Women in Water Life

Women in Water Life

By Becca Bowyer, Director of Engineering

The water industry has been blessed with numerous female contributors throughout time, but today’s women in South Carolina are making waves. As a joint effort of the South Carolina chapter of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Association of South Carolina, Women in Water Life was established in 2024 and held its first official meeting at the South Carolina Environmental Conference (SCEC).

As the first chair of the committee, I am excited to promote this new platform for South Carolina women in the water industry. It is a way to recognize the accomplishments of female leaders in the water sector while encouraging diversity and inclusion of all skills and providing opportunities for growth, development and career advancement paths. The group is also fostering a sense of community and maximizing the confluence of the water environment, gender talents and employment needs. This year SCEC made promoting these principles of Women in Water Life effortless.

Our first official meeting as a standing committee was well attended by over 100 women. We want to recognize the importance of women’s contributions to the industry, foster a sisterhood of growth and development at all levels, and further develop the mission of “Providing our members educational and networking opportunities that promote, protect and preserve South Carolina’s water resources while fostering a community dedicated to the advancement of women in the water industry.”

At the SCEC Women in Water Life event, women celebrated our new committee, enjoyed the ability to come together and planned for the future. As a standing committee, we divided into geographic groups to begin building relationships with those who are physically closest to each other. There was lots of chit-chat, smiles, laughter and bonding as the foundations for the local groups developed. Throughout the upcoming fiscal year, we hope that these local groups can get together more often for some fun activities and continue growing their professional relationships to new heights.

Highlights of our brainstorming activities to bond and encourage included volunteering to serve the community, sponsoring other association events, hosting tailgate parties, teaching a skill like cooking or sewing, developing mentorship programs, fellowshipping with food and drink, touring an area on foot or kayak, unwinding to yoga and educating young ladies on future opportunities. This is no little feat to carry this forward, and it will take many to build an ocean from the pond that has been formed. As Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” We look forward to implementing these visions as one Women in Water Life team.

For those interested in joining Women in Water Life, please visit our webpage at SCAWWA/WEASC (scwaters.org) and let us know your vision for a great future.

Becca Bowyer is ReWa’s director of engineering. She has more than 30 years of experience in South Carolina’s water and sewer industries.