Industry practitioners, congressional leaders, state officials, regulators will meet during the three-day Water for All Life – An International Program Addressing a Decentralized Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future in Baltimore, Md., March 12-14, 2007. This forum brings together a unique collection of North American and international experts to share their knowledge, research, expertise, strategies and case studies for achieving sustainability in future water resource use through greater use of decentralized systems. This conference, the first international program to be held in the U.S. is also the 16th annual National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA). It is important that anyone involved in planning for and managing water resources, or wastewater or storm water management, attend this program.
For nearly two decades policy officials throughout the U.S. have been struggling with decisions about conflicts with growth, protecting ground and surface waters, and how to pay for the needed wastewater infrastructure. Added to this scenario are challenges in how to interpret the myriad of land use policies integrating watershed and storm water management with the practicality of providing an infrastructure for growth requiring needed water resources and sanitation. Today, there are even newer concepts to take into consideration: green building, closed-looped water systems, sustainable development, and “leapfrog technology” – all begging the question -- where and how do they fit into the regulatory process? More importantly, how do planners, policy and zoning officials take these new methods and turn them into reality?
NOWRA will provide an opportunity for practitioners and advocates of decentralized approaches in the U.S. to share their experiences with international practitioners, while learning about a wide range of advances in technology, planning, policy, and regulatory approaches occurring throughout Europe and Asia. The international program also provides sessions on accepted approaches to achieving sustainability. Many of the innovative programs currently underway worldwide that can be integrated with decentralized wastewater systems will be featured at the conference. Examples include “leapfrog” technology in developing economies; sustainability ratings for water; green development and closed loop water systems; managed reuse in commercial buildings; watershed management; integrated water resource management; research and development for decentralized systems; innovation strategies; and global competition and new markets.
Over 150 exhibitors are attending to enhance the learning of the participants. More details and conference updates are available on two websites - www.waterforalllife.org  and NOWRA’s website www.nowra.org .