2020 is here, and the world of water is setting its sights high. From the federal government in Washington, DC, to our nation’s regional associations, trade associations, and municipalities, the men and women of our industry are preparing to improve and expand infrastructure, build resiliency, protect the environment, and plan for the future. 

In our cover interview, we speak with U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tim Petty, whose portfolio covers large-scale federal water and energy resources projects. Dr. Petty and other assistant secretary–level officials have formed a water subcabinet that meets regularly to discuss and efficiently implement the administration’s water policy agenda. 

We also speak with Brenda Burman, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, about her agency’s plans to modernize infrastructure, construct new storage facilities, develop new hydrological forecasting technology, and involve stakeholders. Commissioner Burman, who has made a tremendous effort to be accessible, has taken part in over 1,400 meetings during her relatively short tenure. 

Jim Broderick, president of the Colorado River Water Users’ Association, updates us on the implementation of the Drought Contingency Plan and gives us a preview of the Colorado basin states’ development of their 2026 water use guidelines. 

Richard Mueller, president of the American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, tells us of the benefits of concrete pressure pipe and how his association helps its member companies manufacture state-of-the-art pipe. 

We also feature two award-winning municipalities. Oregon’s Rogue Valley Sewer Services was recently awarded the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Award for its program management, which pulls in members of the community to go above and beyond statutory requirements on water quality. Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District was recognized by WEF as well as by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences with the Franz Edelman Award for its real-time sewer control system and green infrastructure. 

From the president’s desk to the nation’s construction sites, big plans are in the works, and the leaders of the water industry are making them happen. If the stories in this issue of Municipal Water Leader are any indication, 2020 is shaping up to be a great year. 

Kris Polly is editor-in-chief of Municipal Water Leader magazine and president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at kris.polly@waterstrategies.com.