AWRA 2015 Annual Conference Highlights Water Resource Efforts

The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) held its Annual Conference this week in Denver, Colorado.  Participants included representatives from states (including the Minnesota drinking water program), Federal agencies, non-profits (including ASDWA), academia, consulting firms, and more.  The conference offered a variety of sessions on water resources and planning; climate change; water quality and quantity; water reuse and recharge; source water protection; data, modeling, and GIS tools; water and energy, agriculture, and forestry; western water laws; and more.  Some highlights of the conference included:

  • Keynote presentations from Kenneth Wright on the history of ancient water supply engineering in Mesa Verde, and from Jim Lochhead of Denver Water about the Colorado River Compact.
  • Climate change presentations about the lack of groundwater withdrawal regulations in western and eastern states; the need for forestry maintenance programs to reduce impacts from forest fires on water quality and drinking water supplies; and using web services for climate forecasting.
  • A special session track on the Open Water Data Initiative that included an overview of how USGS, EPA, NOAA, and other partners are working together to integrate currently fragmented water data into a national framework for understanding water quality and quantity considerations that will support state and Federal decision making processes. This track also featured information about the National Flood Interoperability Experiment use case to help build a new high resolution, near real-time hydrologic simulation and forecasting model for the United States, and a presentation by the Western States Water Council (WSWC) about the development of their Water Data Exchange (WaDE) framework for sharing real-time access to western states’ water allocation, supply, and demand data in a common format.
  • A TMDL session that included presentations by the states of Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado about developing and implementing TMDLs and prioritizing efforts aimed at reducing nutrient impairments and protecting drinking water supplies.
  • Presentations about water treatment, reuse, and replenishment efforts and implications for oil and gas development on water quality and quantity.
  • Presentations by EPA about the Source Water Collaborative tools and the Drinking Water Mapping Application for Protection Source Waters (DWMAPS), by the Water Research Foundation about a variety of projects addressing multiple water resource topics.
  • A session on stormwater reuse that featured presentations about the Minnesota drinking water program’s efforts to develop regulations and update current guidance to address health considerations for stormwater reuse, as well as presentations from San Francisco Public Utilities and the City of Santa Monica about indoor and outdoor permit conditions and use requirements for grey water and stormwater.

For more information about AWRA and its conferences, visit the web site HERE.