Keynote Speakers for KWEA / KsAWWA Joint Conference

Juanita Colon

Juanita Reyher-Colon, AWWA Vice President

Juanita Reyher-Colon is the executive director of the Hawaii Rural Water Association, where she has worked since 2017. She has been an active member of the Hawaii Section since joining AWWA in 2009.

Reyher-Colon is the current section director for the Hawaii Section. At the Section level, she has served in multiple roles as a board and committee member as outlined above. The Hawaii Section has presented her with the Outstanding Member Award and a Special Recognition Award. She has also been recognized for outstanding excellence and dedication to her profession and the achievement of women by the National Association of Professional Women.

She is a member of the Maui County Board of Water Supply; a coordinator of the Hawaii Small Systems Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network, a member of the Molokai Fire Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Molokai Climate Change Network. She is past chair of the Maui County Board of Variance and Appeals Commission and past president of the Molokai Land Trust. Reyher-Colon also holds a Distribution System Operator Grade 2 Certification. She received her Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu.


Diego Rosso

Diego Rosso, WEF Trustee

Diego Rosso is a member of the 2021-22 board of trustees for the Water Environment Federation (WEF), an international organization of water quality professionals headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.

Rosso is professor of civil and environmental engineering and of chemical engineering and material science at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also director of the Water-Energy Nexus (WEX) Center. He is principal investigator of the Environmental Process Laboratory, which is a process engineering research unit focusing on water reclamation and reuse. Rosso is also responsible for coordinating the research activities of the WEX Center, which is the converging point of multiple faculty and industrial partners, working together on fundamental and applied research that involved student research and training. He teaches courses on process design, physical-chemical treatment, carbon and energy footprint analysis of water, and a seminar on bubbles. He has published more than 200 times between journals and conferences and has published a book on aeration, mixing, and energy (Bubbles & Sparks).

Since 2000, Rosso has been investigating aeration systems and the water-energy-carbon nexus of water reclamation and reuse processes. His research work is centered on wastewater aeration and on the energy requirements for aerating efficiently. Both in research and professional practice, he is engaged in fieldwork and has been testing treatment facilities on four continents. He is a Chemical Engineering Laureate (2002) from the University of Padua in Italy and holds civil engineering M.S. (2003) and Ph.D. (2005) from UCLA.

Rosso has been an active member of WEF and of the California WEA and has been a member since he was a student. He has participated in various MA conferences and in WEFTEC as student, postdoctoral scholar, and professor. In addition, he has presented at international events supported by WEF, as WEF Ambassador, including several ACODAL conferences in Colombia and IWA WRRmod in France. After joining the WEFTEC Program Committee, he led the Municipal Symposium before taking the chair of the WEFTEC Program Committee in 2018. During his tenure in the Program Committee, he helped transform the program of WEFTEC and WEFTEC Connect, and has been a champion for new modes of content delivery, such as the mobile sessions, knowledge development forums, or foreign language programming.

When WEF assembled the Academic Engagement Task Force, Rosso joined and helped the federation and its research journal (Water Environment Research) promote the engagement of students, faculty, and researchers from academia and industry. In addition, he participated in other WEF activities, including the Fracking Task Group and the Knowledge Development Forum on Intelligent Water Technology Solutions for Disinfection and Public Health Protection and Water Security.

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