American Water Works Association (AWWA)

American Water Works Association (AWWA)

Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.

Company details

6666 West Quincy Avenue , Denver , CO 80235 USA



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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:


Who we are

The American Water Works Association is an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational society dedicated to providing total water solutions assuring the effective management of water. Founded in 1881, the Association is the largest organization of water supply professionals in the world. 

Our membership includes over 3,900 utilities that supply roughly 80 percent of the nation's drinking water and treat almost half of the nation’s wastewater. Our nearly 50,000 total memberships represent the full spectrum of the water community: public water and wastewater systems, environmental advocates, scientists, academicians, and others who hold a genuine interest in water, our most important resource. 

AWWA also takes great pride in helping establish two preeminent organizations dedicated to safe water, the Water Research Foundation in 1966 and Water for People in 1991. AWWA unites the diverse water community to advance public health, safety, the economy, and the environment.

What we do

Today, water is not easily divided into different disciplines, and water professionals increasingly must understand and manage water in all its stages. AWWA has the information and experts to help you effectively and efficiently manage water from source to tap to reintroduction into the environment. AWWA is your source for Total Water Solutions.

Resources and Tools

Solutions for the Water Sector

  • Asset Management - Explore tools that assist the water sector with asset inventory, repair, replacement or renewal decisions and financing.
  • Wastewater Operations – Get information on utility management, operator certification, and Standards, including new ANSI/AWWA B130, Membrane Bioreactor Systems.
  • Reuse Programs – Check out Standards, the Planning for the Distribution of Reclaimed Water manual, conference programming and many volunteer opportunities.
  • Stormwater Management – Find information on green infrastructure, MS4s, source water protection and conference programming.
  • Emergency Preparedness – Learn from expert water professionals how to protect your utility and realize the benefits of WARN and industry Standards containing Department of Homeland Security Safety Act Certification.
  • Drought – Participate in the AWWA Drought Study, find program-specific best practices in the Drought Preparedness and Response manual, and attend conference sessions that help utilities mitigate the effects of drought.


St. Louis, 1881

On March 29, 1881, in Engineers’ Hall on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., 22 men representing water utilities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee founded the American Water Works Association.

They adopted a constitution that stated the purpose of the association as being “for the exchange of information pertaining to the management of water-works, for the mutual advancement of consumers and water companies, and for the purpose of securing economy and uniformity in the operations of water-works.” 

On Jan. 1, 1976, AWWA filed Articles of Incorporation in Illinois that reframed AWWA's purpose as follows: 

'The purpose for which the Association is formed is to promote public health, safety, and welfare through the improvement of the quality and quantity of water delivered to the public and the development and furtherance of understanding of the problems relating thereto by:

  • Advancing the knowledge of the design, construction, operation, water treatment and management of water utilities and developing standards for procedures, equipment and materials used by public water supply systems;
  • Advancing the knowledge of the problems involved in the development of resources, production and distribution of safe and adequate water supplies;
  • Educating the public on the problems of water supply and promoting a spirit of cooperation between consumers and suppliers in solving these problems; and
  • Conducting research to determine the causes of problems of providing a safe and adequate water supply and proposing solutions thereto in an effort to improve the quality and quantity of the water supply provided to the public.
The history of AWWA is the history of the people who have committed themselves to achieving the purpose set forth more than a century ago, now simply stated as creating a better world through better water.

AWWA also takes great pride in helping establish two preeminent organizations dedicated to safe water, the Water Research Foundation in 1966 and Water for People in 1991. 

In the video above, former AWWA Executive Director Jack W. Hoffbuhr tells the story of AWWA from its origins in the days of Geronimo, Wyatt Earp and Clara Barton through the 20th Century breakthroughs in public health by Louis Pasteur, John Snow, George Warren Fuller and Abel Wolman and into the beginning of the 21st Century, when today's water industry legends continue to honor AWWA's legacy of public service.

AWWA's history is detailed in a collection of articles by AWWA luminaries in the March 2006 issue of Journal AWWA, which celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the creation of AWWA. Articles cover AWWA Standards, publishing, the Annual Conference, the origins of the Water Research Foundation and Water for People and topics such as water treatment, water distribution, microbiology analytical methods, security and disaster preparedness.


  • A better world through better water


  • Providing solutions to effectively manage water, the world’s most important resource

Core Principles

  • Protect Public Health
  • Safeguard the Environment
  • Share Best Practices
  • Inspire Innovation
  • Foster Diversity and Inclusion

Strategic Goals

Member Engagement & Development

AWWA will be the association of choice for water utilities, professionals, and organizations

Strategic Objectives

  • Enhance the value experience for members
  • Strengthen the relationship of members with AWWA
  • Retain and grow our membership across all membership categories

Organizational Stewardship

AWWA will effectively and efficiently use its resources to serve its members and the water community

