After the booming success of WEFTEC 2007 in San Diego, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) takes its annual international conference to the McCormickPlace in Chicago from Oct. 19-22. As the 81st installment in WEF’s successful series of trade shows, WEFTEC 2008 promises to be bigger and better than ever.

As the largest North American conference of its kind and the largest annual water quality exhibition globally, WEFTEC expects to host more than 18,000 waterand wastewater professionals from around the world. The conference has 1,027 exhibiting companies using more than 280,000 net sq ft of floor space atMcCormick Place.

In addition to the invaluable peer-to-peer networking and business opportunities, a wide range of water-related topics from more than 20 different focusareas allow attendees to design their own, unique learning experience while earning up to 35 CEUs and 9 PDHs. This year’s technical program includes 115technical sessions, 31 workshops and 10 facility tours. This world-class program will address a diverse and comprehensive list of contemporary water andwastewater issues ranging from collection systems and leading-edge research to sustainable water resources management and water reclamation and reuse.

The conference opens its General Session on Sunday, Oct. 19, with keynote speaker Professor John Anthony Allan, who is most notably known for his concept of“visual water,” which measures how water is embedded in the production and trade of food and consumer products. This concept has major impacts on globaltrade policy and research, especially in water-scarce regions and has redefined discourse in water policy and management.

WEFTEC targets the younger and lesser-experienced crowd in the water community, as well with its Students & Young Professionals program. The Students & YoungProfessionals session is aimed at better familiarizing the soon-to-be new generation of water professionals to the trade. Students are given the opportunityto attend a career fair with 30 participating companies, which helps to hone their interviewing skills and to pre-schedule interviews with some of the topenvironmental agencies in the United States and Canada.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 21st annual Operations Challenge aligns 40 of the top teams of wastewater personnel head to head in a battle of skills. The all-dayevent highlights the precision, speed and safety of the teams in five events.

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