July 22, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Thermonuclear bomb blast? Love this photograph – a microburst during a thunderstorm over Phoenix. You can see a video by clicking here.
Reminiscent of some of those H-bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean in the 1950s.
Enjoy this week’s summary - click here.
”…the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.” - Werner Heisenberg (thanks to Christiana Z. Peppard)
July 20, 2016 | Posted by cmccrehin
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This interview is the second of a six part series, written/conducted by AWRA President Martha Narvaez, celebrating the role of AWRA Women in Water Resources.
Length of Time in the Water Resources/Natural Resources Field
Administrator, Technical Services Division, Oregon Water Resources Department (Salem, OR)
- Senior Policy Coordinator, Oregon Water Resources Department (Salem, OR)
- Public Policy Coordinator, Tualatin Valley Water District (Beaverton, OR)
- Policy Director, U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership (Washington, DC)
- Research Analyst, Investor Responsibility Research Center and Calvert Investments (Washington, DC)
- BA and MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University
- Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Honors and Appointments
- AWRA’s Henry P. Caulfield, Jr. Medal (2013) for exemplary contributions to national water policy
- AWRA’s Ivan A. Johnson Award for Young Professionals (2008)
- Courtesy faculty appointment to Oregon State University’s School of Public Policy
How did you get involved in the water resources field? I started my career conducting research on behalf of institutional investors, some of the largest pension funds and endowment funds in the U.S. I traveled overseas to conduct factory audits of publicly-held corporations, analyzing their environmental, social, and governance behavior. While I saw a lot of interesting things, what fascinated me the most was the water—the use of water, the discharge of water, and the purchase of and negotiation for water. I then went to work as a contractor for USAID, analyzing environmental policies and practices in Southeast Asia. Back in the U.S., I realized that water allocation takes place at the state level and that’s where I wanted to keep my focus. Ultimately, that’s why I landed with the State of Oregon, at the Water Resources Department.
How did you get involved with AWRA? When I began working for a local drinking water provider, many of my colleagues were already members of national-level industry associations such as the American Water Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers. We didn’t yet have a strong tie to AWRA. My supervisor encouraged me to join AWRA, to get involved, and to start to take on leadership roles at the national level. It was great advice!
How has the water resources field changed since you started your career? Competition for water has become even more fierce as pressures from climate change, regulation, and litigation increase. This ferocity is compounded by volumes of misinformation in the public domain and a highly charged political arena. This leaves very little room to be creative and collaborative. When I was growing up, I watched with interest and admiration those politicians who could negotiate the noise and get to good solutions.
How will the water resources field change in the next few years? If we are disciplined about it, we will make better use of information than we do today. Many of our data systems in the natural resources arena are still pretty old school and even though we have great data that we have collected it doesn’t always get where it should in a timely and friendly format. We need to make information accessible and usable by more people, both in and out of government.
Biggest career success? I think I’m proudest of the role I played leading the team that developed Oregon’s first Integrated Water Resources Strategy (state water plan) in 2012. This is a document that is both implementable and practical, and involved years’ worth of public process, visiting with Oregonians, documenting their water challenges, and writing and re-writing drafts that resulted in a solid set of recommended actions. The resulting Strategy will help Oregon understand and meet its water needs into the future. We’re working on the 2017 update right now.
Biggest lesson learned? The biggest lesson I have learned is that no success is possible without a good team. I’ve discovered that working full time and trying to raise a family is really difficult! I had no idea how challenging and tiring it would be to try to do everything I wanted to do, and to try to do it well. The fact that I’m still doing both, and enjoying both, is because of the team of folks that surround me and help me every day. My husband, Mark, in addition to his own successful career and business, is also the chief chef and shopper in our family. He frees up a lot of space so that I have the time and energy to do the things I love at work. In addition, my staff members are the most talented folks I know. And, I’ve had three of the most incredible mentors throughout my career; Owen Cylke, Todd Heidgerken, and Phil Ward were all generous enough to grant me access to their own professional networks. They made sure that I got to peek behind the curtain and understand how things really work. And all three made sure that I had an opportunity to travel, write, and negotiate.
Biggest regret? I can’t think of any regrets. I have had great support, staff, and colleagues at every step.
Share a leadership story? Most of the products and projects that I’m most proud of were completed using informal leadership, meaning that I didn’t have staff under my direct supervision. From AWRA’s policy white papers, to Oregon’s state water plan, these efforts involved the formulation of ideas, refinement of concepts, and vetting of the details. Such efforts depend heavily upon public participation, agency collaboration, and a willingness to incorporate new information.
As an example, through my work with a local water utility a decade ago, I became interested in the concept of pharmaceutical take-back programs. These are programs where citizens can safely take unused or unwanted medications to law enforcement for proper disposal in burners or lined landfills, instead of dumping them down the drain. Our local healthcare community included a number of adult care facilities, which deal with this issue in bulk on an everyday basis. Because I had the time, energy, and interest, the local City Council allowed me to convene a group of local law enforcement officers, public works officials, healthcare providers, solid waste haulers, and regulators to design a program for these healthcare facilities that met everyone’s specifications. This was a program each participant strongly supported for very different reasons; implementation was the tough part. Through a series of meetings and negotiations, we were able to address everyone’s concerns and create a successful program, the first of its kind in Oregon.
