Learning about the latest trends in the worldwide water industry

Check out pictures from the three-day ACE19 conference that drew more than 12,000 people to Denver.

June 17, 2019 | By: Cathy Proctor

The world’s largest water meet-up of its kind drew more than 12,000 people from across the industry to Denver in mid-June for the ACE19 conference at the Colorado Convention Center.

The theme of the conference, organized by the Denver-based American Water Works Association, was “Innovating the Future of Water.”

At the opening session that packed the ballroom, AWWA’s CEO David LaFrance applauded the crowd for the work they do and encouraged them to look for innovations they could take home.

Signs for the Georgia, New England, Connecticut and Ohio sections of the American WAter Works Association can be seen in a crowded ballroom.
Opening session of the American Water Works Association’s ACE19 conference, which drew 12,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

“Each of you makes decisions every day that have an impact on others, on the hundreds of millions of people who rely on you to provide safe drinking water,” LaFrance said.

“On behalf of the communities you serve and all your colleagues, thank you for your dedication, passion and commitment to providing a reliable supply of water to people around the globe.”

For three days, attendees heard presentations about cutting-edge innovations taking place at utilities big and small across North America. Vendors fill the exhibition floor with a range of equipment, from huge sections of pipe to small valves and remote sensors.

Two men assemble a water hydrant surrounded by watchful judges.
Denver Water’s Hydrant Hysteria team, Miguel Zarco (kneeling) and Corey Large (standing), speeds through their competition at ACE19. The timed event tested each team’s ability to swiftly assemble a water hydrant. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Teams representing their utilities competed to be the fastest in tapping a pipe and assembling a meter or hydrant. And students were awarded thousands in scholarship money from companies, utilities and associations working to support the next generation of water industry professionals.

The conference drew people from across the U.S. and more than 52 countries. It brought an estimated $26 million in economic impact to Denver.

Denver Water employees attended to the conference to make presentations about the work going on at the utility and to learn about the latest trends taking place across the industry.

A man speaks at a podium.
Jeff Martin, program manager for Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir Expansion Project, gives a presentation about the project during ACE19. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Check out these scenes from the AWWA’s ACE19 conference.

A woman talks with a man who is wearing radio headphones and carryhing a large microphone. IN the background is hte banner: H20 Radio, Journalism about Water and the Environment.
Christina Burri, a watershed scientist at Denver Water, talked to H20 Radio about the utility’s From Forests to Faucets program and the importance of maintaining health forests. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A Denver Water trailer and tend is surrounded by a crowd.
A presentation by Denver Water representatives at ACE19 drew a crowd outside the Colorado Convention Center. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A man in a Denver Water shirt holds white pieces of a meter under the watchful eyes of nearby judges.
Shane Fellman, a water distribution supervisor, represented Denver Water in the ACE19 Meter Madness competition, a timed event in which competitors assembled water meters. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Four men in navy blue shirts and hard hats work to connect a copper pipe to a large black pipe while judges watch.
One of the two teams Denver Water sent to the ACE19 pipe-tapping competition, a timed event in which a team simulates connecting a service line to a pressurized water main. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A man in a Denver Water hard hat smiles at friends in an exhibit hall.
Jack Bowers, a member of one of Denver Water’s two pipe-tapping teams that competed at ACE19. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Two men and two women stand in front of a Top Ops banner.
Representing Denver Water in the Top Ops competition at the ACE19 conference are: (left to right) Ezara Sauter, Christopher Humbert, Steven Smith and Kelsey Lyons. The team competed in a quiz-style event that tested their knowledge of the industry. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Signs for Puerto Rico, Quebec, British Columbia, Texas and California-Nevada sections of the American Water Works Association can be seen in a crowded ballroom.
Representatives from across the United States and 52 countries attended the American Water Work’s ACE19 conference in Denver in mid-June. Photo Credit: Denver Water.

 

A sign for the Rocky Mountain section sits on the ground in a crowded ballroom.
The Rocky Mountain section at the ACE19 opening session, organized by the Denver-based American Water Works Association. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A man and a young woman sit on a stage, with the sign "Innovation Lounge" behind them.
David LaFrance, the CEO of the Denver-based American Water Works Association, interviews Gitanjali Rao, a young Colorado scientist who is on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2019, at the ACE19 conference. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A man shoots small basketballs at two hoops on a crowded exhibit floor.
Vendors filled the exhibit floor at the Colorado Convention Center and found many ways to entice the 12,000 people who attended ACE19 to stop and learn about their companies. The crowds around this booth were constant for three days straight. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

A Denver Water tent on the sidewalk of a busy city street.
Many of the 12,000 people who attended ACE19 enjoyed a water break at Denver Water’s water trailer outside the Colorado Convention Center in mid-June. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

The city of Denver's iconic blue bear statue peers through the glass of the Colorado Convention Center at an information table set up for ACE19.
Everybody wanted in on the action at ACE19, which drew 12,000 people to the world’s biggest water conference of its kind. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

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