The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the only organization dedicated strictly to the interest of people in the waterworks field. Its publications, committee studies and reports, and standard specifications are all of great value, as is the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with others in the profession.
An adequate supply of water that is safe to drink is a community’s most important public necessity. Membership in AWWA provides personal satisfaction as well as a feeling of increased worth and contribution to your citizens. Passive membership in any organization is not enough. Take part in the meetings, become interested in committee work, and make full use of any service that the Association has to offer.
AWWA was established in 1881 after William Stripe, superintendent of water works at Keokuk, Iowa, called for a “convention of western water works” on January 18. The organization had 22 water professionals, including water works superintendents, consulting engineers, manufacturer representatives, a contractor, a professor, and even “a distiller and saloonkeeper.” Today the international organization has more than 54,000 members. Here is the original mission statement:
“Dedicated to the promotion of public health and welfare in the provision of drinking water of unquestionable quality and sufficient quantity. AWWA must be proactive and effective in advancing the technology, science, management and government policies relative to the stewardship of water. ”
On March 30, 1881 the association appointed its first non-administrative committee.
In 1886 the AWWA held its sixth annual conference.
In 1914, the most widely read, in-depth, referenced, and most valued journal in the drinking water profession was established—the AWWA Journal.
A new AWWA constitution was adopted and geographic sections were created to provide more localized activities and to make association meeting more accessible to members in all parts of the country.
Canada officially became a part of the American Water Works Association in 1916, when the Canadian Section was established.
The newsletter Willing Water was established in 1957 and transformed graphically and editorially into AWWA's MainStream in March of 1981.
Opflow debuted in January 1975.
Sections within AWWA were created in 1915. Two years later, the North Central Section—which included Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Manitoba—was established The section’s mission statement was:
To ensure an adequate supply of quality water for consumers of public water by providing services to the water works community in Minnesota.
In 1991, the boundaries of the North Central were changed, the result being the creation of the Minnesota Section AWWA.
- Section Members Who Have Served as AWWA President
- 1887J. T. Fanning
- 1897John Caulfield
- 1903L. N. Case
- 1939J. Arthur Jensen
- 1945Leonard N. Thompson
- 1972Clifford W. Hamblin
- Past Section Directors
Years Name Location 1930 - 33 J. Arthur Jensen Minneapolis 1933 - 36 Ole Forsberg Hibbing 1936 - 39 Leonard N. Thompson St. Paul 1939 - 42 Felix Seligman Duluth 1942 - 45 Edgar W. Johnson Minneapolis 1945 - 48 Herbert S. Grove Stillwater 1948 - 51 David B. Morris Sr. St. Paul 1951 - 54 R. A. Thuma St. Paul 1954 - 57 Leonard N. Thompson St. Paul 1957 - 60 L. H. Coult Fairmont 1960 - 63 M. D. Lubratovich Duluth 1963 - 66 Clayton M. Bach Minneapolis 1966 - 69 Clifford W. Hamblin St. Paul 1969 - 72 Willard J. Bell Falcon Heights 1972 - 75 Bruce R. Boyer Cloquet 1975 - 78 Kenneth W. Ruby Fargo 1978 - 81 Elmer A. Huset St. Paul 1981 - 84 Gerald L. Mahon St. Cloud 1984 - 87 Robert J. Wigley Minneapolis 1987 - 90 Duane T. Prew St. Paul 1990 - 93 Gary L. Englund Minneapolis 1993 - 96 Wayne E. Enney Bloomington 1996 - 99 Verne E. Jacobsen St. Paul 1999 - 02 Allen J. Lamm Thief River Falls 1999 - 02 Yasser Abouaish (at-large) Minneapolis 2002 - 05 Bernie Bullert St. Paul 2005 - 08 Glen Gerads Bloomington 2008 - 11 Dave Schultz St. Cloud