Summer Series – Celebrating the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association

Summer Series – Celebrating the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association

This week we are taking a “dive” into the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) . Working with the CWWA is always enjoyable – it’s an added bonus CWWA’s Executive Director, Robert Haller has dropped by in a Halloween costume (or two) and attended our Christmas party in his infamous plaid pants. CWWA has made a lasting impression on us, and we know they make a difference in Canadian lives.

CWWA started in 1986, creating a national association to represent the interests of Canadian municipal water and wastewater services at the federal level. CWWA also provides a channel through which federal agencies can communicate with its members.

CWWA’s membership is comprised of the utilities themselves and the private sector organizations that provide services to the utilities. Other corporate members include academic institutions, industrial associations, and government agencies.

CWWA plays an important role in ensuring safe drinking water and the responsible treatment and management of wastewaters.

Here are some fun facts about CWWA:

  1. CWWA is leading an international group of wastewater organizations in developing a standard definition of the word ‘flushable’. Currently, there is no legal definition of the term ‘flushable’.  You can write ‘flushable’ on a pack of golf balls or a box of nails…or a car tire.  There are no rules.  It doesn’t even have to fit in a toilet. 90% of what is currently marketed as ‘flushable’ is NOT recommended for flushing by  wastewater management utilities as most items do not break down and cause billions in damages. Once a definition is developed, CWWA expects it to become an enforceable standard, similar to ‘organic’ or ‘kosher’ or ‘halal’ – so you won’t be able to call it ‘flushable’ unless it works in sewer systems.
  2. CWWA represents Canada to the International Water Association and will co-host the World Water Congress (5,000 delegates from around the world) in Toronto in 2022.
  3. CWWA’s primary purpose is to advocate for the utility sector to the federal government. CWWA is a registered ‘lobbyist’ organization, however every year when reporting on lobbying activity, they report zero lobbying. Normally, contacts with the federal government are in response to a request of a federal department or agency to provide comments and early input so this does not count as lobbying (which is unsolicited). When the federal government is dealing with anything related to water, they ask “Who Ya Gonna Call?” and the answer is CWWA!
  4. They run two national events annually –
    1. The National Water & Wastewater Conference (November) is a consolidation of all the specialty conferences and workshops.
    2. The Window on Ottawa (June) is a 2-day plenary on federal policy and advocacy efforts.

To learn More about CWWA, please visit their website here.

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