2019 Americas Alliance Recap 

As 2019 comes to an end and we look forward to 2020, there are many achievements to be proud of and opportunities to be excited for in the world of smart water. From industry leading research and educational programming to moving the needle on student and young professional engagement, this newsletter is packed with content that highlights how organizations in the Americas are moving along their smart water journeys and how we are helping them realize results. Thanks again to our members and partners for your continued support of our mission. With your time, talent and passion, a sustainable water future is possible. On behalf of the SWAN Americas Alliance leadership team and the SWAN Forum, we wish you and yours a safe and joyous holiday season. We look forward to growing for impact with you next year! 

           –Gary Wong, Chair  SWAN Americas Alliance 


A warm welcome again to the following 26 Americas-based organizations that joined SWAN in 2019:



Smart water needle-movers in 2019

1. May 2019: A  SWAN Americas Alliance Networking Breakfast was held during the SWAN 9th Annual Conference held May 15-16 in Miami, Florida, which attracted more than 340 attendees from around the globe, including 48 unique utilities. The technical program covered topics related to “navigating the smart water journey: from leadership to results.” SWAN members can view presentations, audience polls, photos and presentations by clicking HERE and using the Member Zone password. For the cliff notes, click HERE to read a great recap blog from Eric Bindler (Bluefield Research).

2. September 2019: Water utility and industry thought leaders discussed timely smart water topics during an engaging SWAN Panel Session at WEFTEC 2019, the largest education and training event of its kind in North America. Thank you to Jim Cooper (Arcadis), Torri Martin (City of Atlanta), Nicole Pasch (City of Grand Rapids) and Garth Harrison (Owl Cyber Defense) for promoting key benefits and outcomes of smart water. Click HERE to read a summary blog written by Shirley Ben-Dak (SWAN Forum).

3. October 2019: SWAN and Water Online collaborated to produce the comprehensive Smart Water eBook, which features 14 unique insights inspired by content discussed during the SWAN 9th Annual Conference in Miami. Many Alliance members contributed articles on cutting-edge topics, including: workforce management, customer engagement, digital twins, IT/OT integration, smart wastewater and asset management. SWAN members can download a complimentary copy of the eBook in the Member Zone. All others interested are invited to purchase the report here ($499 value).

4. June 2019, September 2019 and November 2019: It’s Raining Webinars
The SWAN Americas Alliance hosted three interactive webinars this year attended by hundreds of smart water enthusiasts. The goal for each was to give attendees insights into utility-driven case studies. SWAN members can access the recordings and slides in the Member Zone. Thank you to the Alliance Events group and our guest presenters for proving such quality content.


1. 60 students and young professionals from across the Greater Miami area (plus Finland) came together at StartUP FIU for the 1st Annual Smart Water Hackathon, directly preceding the SWAN 9th Annual Conference. The group had 12 hours to tackle a major water challenge faced by the local utility —”How can Miami-Dade County Water & Sewer Department continue to provide high quality drinking water to a growing population?” Read HERE to learn if they hacked the challenge.  

2. To grow the membership and impact of Rising Smart Water Professionals (RiSWP)—a group of students and young professionals passionate about connecting smart data-driven solutions to modern challenges in the water and wastewater sectors – the leadership committee recently launched a survey to learn about how best to structure activities and programs to better serve the needs of young professionals along their smart water career paths. View the exciting results which summarized valuable input from over 80 global respondents HERE. To learn more about getting involved, visit the RiSWP page


Lessons learned, benefits and outcomes from the industry were plentiful this year. Here are a few from our members:

  • November 2019: Opti improves stormwater pond operations to help protect Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Read the press release HERE.

  • October 2019: New SWAN Case Study on Water Quality Monitoring from Aquatic Informatics now on the SWAN Research Portal.

  • September 2019: “The Path to Becoming a Data Driven Utility” – Reid Campbell from Halifax Water discussed using various sensors and best practices for water loss control and wet weather management. Members are invited to listen to the online recap.

  • July 2019: “KUB’s Digital Water Project Deployment – Lessons Learned & Unexpected Outcomes” – Drew Keller & Ted Tyree from Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) discussed the need for a proactive water loss management through DMA deployment. View the call recording HERE (SWAN Members only). 

  • June 2019: Arcadis, together with Bluefield Research, issued a report titled, “Demystifying Intelligent Water: Creating a human-centric future with AI and predictive analytics.” View the joint report HERE

  • April 2019: “Defining & Enabling Smart Water Innovation” – Eric Bindler, the Americas Alliance Research Group Chair and Bluefield Research Director, discussed the utility smart water journey. Listen HERE.


Michael Gardner – CEO & Founder, Aqaix

Q: In two sentences, please describe your organization.

A: Aqaix is a Silicon Valley startup offering tools and expertise for utility and watershed Digital Twin implementations. Our Data Integration Hub allows easy, secure and modern RESTful API integration across multiple data sources.


Q: Why did you join SWAN?

A: SWAN is the premier forum for water industry digitization. It is the strategic center for being on the cutting edge of Digital Water, sharing needs and insights, and collectively defining the future.

Q: What contribution(s) do you hope to make to the smart water community?

A: Silicon Valley has been in the forefront of understanding what must be done with structuring and integrating data, and making it accessible, so as to reap benefits from Big Data, Machine Learning, AI, and other important new data technologies. With IoT it’s easy to have data, but significantly hard to derive business ROI from the data. We have deep expertise to help ensure that ROI, and have had a direct hand in digital in various industries, including Retail and Financial Services. Water, as a highly regulated industry, faces some of the same digital challenges that Wall Street did.      

Q: What do you hope to learn from being part of the SWAN network?

A: Great software requires close listening to customer needs. We joined SWAN so as to hear firsthand about utilities’ digital vision, plans and needs, so that we can help and can more efficiently make our software the very best it can be to provide concrete value.

Q: How can other members connect with you?

A: Our website is aqaix.com, and you can email info@aqaix.com for more details on our products and services. You can follow us and engage on Twitter at #aqaixwater or look us up and follow us on LinkedIn.


Join the 10th Annual SWAN Conference – the leading, global smart water/wastewater event of the year! 

  • May 12 – 13, 2020 | Crowne Plaza Glasgow, Scotland

  • Call for abstracts now open through Jan. 6th

  • Early-bird registration ends Jan. 3rd

                        Learn more at: www.swan-2020.com 

Save the Date: AWWA│SWAN International Smart Water Symposium

  • November 10 – 11, 2020 | AT&T Hotel and Conference Center, Austin, TX

  • Call for abstracts coming end of December

  • Discounts available for SWAN Members

                                     Learn more HERE

Want to Join the Movement?

Join the SWAN Americas Alliance Planning Group

Open to SWAN Members, the Planning Group is comprised of diverse utility and industry leaders collaborating to advance smart water/wastewater sectors in North and South America.

We greatly value your feedback, please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
Email us at: info@swan-forum.com