Water Leadership Institute Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who should apply?
All professionals in the water sector (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater), whether they be utility staff, consulting engineers or service providers, regulators, academics, or equipment manufacturers are encouraged to apply. The Water Leadership Institute is a program for emerging leaders in the water sector, which may include young professionals, career changers, and veterans, for example. For seasoned utility management professionals looking to move to Executive Management Positions, please see the Water & Wastewater Leadership Center.

Q: When is the application due?
The application for the 2019 class is due by January 31, 2019.The application process will open in November.

Q: Is there a fee for the program?
There is no fee to apply to the program.

If you are accepted you and your organization will be invoiced $1,195 for the program. This fee includes a full conference registration to WEFTEC 2019 in Chicago, Illinois (a $725 value.)The fee includes web meeting access with voice over IP. [If you choose to call in on a phone line you will be responsible for those charges.] The two day workshop in Alexandria is also included in this fee. Program participants are responsible for all their own travel costs.

Q: Is there any funding assistance available?
In October 2017, the WEF Board created the George S. Hawkins Scholarship to the WEF Water Leadership Institute. The scholarship will be given annually to one participant in the Water Leadership Institute and highlights George’s commitment to developing future water sector leaders. This scholarship will cover the program’s full tuition.

The WEF Board has approved additional funds which will allow us to offer additional scholarships this year.  These scholarships can be partial or full and are need based.  Funds will be allocated after the participants have been accepted to the program.  The total amount of funds available is a max of 6 full scholarships.

All scholarships can be applied for via the application to the WLI.

Q: Who will I be learning from?
The curriculum will be delivered by high caliber guest instructors from water and wastewater utilities and companies active in the sector. Guest lecturers from government agencies, communication firms and financial groups will also share their knowledge and experience.

Q: Do I have to be a member of the Water Environment Federation to apply and participate?
You do not have to be a WEF member to apply to the Institute.

Q: What kind of equipment will I need to participate in the in the monthly web meetings?
The web based meetings will be conducted using the Skype for Business product. You will need a computer with and internet connection for the web meetings. You will need computer speakers to use the Voice over IP audio function. You will also need internet access for readings viewing and online forum participation.

Q: What is the goal of the Water Leadership Institute?
As the water sector faces challenges from aging infrastructure, climate change, financial constraints, and increased demands, professionals who can develop and implement solutions to these issues are needed. The Water Leadership Institute is designed to encourage networking, innovation, entrepreneurship, and professional commitment from those individuals who will be leading the water sector into the coming decades, to preserve and enhance water resources for our current generation, as well as future generations.

Q: Who should I contact regarding the Water Leadership Institute?
A: WLI19@wef.org

As one of now 237 WLI alumni of this seven year old program, I believe the 2018 WLI program was successful because of the committee’s active commitment to continuous improvement. Reviewing my experience with fellow members that graduated between one, two and three years ago, the activities that made this program so valuable for me were as a result of feedback from years past, and is a testimony to the dedication of the team to each participant’s success. If you consider applying, discuss the potential this brings to you and to your company with your supervisor and colleagues. The value to those you work with is palpable within a few days of enrollment and you will be able to apply them almost immediately to your daily work life.

Priya Persaud, HBSc., P.Eng.
Design Engineer
City of Brantford
Brantford, ON