You’re Invited to AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo

Conference Theme – This Is Why

No doubt this has been a challenging year for many of us, especially those serving in new roles as essential workers. CWEA members typically spend time together at conferences and events talking about what we do as wastewater professionals and how we do it—and there will be plenty of that at AC20 in our new virtual conference format. This year, with This Is Why, we want to give some thought to why we do what we do.

Pacific Ocean coast, California, USA

People in wastewater are among the smartest, most motivated, most capable people in the world. Our conference theme this year, This Is Why, is our way of reminding us to think about why we work so hard, and to celebrate your successes. Just think of all the ways water is used in California. Without you, none of that is possible.

Technical Sessions and Featured Tracks

We hope to see more members than ever on our new virtual conference platform. The Program Team has assembled a wide range of technical sessions and training that will cover collection systems, operations and maintenance, advanced treatment technologies, engineering and research, laboratory, State regulations and more.

Thank you to our expert speakers for leading conversations online with AC20 attendees and sharing your knowledge and experience with peers. The majority of presentations this year are “Curated Tracks,” tailored to cover hot-button issues within the sector. Be sure to check them out for deep dives into critical current topics. Session content will be recorded for future access, and depending on the registration option you’ve selected, you can have access to all on-demand content for up to 90 days after the event. The online conference training will be more accessible than ever without the added cost or burdens of traveling.

AC20 Virtual Expo

CWEA’s dynamic virtual conference platform provides a fully interactive expo hall, featuring exhibitors from across California. We’ve included plentiful opportunities for exhibitor and sponsorship networking, all while attendees connect from the comfort and safety of their home or office.

Networking Opportunities

One of the cornerstones of CWEA’s Annual Conference is networking, allowing attendees to get together to see old friends and make new ones. While we will be unable to gather in person for the foreseeable future, we’re designing AC20 to capitalize on the best of what online delivery affords and building numerous opportunities to safely participate in meaningful collaboration with colleagues near and far.

Join us on the AC virtual platform for:

See You Online!

It’s going to be an amazing, first of its kind conference. Join 1,000 or more wastewater professionals to help celebrate This Is Why! We hope you can also benefit from the new conference format. Get registered today.

Special thanks to all the volunteers and staff contributing to make this event and online format an amazing success.

Kevin Calderwood                                                  Gary Warren

CWEA President                                                               AC20 Co-Chair
HDR                                                                                    EBMUD


Q&A Coronavirus – AC20 Update

7/2/20 Update

Announcing: This Is Why
CWEA AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo

On June 26th the CWEA Board of Directors made the decision to convert AC20 into a virtual conference for the safety of our members, exhibitors and staff. If you are already registered for AC20 in Reno, NV, your existing conference registration will be automatically applied to the virtual conference.

Moving our face-to-face conference to a fully online format presents us with the unique opportunity to spotlight the best of what online delivery affords and plenty of opportunities to participate in meaningful collaboration with colleagues near and far.

CWEA AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo
October 19-23, 2020

For our first-ever virtual conference, we are planning to offer 50+ contact hours with a mix of live, interactive sessions and recorded content you can access any time. All AC20 recorded content will be available to registered attendees on-demand for 90 days after the conference. The Conference Committee continues to plan, so conent and contact hours are subject to change.

We look forward to having you join us for this reimagined event and celebrate CWEA and our members’ collective resilience and dedication to forging connections without boundaries.

CWEA’s Annual Conference is known for its vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over emerging and salient topics in our field. The virtual conference will include our regular offerings and opportunities for engagement, including sessions, workshops, and keynotes, plus space to connect with sponsors, exhibitors, and professionals from across California.


Networking is a cornerstone of our annual event and attendees will be able to partake in interactive and engaging experiences through a new dynamic virtual conference platform. The virtual system also has interactive exhibition features and includes plentiful opportunities for sponsorship exposure, all while attendees connect from the comfort and safety of their home or office.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities during the virtual conference experience, please contact Christine Carchia, Senior Manager, Exhibitions & Sponsorship Sales, CWEA or call 510.746.7415.


If you are currently registered for AC20, your registration is automatically applied to the virtual conference. Unable to attend? Please contact Member Services at

If you have not yet registered for the AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo, we will be relaunching registration in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you to CWEA’s AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo.

More details will follow shortly.



510.382.7800 x0


3/13/20 Update:

Annual Conference 2020 is postponed

AC20 will now take place Oct 27-30 in Reno.