Biggest challenge as a woman in the business? In my work, I have never come up against a bias or glass ceiling with regard to gender. I credit the strong and capable women in previous generations who paved the way and took the brunt of these challenges. I’m deeply appreciative of the women who have come before me. Even now, I’m surrounded by strong female leaders in my personal and professional life—my mom and sister; the female scientists, programmers, engineers, planners, and policy advisors in my own agency; my mayor; my governor.
One piece of advice you wish someone told you early on in your career? I wish someone had told me it was all right to not have a career plan. I never was one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grow up. I didn’t have that one job, that one career, or that one goal I was striving for. By staying open to the unknown, I said yes to research assignments, international travel, experiences in the military, public and private sectors, and other adventures I didn’t even know existed. I like to say that I’ve been around the world and back again, and I love where I landed. With my home in Oregon, and AWRA friends around the globe, I’m in a very good place.
True inspiration? Family. I want to be such a good steward of resources and ideas that my kids find me interesting and find the work I am doing interesting. I want them to be proud of me each night at the dinner table when I talk about my day. My kids are my biggest inspiration.
As mentioned, this is a six-part series on AWRA’s Women in Water. Watch for next month’s interview with AWRA Past President Jane Rowan.
Author Martha Narvaez is AWRA’s President. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY 2016 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
MY HUSBAND AND I recently met with a financial advisor. Our take-home message was the importance of strategically investing in the unexpected (life insurance) and the long-term (retirement). A large part of me wasn’t the least bit excited about this approach. Investing in the unexpected and long-term, I don’t reap any real benefit in the here and now, yet I have to pay for it. Meanwhile, the logical part of my brain realized this strategy is essential. Once I came to terms with this approach I began to realize how similar my personal situation is to investing in water resources.
As water resource professionals, like financial planners, we understand how important it is to invest in the unexpected threats and the long-term health of water resources. If we strategically invest, we can minimize the unexpected—main breaks, lead contamination, algae outbreaks, flooding and the list goes on. Long-term investments, such as reuse and recycling, maintenance, research, education, infrastructure improvements, pollution reduction and water storage and security, are another critical piece of the water resources investment strategy. Water resource professionals understand the importance of this investment strategy, yet there is often a lack of public support for investing in water resources. Those investments may not be appealing because, like life insurance and retirement investments, they don’t always provide an immediate and tangible benefit. Yet without these water resource investments—as with personal investments—our future is in jeopardy.
Water reuse and recycling is a great example of investing in our future. Long ago, recycling was complicated, confusing and not something that the average citizen did. Today, we commonly have recycling bins in our homes, work spaces and lining the streets. Recycling has become second nature to many and has become the law in many places. It is in our best interest, and in the interest of our water resource investment strategy, to continue this trend and to make water reuse and recycling as simple as recycling glass bottles and aluminum cans. Investment in this long-term strategy is critical to the health of water resources.
As you read this issue on water reuse and recycling, challenge yourself to think of innovative ways we can reduce the unexpected and invest in the long-term health of water resources. We need to put our heads together and challenge ourselves to find innovative and new ways to ensure the future of water resources.
Now is a great time to be in the water resources field. It’s exciting. It’s challenging. Collectively we have great ideas and the expertise. It’s all about clean water. But clean water for our future means strategic investment now.
AWRA members please consider sharing your ideas with our water resources community on Conversations.awra.org. This is a member benefit that provides a platform for water resources knowledge to be shared, enhanced and searched. It is the new home for all of AWRA’s online conversations and provides an immediate connection to more than 2,200 of your AWRA colleagues. If you are not an AWRA member, but would like to participate in this conversation, please leave your comments below or consider joining AWRA.
I also hope many of you will join us in Orlando in November for AWRA’s Annual Conference, so that we can continue this discussion.
Martha Corrozi is president of AWRA and can be reached at email@example.com.
AWRA would like to congratulate the following individuals and organizations for their outstanding work in water resources management. These awards will be presented during AWRA’s Annual Water Resources Conference, November 13-17, 2016, in Orlando, FL.
- Carol Collier
- Michael Lilly
The Fellow Member designation was adopted in 1974 in recognition of membership in the association for at least 10 consecutive years, service as an officer, director, or committee member for one year, and an eminent record in a branch of water resources science or technology.
Sandor Csallany Institutional Award
- Orange County Water District (www.ocwd.com)
The District’s forethought and creativity in the form of progressive groundwater management and water reuse has been outstanding.
Outstanding State Section
- AWRA Florida State Section (www.awraflorida.org)
The Florida State Section has shown particular innovation in its programs, membership growth and establishing AWRA as a significant water resources professional organization throughout the entire state of Florida.
Outstanding Student Chapter
- University of Florida AWRA Student Chapter (www.awraflorida.org/students)
The University of Florida AWRA Student Chapter demonstrated innovation in its programs and has done an excellent job.
