National Water Quality Awareness Month: Reflecting on the Future

In about a month, I'm going to give my annual keynote address to Dewberry's leadership. It's a challenging task I enjoy - thanking a group of dynamic professionals for their hard work, engaging them in the strategic initiatives of the company, and sharing with them my thoughts on the future direction of the firm. I'm the kind of person who likes to move forward; I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the past. However, this is my fifth year with Dewberry; so as I'm preparing the talk, I've taken a look at where we were, as a company, when I became CEO. I've also reflected on what future-looking scenarios I challenged our leaders to envision a few years back.

One of these scenarios involved one of my favorite topics: water. More specifically, how advanced treatment technology and innovative engineering could optimize the nation's water supply resources while protecting surface water and ground water quality, as well as increase independence for communities in need and treatment of emerging contaminants. It's exciting to look around Dewberry and see examples of how our engineers are working with clients to realize some of these future-looking scenarios.

For instance, you read a few weeks ago in the blog, "Creating County Water Independence," about two communities that Dewberry supported in engineering options to minimize future risks and support geographic growth. Dewberry has also worked with a client in Fairfax County, Virginia, to preserve treated drinking water while protecting a valuable natural resource, by designing a reclaimed water distribution center. Also, in 2015, the Rueter-Hess Water Purification Facility located in Parker, Colorado, will begin operating. Unique to the new treatment facility will be an innovative re-circulating powdered activated carbon (PAC) system to remove dissolved organic carbon compounds prior to filtration, the first of its kind in the United States. I can't wait to visit, once it comes on-line.


As any former practicing engineer in this industry will probably tell you, when you switch over to firm management, there are times that you miss solving engineering challenges and chasing new work. I like to stay on top of what's happening with my fellow water engineers and enjoy challenging our younger engineers with questions about their projects - and enjoy it even more when they teach me something new. Our next generation of engineers, architects, scientists, and specialists at Dewberry are a talented and driven group. I know, as I stand to give my keynote address next month that they will be ready to take on the future scenarios we envision and will realize solutions that we've yet imagined.

  • Donald E. Stone, Jr.
    Donald E. Stone, Jr.
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