For details on what this means for attendees and exhibitors please read the letter from the CWEA President and Executive Director >

3/10/20 Update:

  • AC20 is on
  • The CDC notes the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is thought to be low. Link to CDC guidance.
  • A letter from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center
  • The Convention Center and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa are taking additional steps to ensure a safe and healthy conference environment.
    Additional Atlantis procedures include:

    • Re-outfitted cleaning chemicals and restroom soap dispensers to meet the latest industry guidelines
    • Expanded cleaning of all public areas
    • Expanded locations of hand sanitizers
    • Banquet staff has extensive food handling training and will wear gloves during CWEA’s event
    • HR policy for team members to remain home when sick
    • More information to come from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center
  • Washoe County (Reno-Sparks area) has not issued any public advisories that would alter or cancel an event such as ours
  • We are fully committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees, exhibitors, and staff
  • We will be posting recommendations that will include:
      • No handshakes
      • No hugs
      • Wipe digital devices before sharing
      • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer

We’ll introduce more details on these efforts closer to the conference.

The CWEA Board and Conference Committee are looking forward to a fantastic and safe event.

What is CWEA doing in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we understand you may have questions about the CWEA Annual Conference. The CWEA Board and staff places the health and safety of our members, attendees and staff as our first priority.

The CDC notes the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is thought to be low. Link to CDC guidance.

Based on current federal and state guidance, Annual Conference is a go.

The CWEA Board and Staff are monitoring and reviewing daily updates from federal, state and local health officials. As information changes, we’ll take any additional necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

What steps are the Reno-Sparks Convention Center taking?

Please see this letter from Convention Center General Manager (pdf) >

What steps will be taken at Annual Conference?

Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizers are important.

We are implementing standard practices for events and conferences recommended by healthcare providers. We are following the guidance of the CDC, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and others for instructions on how to properly manage the conference.

At AC20 you’ll see signs and hand sanitizing stations such as this.

We recommend following best practices for hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette during the conference, and every day. Recommendations include:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing or sneeze into your elbow
  • Please understand any attendee or exhibitor’s request not to shake hands
  • Stay away from someone who is coughing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

These hand sanitation practices also help prevent the spread of seasonal colds and flu.

What happens next?

The CWEA Board and Staff will continue to monitor daily instructions from the CDC, state and local health officials.

We’ll be frequently updating this Q&A with the latest information on an ongoing basis.

What about the safety of collection system and wastewater treatment professionals?

Wastewater worker safety information was assembled by WEF and is available on the CWEA E-Bulletin website or on the WEF website.

View and download CDC handwashing reminder posters

POSTPONED – Partnering for Impact: 2020 Water Forum featuring Nevada, California Water Leaders

This event is POSTPONED. New date to be announced soon.

Hosted by the Nevada Water Innovation Institute in collaboration with CWEA, NWEA and CASA

NWII and its partners will host the Partnering for Impact 2020 Water Forum on March 31, 2020 at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada in conjunction with the Nevada and California Water Environment Association Annual Conference. The event will feature over 100 leaders from water sector and will address how partnering can help challenges of innovation, collaboration, and workforce development in the water sector. This event will sell out quickly. Registration is handled by our sister association Nevada Water Environment Association.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Atlantis Resort and Spa – Reno, Nevada

2020 Themes

• Visionary Leadership to Accelerate Results
• Driving Innovation with Advances in Research and Technology
• Achieving Goals through Innovative Partnerships

Confirmed Speakers

  • Ralph Exton, Chief Commercial Officer at SUEZ – Water Technologies and Solutions
  • Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Norma Comacho, Chief Executive Officer for Valley Water
  • Robert C. Ferrante, General Manager for Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
  • Jackie Jarrell, Deputy Director for Charlotte Water and WEF Board of Trustees President
  • Jeff Mosher, Principal Technologist and Vice President at Carollo Engineers
  • Krishna Pagilla PhD, Director at the Nevada Water Innovation Institute
  • Alise Porto, Director, Strategy Projects at Switch
  • Nancy Vogel, Director, CA Governor’s Water Portfolio Program
  • David Sedlak, Professor, UC Berkeley Deputy Director, ReNUWIt
  • David Johnson, Deputy GM, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Mark Foree, GM, Truckee Meadows Water Authority
  • Paul Westerhoff, Regents Professor, Arizona State University
  • Rick Warner, Program Developer, Nevada Water Innovation Institute

Invited Participants

  • Cristina Ahmadpour, President of Isle Utilities North America
  • Southern Nevada Water Authority, San Francisco Public Utility Commission, ReNUWIt
  • The Water Research Foundation, Founding Agencies of the Nevada Water Innovation Institute


Featured Sessions

View All AC20 Sessions >

Co-Digestion: Gearing Up for Senate Bill 1383

Regulations will soon be finalized to define the State’s strategies for meeting the landfill organic diversion requirements mandated under SB 1383.  There could be incentives for communities to implement projects that provide co-digestion of wastewater biosolids and other organic materials.

