Colorado Convention Center
Photo credit: Colorado Convention Center

Speaking before a crowd of more than 2,000 during the opening session of the 132nd Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE13) of the American Water Works Association in Denver, Colo., on Sunday, Gov. John Hickenlooper urged water professionals to foster collaboration among agricultural, recreational and urban water interests.

Noting that much of the West — and especially Colorado — is in the grips of prolonged drought, Hickenlooper noted that “water is the key to everything out here.”

AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance began the session by reading a proclamation from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock that declared June 9-15 “Water Professionals’ Week” in Denver. The proclamation said in part that water “delivers public health protection, fire protection, support for our economy and the quality of life we enjoy” and that “we are all thankful for the hardworking water professionals who provide this service to us each day and are proud to welcome them to the City of Denver.”

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AWWA President Charlie Anderson, a consultant with CDM Smith in Arlington, Texas, urged attendees to remember the legacy they will leave. “Legacies are generated when people unite around a challenge with a specific vision for solving it to make the world they live in better,” Anderson said. “That’s exactly what we’ll do over the next few days together — we come together, bringing all our unique expertise and talents, and we solve problems that are common to all of us.”