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Welcome to GAWP

Thank you for your interest in the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization). Included on this website, you will find information designed to enhance your career and to broaden your understanding of the water field, including drinking water, reclaimed wastewater, water resources, and stormwaterWe have endeavored to make this site a useful and dynamic source of up-to-date information.

Historically, GAWP began working in 1932 on drinking water treatment education and training.  Since then, GAWP has expanded to address wastewater treatment, water resources and stormwater management, water conservation, utility management and customer service, and the broad realm of activities required to responsibly manage Georgia water resources.  

In addition, the Association has increased the scope of its activities and the depth of its involvement, becoming a prominent and authoritative source of information on water-related issues to the General Assembly and If you are not an active member, we encourage and invite you to consider joining others who have decided to be a part of this preeminent environmental association. If you are an active member, we appreciate your continued support and welcome your input.

Mission Statement

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals educates, provides professional development and promotes sound public policy in the water resources and related environmental fields.

Vision Statement

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals will be the go‐to source for reliable information on Georgia's water resources for water professionals, decision makers, the media, and the public.

Executive Director

Pam Burnett

As the Executive Director, Pam Burnett is responsible for providing organizational support for implementing the mission of GAWP.  Pam and the GAWP staff assist our more than 4,000 individual members, 300+ utility and corporate members, with organizing training, education, conferences, committee activities, and water-related communications throughout the State of Georgia.  On any given day, the GAWP headquarters building in Marietta is buzzing with activity as our members engage with one another through committees, workshops, and planning conferences.  The GAWP staff are committed to serving our members and to support the mission of the Association. 

Pam joined the GAWP staff in 2012, after a 35-year career in water management, primarily serving public agencies and utilities.  She started her career in 1976 in the Engineering Division of the St. Paul District Corps of Engineers, after graduating from the University of Minnesota.  She later joined the Wisconsin DNR in Madison, while attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin.  She rejoined the Federal Government as a hydrologist and forecaster with the National Weather Service in Tulsa  and Atlanta.  She worked for the Atlanta Regional Commission in the mid-1980’s, and began working with local water managers and utilities.  Pam enjoyed many years as an engineering consultant from 1987-2012, when she joined the staff at GAWP.  Her responsibilities also include oversight of the Georgia Water and Wastewater Institute (GWWI) in Carrollton.


GAWP President

Keith Higgs


Keith is the Deputy Director of Wastewater Operations for the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority. As Deputy Director, he manages the operations of the Authority’s five wastewater treatment plants, which also includes a central laboratory, an industrial pretreatment program, a grease trap program, and a watershed monitoring program. The Authority’s plants have been awarded several State of Georgia Best Operated Wastewater Treatment Plant recognitions, three Region IV EPA Operations Excellence Awards, and three National EPA Operations Excellence Awards.

Keith began his wastewater career in 1981 with the City of Carrollton as a laborer shoveling drying beds and washing clarifiers. Keith has 37 years of experience in wastewater treatment operations and management. He holds a State of Georgia Class I Wastewater Treatment Operators License, a Class III Water Treatment Operators License, and is a Certified Environmental Trainer through the National Environmental Training Association.

Keith is a past recipient of the Water Environment Federation’s William D. Hatfield Award in recognition of outstanding performance in works operation, management, and advancement of knowledge in the field of water pollution control, and the N.M. deJarnette Award for outstanding service in water pollution control.

Keith is a member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals and the Water Environment Federation. Keith currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Water and Wastewater Institute, the current GAWP Scholarship Committee Chair, and is a Past Chair of the Georgia Water Environment Federation Section.

Keith has been married to his high school sweetheart Neva for 38 years. They have two daughters; Jessica Arnoldy and her husband Joe have a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son who live in Marietta, and Jamie Howard and her husband Zach and their 1-year old daughter who live in Carrollton. Keith (AKA G-Daddy) and Neva are active members with their Church in Carrollton where Keith actually sings with the worship team and Neva teaches, and they spend their spare time at Lake Wedowee boating and fishing with family and friends.

GAWP Biography

The Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP) is a not-for-profit Association founded in 1932 with membership of nearly 4,000 water and wastewater treatment plant operators and managers, municipal and industrial officials, stormwater and environmental managers, civil engineers, environmental engineers, scientists, manufacturers and their representatives, contractors, elected officials, and others concerned with Georgia's water resources. GAWP also has over 300 Utility and Corporate organizational members. Our chief purpose is to educate and assist those who have an interest in the proper management and protection of Georgia's water resources. Our membership also includes the professionals who implement state and federal water supply, water protection, and water resources laws and regulations.

GAWP is dedicated to exceptional professional education, dissemination of sound technical principles and scientific information, increased public understanding, and promotion of valid public laws and programs. Our chief purpose is to assist those who have an interest in water, wastewater, and related topics in the State of Georgia. GAWP holds four major technical conferences over the course of the year and conducts Georgia's second-largest professional meeting with over 1,000 attendees. In addition, the Association hosts or co-sponsors numerous specialty workshops across the state and the Southeast. GAWP is divided into eight geographic Districts, with each District having an appointed Director and an Assistant. We believe personal contact is critical to maintaining a healthy Association and local assistance is achieved via direct support from these 16 volunteers. They, along with nine GAWP employees, deliver exceptional member support services and strive to further Georgia water professional's merit and value on a daily basis.

GAWP also owns and operates the Georgia Water and Wastewater Institute (GWWI), which provides the vast majority of training for water and wastewater treatment plant operators, laboratory analysts, and other water industry professionals in Georgia. For further information on GWWI, visit

GAWP is affiliated with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) through GAWP's WEF Section, which is comprised of some 750 professionals in the field of water protection in Georgia. WEF represents public and private water utilities, consulting engineers, equipment manufacturers, elected officials, and others charged with the responsibility of protecting water resources. The Water Environment Federation is an international association of some 34,000 professionals in this field.

GAWP is affiliated with the American Water Works Association (AWWA) through the Georgia Section of AWWA. The Georgia Section of the American Water Works Association is comprised of some 1,000 professionals in the field of water supply in Georgia. AWWA represents public and private water utilities, consulting engineers, equipment manufacturers, elected officials, and others charged with the responsibility of providing a safe and clean supply of drinking water. The American Water Works Association is an international association of some 50,000 professionals in this field.

GAWP is also affiliated with the American Water Resources Association through its respective Georgia Chapter, the Georgia Ground Water Association and the Georgia Water Wise Council. Each of these organizations has approximately 200 members within the total membership of GAWP.