Strategic Objectives

  • Enhance the long-term viability of AWWA by enhancing revenue growth
  • Enhance the effectiveness of the business relationship between the Association and its Sections
  • Improve the alignment of the Association’s program portfolio to meet member needs
  • Increase investments in the Association’s drinking water and total water solutions offerings
  • Improve the effectiveness of the volunteer leadership in guiding the Association
  • Improve the use of technology to create greater efficiency and effectiveness

Knowledge Creation & Exchange

AWWA will be the authoritative resource on water

Strategic Objectives

  • Advance and expand the Association’s knowledge resources to include additional drinking water and total water solutions
  • Increase the coordination and collaboration of educational programs and services between the Association and its Sections
  • Increase the variety of effective distribution channels through which members can access AWWA knowledge resources
  • Increase the relevancy of the Association’s knowledge resources for global water professionals

Water Policy & Leadership

AWWA will be recognized as the valued and credible voice for water

Strategic Objectives

  • Enhance AWWA’s credibility with decision makers
  • Advance public awareness and clarity on water issues and the value of water
  • Engage media with credible information to advocate for water
  • Increase Section and member participation in advancing the Association’s water policy and leadership
  • Strategically partner to advance AWWA's water policy and leadership


Board of Directors

 Establishing policies for the overall management and direction of Association affairs is the responsibility of the board. The board is comprised of the President, who acts as chair, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, and Treasurer of the Association, the Chair of each Council, Chair of the Water Research Foundation, one or more Directors elected by each of the 43 AWWA sections, six of whom also serve as Vice-Presidents, four Directors-at-Large, and the Chief Executive Officer, who serves as secretary. Board members serve for three years. Regular board meetings are held in January and at the annual conference.

Executive Committee

 Between meetings of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee exercises full authority in conducting Association business to the extent provided in the Bylaws. The committee is made up of the President, who acts as Chair, President-Elect, Immediate Past-President, Treasurer, six Vice-Presidents, Chairs of the Councils, Chair of the Water Research Foundation, and the Chief Executive Officer, who serves as secretary.


 The President is the chief elected officer of the Association and presides at all board and executive committee meetings and at the general session of the annual conference. He/she accedes to office for a term of one year, after serving as President-Elect. An additional year is served as Immediate Past President. At each winter board meeting, the board electors elect a President-Elect, Vice-Presidents to fill any vacancies, and one or two Directors-at-Large. Each fourth year, a Treasurer, nominated by the Executive Committee, is confirmed by the board. The Presidential officers are the President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past-President.

AWWA is organized to permit its members and staff to coordinate their efforts in the fields of science and technology, education, public information, government affairs and other key areas of involvement. The Association has grown from the 22 men who organized it in March 1881, when the United States contained less than 1,000 public water supply systems, to its present membership of more than 50,000. 

AWWA is comprised of 43 sections. Each section functions under the provisions of its own bylaws and selects its own officers. Every section holds at least one meeting a year, attended by anywhere from 250 to more than 2,000 members and interested parties, at which papers are presented, information and ideas exchanged, committees convened and (sometimes) products exhibited. This and the many other section activities are for the purpose of improving water utility operation, management and design.

AWWA activities also develop through the efforts of various councils, divisions and committees. All of the divisions and most of the 250-plus working committees carry out their assigned projects under the direction of the Association's six councils. Other committees that report directly to the board are classified as standing committees; administrative and ad hoc committees may report to the Executive Committee or an Association council.

Make your future part of the future of water!

You know you want to work for more than just money. At AWWA you’ll find purpose, great benefits, relaxed culture, collaborative colleagues and  interesting work. AWWA serves over 50,000 professionals who keep water safe and flowing to the taps of homes and businesses in North America and beyond.

AWWA offers:

  • An environment that challenges your skills and makes your contributions meaningful and critical to our business success.
  • Opportunity to contribute to important projects in a non-profit organization whose work impacts the world and that will value you as an individual as well as an employee.
  • A great mix of pay, benefits, culture, environment and purpose that will challenge and use your skills in interesting work.

AWWA also offers benefits you will not find elsewhere

Retirement plan. 6% of your salary goes into your 403(b) account every pay period. If you defer 3% of your salary, AWWA matches it up to 3%. Altogether, that’s a potential of 12% of your salary going into your 403(b) retirement account every pay period.

Paid Time Off. Start with two weeks vacation and one week (pro-rated based on date of employment) of personal time off. That’s up to 3 weeks your first year.

Great benefits. AWWA offers health, dental and vision insurance plans, company paid life insurance, EAP and long-term disability - as well as optional short-term disability, voluntary life insurance, pet insurance, and credit union membership.

Corporate mission. AWWA unites the water community to provide safe, sufficient water for all. AWWA is committed to public health, sustainability and excellence. AWWA advances technology, education, science and government policies.

Location. Beautiful building, wildlife, and a relaxing, pleasant south side of Denver location next to Marston Reservoir. Great places to walk and eat lunch and a spacious, free parking lot.

Your co-workers! You’ll look long and far to find a better group of creative minds with whom to work.

AWWA is an equal opportunity employer. AWWA is dedicated to the principles of equal employment opportunity in all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status or any other status protected by law.