AWRA will announce additional award and scholarship recipients in the coming weeks, with a full and detailed release in September 2016. Please visit the AWRA Awards page for more information on these and all other AWRA awards.
July 15, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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John Fleck, WaterWonk/journalist extraordinaire whose new book the Colorado River basin - Water is for Fighting Over: and Other Myths about Water in the West - is due out on 1 September, recently sent around the following graphic showing Albuquerque’s 50% decrease in per capita water use over two decades. Impressive!
Click here for the weekly water news summary – jobs, too!
”Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” - Leonardo da Vinci
July 14, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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You probably have your ‘favorite’ WWP – mine is the California Bay-Delta morass.
Friend, colleague, AWRA Board member and MWH Global facilitator extraordinaire Lisa Beutler presented her ideas on these vexing dilemmas at the recent Arizona Water Resources Research Center’s2016 Annual Conference.
Here is her PPT as a PDF: Download BEUTLER
And here is her video (click here for the link):
Here is her article (starts on page 3) in the summer issue of Arizona Water Resource:
The first two paragraphs of her article follow:
It’s a rare day when western water managers don’t check the weather. A de ning feature of this geographic region of the United States is a lack of precipitation. A second feature is great faith by its people in a technical solution to whatever problem a lack of rain creates.
Long before Europeans arrived, predecessors to the Hohokam people migrated from central Mexico to southern Arizona, bringing domesticated crops and their knowledge of irrigation with them. Their descendants constructed networks of diversion dikes to capture runoff rainwater and cultivate elds. Mission priests expanded and enhanced the historic systems, building new rock dams and small earthen reservoirs. In 1902, the U.S. Reclamation Service (later changed to Bureau of Reclamation) was created to advance a federal effort of “irrigation works for the storage, diversion and development of waters”— to irrigate arid and semiarid lands in 16 Western states and territories.
If anyone can solve wicked water problems, it’s Lisa.
Thanks to Sharon B. Megdal, Director of the WRRC, for sending me this information.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.” - Gandhi (thanks to Pat Reid)
Water Resource Specialists: The U.S. Department of Labor Kindly Requests Your Assistance in Defining ‘Water Resource Specialist’
July 10, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Last summer about this time I asked you for assistance in helping the US
Department of Labor ensure that the occupational term ‘Hydrologist’ was properly defined. You responded and the folks (Tammy Belcher) at RTI (Research Triangle Institute), a Department of Labor contractor, were very appreciative.
Tammy (877-233-7348 ext. 119 or firstname.lastname@example.org) is back again this year, but this time it’s for the occupational term ‘Water Resource Specialist’. And you could get $40 cash money! I’m all in.
Water Resource Specialist: Design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply, quality, and regulatory compliance issues.
For details download her request below (PDF or .docx) or read the material below the line of stars. Please respond to her by 15 August 2015.
11 July 2016
Dear Members of the Water Resources Community:
The O*NET Data Collection Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is seeking the input of expert Water Resource Specialists. As the nation’s most comprehensive source of occupational data, O*NET is a free resource for millions of job seekers, employers, veterans, educators, and students at www.onetonline.org.
You have the opportunity to participate in this important initiative as it will help ensure that the complexities of your profession are described accurately in the O*NET Database for the American public for career exploration and job analysis.
Water Resource Specialists: Design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply, quality, and regulatory compliance issues.
You are considered an Occupation Expert if you meet the following criteria:
- At least 5 years of experience with the occupation. Includes those who are now supervising, teaching, or training IF you have at least one year of practice during your career.
- Currently active in the occupation (practicing, supervising, teaching and/or training) and based in the U.S.
If you meet these criteria and are interested in participating as an occupation expert, please email or call Tammy Belcher by 15 August 2016 at the O*NET Operations Center at RTI International (the O*NET data collection contractor) 877-233-7348 ext. 119 or email@example.com provide the following:
- Name/ # years of experience
- Address with city and state
- Daytime phone number
- Email address
- Do you have at least one year of practice in the occupation and are you still active?
Process and Participation Incentive:
A random sample of experts responding to this request will be invited to complete a set of questionnaires (paper or online versions available). $40.00 in cash and a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Department of Labor will be included with the questionnaires.
We encourage you to consider helping to keep information about your profession accurate and current for the benefit of our colleagues and the nation. Thank you very much for your support of the DOL’s O*NET program.
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” - Lenin (in The Week)
July 8, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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These are by Mark Robak, taken from Highway 99 in California’s Central Valley.
Lastly, this gorgeous shot of anticrepuscular rays, taken in early June 2016 by Regina Kelly in Westminster, CO (story here).
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“I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
July 1, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Here is a handy guide to the dissemination of your results, courtesy of Tom Gauld:
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“Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.” - H. Mumford Jones
June 24, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Monday morning I head to the Yakima Basin in Washington with five graduate students.
The graphic is from an excellent paper on melting glaciers in Europe. Click on it to enlarge it.
Click here to see the weekly water news summary.
“Those who can, do; those who understand, teach.” - Aristotle