Very few non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have a richness of history and wealth of experience comparable to that of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

AWWA was founded in 1881 by leaders in the growing industry of public waterworks in the US. The country was surging through an Industrial Revolution, the population was soaring and the complex issues surrounding the supply of clean, sustainable water demanded the focus of the nation’s best engineers and scientists.

The mission of AWWA then was to create a network of professionals in the areas of hydrology, geology, city planning and other fields, as well as financiers, community leaders and politicians with the goal of delivering clean water to America.

AWWA continues to pursue this mission with 57,000 members organized in 43 different sections, among them those who are responsible for delivering 85% of Americans with clean water. The NGO also partners with organizations in 100 other countries through its International Council to share its knowledge so that it may contribute to the fight against the global water crisis.

While AWWA places its emphasis on research, education and providing information on how to develop and sustain clean water resources, it also has a powerful political voice and frequently advocates for legislation that will better preserve America’s clean water resources and ensure its accessibility.

AWWA recognizes the importance of this national resource and promotes proper stewardship at the local and state level as much as it does in the halls of Congress. The Section Services department of the organization is organized by section across North America, and members and volunteers can participate in the larger mission of AWWA by contacting their regional representatives.

People with an interest in their local, regional or national clean water resources are encouraged to participate in the AWWA mission by becoming a member, volunteering on a water council or panel, contributing to a discussion or simply using AWWA’s Water Library to gather more information for sharing with others.