The Hawai‘i Water Environment Association and American Water Works Association – Hawaii Section have worked hard together to put on another very successful Pacific Water Conference. The Seventh Annual Pacific Water Conference was held on February 5 and 6, 2020 at the Hawaii Convention Center. We had another great turnout with 780 registered attendees and 125 exhibitor booths.
The theme for this year was “Ka Ho’oko ’ana i Mau
‘Onaehana Wai Pono i Kekahi Aniau Loli,” which translates to: “Achieving Sustainable Water Systems in a Changing Climate.” This theme was the winning entry of our conference theme contest and emphasizes the importance of sustainability in our industry and our ability to adapt. Our keynote speaker this year was Joshua Stanbro, Chief Resilience Officer and Executive Director of the City and County of Honolulu’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. His talk spoke of the effects of climate change in Hawaii and the importance of water sustainability in the years ahead.
The pre-conference was held on Tuesday February 4 and featured five tracks: Water Operators, Wastewater Operators, Wastewater Treatment, Young Professionals, and One Water.
The preconference was attended by approximately 250 people. The main conference was held on February 5 and 6 with technical presentations on a variety of topics, including water, wastewater, and stormwater. The main conference had six tracks with a total of about 80 presentations.
The evening social events continue to be a big hit. The Meet and Greet on Wednesday in the exhibit hall gave attendees a chance to talk to exhibitors in a more laid-back setting while snacking on some ono pupus and sipping on drinks. The conference banquet on Thursday included more good food, awards presentations, installation of HWEA and AWWA officers, and the 5-S induction “ceremony” for the newest inductees,
Ken Kawahara and Amanda Tanaka. The HWEA officers taking the reins for 2020-2021 are President Jason Nikaido, Vice-President Jon Baker, Treasurer Shelle Silva, Secretary Alicia Nakano, PWO Rep Herman Ellis III, and National Delegate Kyle Yukumoto. During the lunch programs at conference, HWEA also presented a donation to WRF and a scholarship to Daniel Koge.
Conference week concluded with the Pacific Water Golf Tournament on February 7, where 180 golfers hacked away at Hawaii Prince Golf Course. Finally, AWWA and HWEA members got a chance to give back to the community at our community service event at Ho‘okua‘aina Lo‘i at Kapalai in Kailua on February 8.
Overall it was a great week of networking and learning, and we hope you will join us again at next year’s conference!