration Model,” focusing in the near-term on the development of communications and messaging about the value and importance of water.

AWWA and WEF are already engaged in discussions alongside many other water organizations in exploring how to promote the value of water among the public and key decision-makers. The committee agreed those efforts provide an ideal context for greater AWWA-WEF collaboration and encourage a unified water community voice.

This near-term option brings the organizations closer together, strengthens working relationships, and is consistent with the 2011 joint resolution between AWWA and WEF, which stated the organizations “resolve to support and lead as necessary an effort to develop a cohesive voice for the water community by encouraging collaboration between our members, coordinating programs and services and developing consensus on major water policy issues.” The organizations’ presidential officers will meet at least twice a year to discuss opportunities to partner for the benefit of our members.