Water-Sector Projects: Gain Insight and Connections at ACE23 in Toronto, Canada


Design-build projects are about much more than engineering and construction excellence. In particular, water system projects offer opportunities to make a lasting positive impact on the health and resilience of communities, as well as the environment. Delivering this type of triple-bottom-line success is among design-build’s superpowers, especially in the water sector.

This summer, leaders, professionals, companies and organizations from across the water community will gather for the Annual Conference & Exposition (ACE) of the American Water Works Association: June 11–14, 2023, in Toronto, Canada. There, they will discuss current water challenges and collaborate on the long-term future of water.

In coming years, some of the biggest and most interesting infrastructure and facilities projects will involve drinking water and wastewater systems. Growing populations, climate change impacts and evolving regulations are making water projects more urgent. Meanwhile, new technologies and resources (such as funding from the U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) are making these projects increasingly feasible and financially viable.

DBIA and AWWA have partnered over many years to bring design-build best practices to water and wastewater professionals at both the Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference and ACE. This year, that relationship is especially important as teams work to deliver historic projects nationwide.

ACE is the largest gathering of the entire community involved in water issues and projects. This event attracts more than 10,000 attendees from 80 countries, representing more than 1,000 water utilities. Also presenting and mingling at ACE are officials from all levels of government, experts in project finance, and scientists and researchers.

The ACE professional program is now online. There are many sessions prominently featuring project case studies, infrastructure issues, operational/facility considerations, and emerging challenges and opportunities. Current and emerging water issues, new technologies and strategic partnerships also are major topics at ACE.

This year, ACE will showcase Water 2050, an AWWA initiative that seeks to establish a long-term vision of the future of water. This collaborative exploration crosses disciplines and sectors to chart a course for a successful and sustainable water sector. At ACE23, AWWA will highlight the results so far from the Water 2050 process, which involves these steps:

  • Engaging in meaningful conversations. Through late 2023, leaders from within and outside the water sector are gathering at intimate “think tanks” to examine the future of water through the prism of five key drivers: sustainability, technology, economics, governance and social/demographic.
  • Enlisting strategic partners. In addition to water utilities, Water 2050 also actively involves service providers, academia, nonprofits, corporate water users, stakeholders and companies from relevant sectors.
  • Fostering intergenerational responsibility. Today’s and tomorrow’s water professionals and leaders must work together to create a successful future. The voices of young and emerging professionals are key to this
  • Capturing collective knowledge. AWWA will report on insights from each think tank and publish additional guidance to support the water community in realizing the Water 2050 vision. Some of this reporting will be unveiled at ACE23.

Register now for ACE. Early discount ends April 21. Learn more about Exhibitor and Sponsorship opportunities at ACE. Follow #ACE23 on social media.