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CWEA’s Annual Conference 2021 will change the way we empower environmental professionals to address our new future. As we reflect on the challenges of this past year, we’d like to express our appreciation to each of you for keeping our essential services going. Never in the 93 year history of CWEA has our profession been more well-known. Unprecedented times provided heroic opportunities and we are excited to offer AC21 in a safe, engaging and fully virtual forum.


When the governor issued “stay at home orders” for non-essential workers none of you were included.  As we planned AC21 there were so many inspiring stories that reminded us of the “can do” attitude of water environment professionals. AC21 will highlight many of these heroic stories. Last year we all experienced the resilience of our profession, sister agencies helped each other overcome supply chain issues, experts volunteered their time to provide up-to-the-minute safety information, researchers considered ways to do even more through wastewater-based epidemiology and operators worked tirelessly day-in and day-out to protect the public health and environment of our great state. You have all been doing so much – adapting to these new conditions while knowing that we protect the health of more than 40 million people. Our hope is that the challenges we overcame will help shape the way we value each other into the future. You are all Environmental Heroes! 


A wide range of technical sessions and trainings are included to address issues that affect collection systems, operations and maintenance, advanced treatment, engineering and research, pollution prevention, laboratory, regulatory, leadership, asset management, and more. Thanks to all those who submitted proposals to share your knowledge and experience with your peers. Nearly half of the presentations this year are ‘Curated Tracks’ that have been tailored to cover hot-button issues and speak to targeted audiences. Be sure to check them out for deep dives into critical current topics.


AC21 offers interactive and engaging technical tours. These virtual tours are not to be missed, including the Pure Water San Diego program. Visit to view all the tours available.


New vendors will be included in our Virtual Expo. Based on feedback from last year, we’re adding more interactive tours of the technologies. Topics covered will include pumps, chemical feed systems, and biosolids dewatering equipment. The You Don’t Know Game Show is also returning to the Virtual Expo. The competition will include Local CWEA Sections. Local Sections are encouraged to form teams to compete for valuable prizes!


There will be a wide range of interactive training and networking events this year, including an icebreaker reception, a Women Impacting Water event, additional networking and committee meetings and student competitions.


It’s going to be a great conference – we’ve risen to the challenge, we’re joining new friends, and we’re trying new things. All of us have our areas of expertise – operations, consulting, agency, engineering, vendors, collection systems, maintenance, pretreatment, laboratory, research, regulatory, electrical/instrumentation, construction, chemical and equipment suppliers, etc. - and we all work together as a team to protect the environment in a cost-effective manner. Whether you are new to the industry or have many years of experience, come and be inspired by your fellow Environmental Heroes! Special thanks to all the volunteers and CWEA staff who help make this event a success. There are more volunteer opportunities available if you would like to help. If you need suggestions for justification to attend the conference, please visit We look forward to seeing you at AC21. We hope you can join us!

Wendy Wert CWEA President                     Steve Krai AC21 Co-Chair