Clean-Water Conference Makes a Splash

Wellspring Conference participants gathered to overcome obstacles in clean-water technology
Clean-Water Conference Makes a Splash
The two-day Wellspring Conference included site tour to educate participants on wastewater and stormwater technologies.

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The Water Partners of Tacoma, Wash., hosted its 2nd annual Wellspring Conference in October, at the University of Washington-Tacoma. Speakers and attendees gathered to pool resources, ideas and insights, and create a cluster of knowledge and innovation in clean-water technology to accelerate advancement. 

The conference served as a forum for new strategies in wastewater and stormwater treatment, featuring nearly 20 expert presenters. The conference opened informed dialogue on various issues facing clean-water and stormwater technology, the impact of government regulations on public and private water sectors, policy fragmentation, and the disconnect between water networks worldwide. 

Government officials, scientists, researchers, and residential and commercial manufactures and distributers at the conference acknowledged the challenges of cleaning and reclaiming waste and stormwater fast enough to keep up with a rapidly changing climate. 

The conference was a huge success and was attended by hundreds of water professionals and innovators from around the world, with a 60 percent increase in turnout from 2012.

Bruce Kendall, president and CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma – Pierce County, saw the potential of creating a water alliance by welcoming key members of various water networks and sectors to the conference. “Strong economic clusters define a region,” said Kendall, who also believes regions of the world with fully developed research clusters have higher levels of job creation, higher wages and higher levels of wealth creations than those that do not. 

“All clusters started with a single step, and the City of Tacoma and Pierce County has taken that initiative to form a unified cluster of water experts and researchers to identify problems, merge ideas and ultimately create solutions worldwide,” he said. 

The two-day conference concluded with an overall agreement that all sectors of wastewater and stormwater technology must come together, and experts should share knowledge, research and predictions to best drive innovation. The conference served as a forum for novel ideas and proved that collaborating as a whole drives advancement.

The annual Wellspring Conference is just one of the ways in which Tacoma is opening dialogue with key players to leverage expertise, drive private investment and inspire innovative technology solutions.


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