Oct 14, 2013

WQA Builds Relationships With Key Federal Policymakers

WQA members and staff answer questions and offer facts and figures on Capitol Hill

Water Quality Assn. Members Staff  Capitol Hill

Sitting down with the elected officials and key players in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, the Water Quality Assn. (WQA) leadership built and strengthened relationships as part of an expanded effort to make the industry’s voice heard.

On Oct. 1 and 2, 2013, more than half a dozen staff and members of WQA explained their positions, answered questions and offered facts and figures on Capitol Hill and beyond. This marked the second such visit by WQA this year.

“We face increased regulatory and legislative challenges on every level of government, which also brings more opportunity,” said Dave Haataja, CEO of WQA.  “By cementing connections now, we will see countless benefits in the future.”

Members met personally with several congressmen, as well as with key influencers who help shape the political framework WQA works under.

Highlights included:

  • Sen. Barbra Boxer’s office (CA): Discussed water issues of interest in California, and WQA provided general information to begin building a strong relationship.
  • Sen. John McCain’s office (AZ): Met with key McCain staff on water issues and related concerns. McCain will be taking a more central role in water issues throughout Arizona, and the information and data from WQA was said to be useful going forward. Staff asked to be briefed on the committee on salinity.
  • Rep. John Campbell (CA): Meet-and-greet session provided a member of WQA leadership the opportunity to begin to develop a relationship with a local member of Congress. 
  • Rep. Dave Joyce (OH): Meet-and-greet session with the congressman, who discussed his own water treatment devices and will work to schedule an official visit to the facility of a member in his district.
  • Rep. Doug La Malfa (CA):  Meet-and-greet session with the congressman, who is particularly important to WQA and its western members as the first winner of the Pacific Water Quality Assn. award recognizing a legislator.
  • Rep. John Shimkus (IL): Met with the congressman. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he plays a key role in overseeing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Shimkus committed to helping particularly with EPA issues. He also committed to helping the water industry in the future on similar issues.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office (CA): Staff from the senator’s office expressed particular interest in WQA activities and data and asked that WQA further develop relationships in the future. They especially want to work together on point-of-use issues and providing water access to underserved communities. Additionally, they committed to helping with EPA relations. As the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development's chairwoman of appropriations, Feinstein is influential on issues related to the water industry.

The following individuals participated in the meetings:


  • WQA President Richard Mest, Master Water Conditioning Corp., Pottstown, Pa.;
  • Mike Mecca, Performance Water Products, Buena Park, Calif.; 
  • Tom Kinnane, Hague Quality Water of Maryland, Annapolis, Md.;
  • Mark Brotman, Kinetico Inc., Newbury, Ohio; and
  • Marty Jessen, Rayne Dealership Corp. and Pionetics Corp., San Carlos, Calif.

WQA staff:

  • CEO Dave Haataja; and
  • Director of Government Affairs David Loveday.