Oklahoma City, Okla. – NRWA and ORWA hosted a Mexican delegation of water utility managers and senior staff in Oklahoma City, November 14 – 15, 2019, to discuss the operations and management of small water and wastewater systems in the US.
NRWA was contacted by the US Department of State, Global Ties because of its international connections and well-known training and technical assistance to rural systems across the country.
“The group will examine sewage treatment infrastructure and plans for maintenance, populations growth and contingencies necessary for waterways to be safe for recreational contact and drinking,” stated in the US State Department program request from Melissa Graffigna, President of the International Visitors’ Council of Oklahoma City.
Jimmy Seago, ORWA Deputy CEO, and Steve Wheeler, Field Operations Manager, coordinated a tour of the Del City Water Treatment Plant located just east of Oklahoma City. The group was given a personal tour by the Del City water superintendent where they were given a hands-on experience of the daily operations.
The next day at ORWA headquarters, Sam Wade, NRWA CEO, and James Gamill, ORWA CEO, welcomed the 9-member Mexico delegation to Oklahoma, and staff began presenting information about programs, trainings and other necessary day-to-day activities inside the associations.
“We do not have an association or an organization like these in Mexico,” one delegate said. “But to see a group of experts pull together to help systems and communities is what it should be all about.”
The three-hour scheduled meeting ran overtime as the Mexico group had questions about the structure, planning and implementation of each program and wanted to dive deeper in hopes that some of these practices could be introduced in their communities.
The Mexico delegation visited three other states including Michigan, Kansas and Missouri where they met with universities and government agencies.
“Your staff shined with expertise, hospitality, and goodwill to make the visit one of the professional highlights of this State program,” one of the US State Department representatives said as they thanked everyone in the room.