By Sophie Schmidt
Mick and I had a blast in San Antonio last week at Texas Water 2022, the largest regional water conference in the US. We arrived in San Antonio during the return of the “Fiesta” festival, an event that celebrates the heroes of the Alamo and showcases the rich culture and diversity of San Antonio. Boat parades along the beautiful river walk, local food festivals, and horse drawn carriages welcomed us to the city.
We excitedly arrived at the Henry B. González Convention Center Exhibit Hall to find more than 660 exhibitors ready to meet and network with the ~6,800 attendees. After two years with no in-person events, it was clear that exhibitors were pulling out all the stops in anticipation of one of the first in-person water conferences of the year. Our booth was located in the Innovation Lounge, amongst some of the most exciting and innovative companies in water right now. We were delighted to catch up with our friends StormSenor, 120Water and AquaTrax amongst others.
Setup and meet and greet completed, we decided to hit the Riverwalk to take in the first night of the Fiesta! We found a restaurant serving margaritas bigger than Mick’s head and enjoyed the festivities.
Tuesday morning came around quickly and we hurried to the convention center for the opening session, where San Antonio Water System President and CEO Robert R. Puente energized and motivated the attendees. After the session, hundreds of people streamed into the exhibit hall and suddenly Texas Water 2022 was in full swing.
Over the course of the two-day conference, Mick and I were able to meet with many of our customers, including the teams from Houston, Dallas, Fort-Worth, Hurst and Benbrook. It was a joy to meet the people behind their Zoom windows, and I can’t wait to visit more users in person moving forward!
The attendees this year enjoyed and learned from a huge variety of technical sessions. Technical specialists spoke on Pretreatment, Odor and Corrosion Control, and even Workforce Development. Before meeting us for drinks at the Alamo, Joseph spoke about controlling PFAS and Other Pollutants in a smash-hit Pretreatment technical session.
Of course, SwiftComply was interested in the session led by Saurabh Bansai about Leveraging Smart Water Systems data for water conservation. It was clear the attendees this year were eager to learn, and the conference provided a packed schedule of opportunities to do so.
In addition to hundreds of exhibitors and technical sessions, Texas Water hosts some of the most niche water industry-based competitions around, including Operations challenges, meter and hydrant assembly, and the highly anticipated Pipe Tapping Contest. Kudos to Jessica Staggs and her team on making it to the final at Ace2022 in a couple of months!
Looking back on our action-packed week in San Antonio, I can say that SwiftComply is grateful to have in-person events back on the agenda. Meeting our community in person is what drives the growth and innovation of this incredible industry. Look for us at AWWA California, ABPA in Las Vegas, and ACE2022 back in San Antonio, and come say hi! We’ll be sure to have our comic books and other goodies waiting for you.