Dear CWQA members,
The Colorado Water Quality Association (CWQA) never had a huge membership base and especially in the last five years has seen a severe decline in membership and/or attendees at our yearly convention. In fact, the last two years we had to cancel it due to lack of participation, despite the fact that we had been able to attract vendors and speakers from all around the nation.
This trend is not just in our industry but others as well. In our industry, we as your association, face today the following challenges:
By talking to a lot of you in the industry over the last couple of years, the general consensus seems to be that there is no real value to a CWQA membership. If one is a member of the National WQA, one has more resources than the CWQA could ever provide, including technical support. On top of that, Colorado has been very lucky in not having any legislative issues that threatened our livelihoods. Water industry professionals in California or Texas (and other places) think differently and rally together to fight issues that can affect the water industry in their respective states, thus their businesses.
Years ago the attraction to come to our conference was for a great part for WQA certified people to earn CEU’s to maintain certification or getting WQA certified. We always made sure that we had as many educational sessions as possible to meet that goal. These days any certified water professional can get CEU’s online for free with the WQA. Vendors that participated for years in our conference did this mainly to support us as an organization, not because any of us gave them lots of/any business in return. Speakers and their companies paid for travel across the country, just out of the goodness of their heart and commitment to the industry overall. This year the Board of Directors decided that we on the Board will have to do educational sessions instead with no vendors. We always tried to have a well-rounded program at our yearly conferences and have asked you, the membership, for your input in past years, as this is your association as well.
Numerous times we have asked either via newsletter, via our web site, or at conferences whether anyone would have interest in serving on the Board voluntarily and obviously without pay. The response to repeated requests was very discouraging to say the least.
The Board of Directors concluded during a meeting recently that the CWQA is no longer a viable organization, and for the aforementioned reasons it would be irresponsible to carry on in this fashion - slowly but surely continuing to decline. The consequence of this decision is that we are terminating and dissolving the CWQA as a state association. The money held in accounts by the CWQA will be donated to the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF). Those who have already paid their yearly membership for 2014 will either receive a refund or it will go directly to the WQRF as part of the CWQA donation. Please let us know within thirty days as to whether you would prefer to receive a refund, or for it to be included in the donation to WQRF. The last date to request a refund will be August 15, 2014.
If you have any thoughts on this subject, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share anything received with the rest of the Board for further discussion.