  • Wednesday Morning Track: Regulations Under Senate Bill 1383 and POTW Co-Digestion Capacity with Sarah Deslauriers, Carollo Engineers
  • Wednesday Afternoon Track: Regulatory and Optimization Challenges with Digester Gas Systems
  • Thursday Morning Track: Co-digestion Operations and Maintenance

Regional San Summit: The Echo Water Project

Valued over $1.75 billion, Sacramento County Regional Sanitation District’s (Regional San’s) monumental Echo Water Project is among the largest public works projects in the area’s history. This full-day track will bring together the team of engineers, operators, construction managers, and thought leaders that made this major upgrade project a success. Learn about the innovative strategies applied to achieve the nitrogen treatment objectives, the unique contracting and asset management strategies, and the challenges with commissioning a 181 mgd nitrogen removal treatment process.

  • Thursday All-Day Track: Regional San Summit: The EchoWater Project

PFAS Summit

Catch up with the latest news on the fast-moving, emerging topic of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances, (PFAS). Arlene Blum, PhD, biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer, Research Associate in Chemistry at UC Berkeley, and Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute will be the keynote speaker for this event. Arlene’s riveting talk will be followed by an update on California Water Board PFAS Actions from Annalisa Kihara, Program Manager for the SWRCB PFAS activities.

  • Wednesday Morning Track: PFAS Basics; SWRCB Actions and panel discussion
  • Wednesday Afternoon Track: PFAS perspectives – laboratory; biosolids and water reuse

Collections System 101

AC20 will have two back-to-back tracks to provide a full day of introductory education. Facilitated by Jennifer Rojas, Long Beach Water Department and Dennis Lambert, SFBS Past President, the following topics will be covered:

  • Wednesday Morning Track: Easements 101 and Basic Math for Collection System Operators
  • Wednesday Afternoon Track: Pumping Physics 101 with Ronald Aceto, Cornell Pumps

Regulatory Deep Dive

This track will dive into various regulatory topics and present some innovative success stories from the Central Valley Clean Water Association.

  • Tuesday Afternoon Track: New and Emerging Regulatory Programs

View All AC20 Sessions >

SYP Scavenger Hunt

As you engage with exhibitors inside the Expo Hall, why not play a game for a chance to win some prizes?

All conference attendees who download the conference app are eligible to participate in this year’s SYP Scavenger Hunt sponsored by DUDEK.

Visit participating exhibitors, scan the QR code and answer the questions to win points all on the app. Accumulate over 1,000 points and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win the Grand Prize. Winners will be announced on the last day of the virtual conference.

You do not need to be present to win. All you need to join the fun is a smartphone or tablet and the Eventscribe app. App will be available for download in October.

Participation Rules:

The following contest rules apply to the CWEA 2020 SYP Scavenger Hunt.

  1. Winner(s) must comply with all of the rules of the Scavenger Hunt (the Contest), including, but not limited to, any restrictions on age and/or residency, and have not committed any fraud or deception in entering the Contest or claiming the Prize.
  2. Contest is only open to attendees of the CWEA Virtual Conference and Expo.
  3. Contest will end and grand prize will be awarded to the person who is drawn from the pool of participants who received over 1,000 points, Thursday, October 22.
  4. One grand-prize winner will receive the grand prize announced on Thursday, October 22.
  5. Smaller Prizes will be awarded to individuals selected from a pool of participants who accumulate points in increments of 200.
  6. In consideration of the receipt of the prizes, the winners agree to have the prize shipped to them at the address CWEA has on file unless otherwise informed.
  7. The winners agree to allow CWEA and/or its designees the right to use winner’s name, likeness, portrait, recorded voice and/or biographical material for an unlimited period of time in order to advertise, promote or publicize CWEA and/or the products and services of any of its designees.
  8. CWEA makes no warranties of any kind with respect to the prize, including, but not limited to, any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. CWEA hereby expressly disclaims any and all such warranties.
  9. The winner expressly releases CWEA, and any sponsors of the contest, and their respective officers, directors, agents, parent companies, subsidiaries and employees, from any and all claims, demands and/or causes of action of any nature or kind whatsoever, whether presently known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, that he/she may have, or may subsequently acquire, as a result of participating in the contest and/or receipt of the prize.
  10. Employees of CWEA and their immediate family are not eligible.
  11. Vendors of CWEA and Annual Conference exhibitors are not eligible to participate in Contest.
  12. CWEA is not responsible for smartphone/tablet system or internet failure, or other inability of entrants to enter due to technical malfunction. CWEA is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected mail or for printing errors. No mechanically reproduced or completed entries will be accepted.
  13. Attendees are only eligible to win during the Expo Hall hours at the CWEA Virtual Conference and Expo, October 19-22, 2020.