July 2011 President’s Message

July 10, 2011 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Along Comes Mary
Please join me in welcoming Mary Ashton, AWRA’s new Membership and Marketing Coordinator. We are glad to have her aboard! [By the way – great 1966 song by The Association.]

Vote!
Don’t forget to vote for Board members and President-Elect. If some of you are perturbed that the latter position is uncontested for the second year in a row, let me remind you how difficult it is to get people to sign up for a three-year leadership track that involves a significant commitment of time, energy, and money.

Snowbird Sojourn
I recently returned from Snowbird, UT, where we wrapped up the 2011 Summer Specialty Conference, Integrated Water Resources Management: The Emperor’s New Clothes or

Indispensable Process? About 130 water resources professionals and students assembled in the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains just outside Salt Lake City for three days to discuss and debate just what IWRM is, how useful it is, and how best to implement it. From my perspective as someone who has a healthy skepticism towards IWRM, the meeting was a revelation. It was certainly well worth the effort it took to convene the meeting. Proceedings are on the conference WWW site, and PDFs of the presentations are forthcoming. I also posted about our fascinating trip to Snowbird’s water supply tunnels. Here are a keynote presentation by Steve Stockton and address by Jerry Delli Priscoli. That’s yours truly in my emperor’s garb.

A special Symposium on The Use of Collaborative Modeling for Implementing IWRM occupied one of the three tracks on the second day of the conference and was a first for AWRA. To my knowledge we’ve never had a symposium embedded within an AWRA conference. It went very well; perhaps the symposium format will become a precedent. Here is some material on the Symposium:

CMDS Symposium at AWRA 2011_Read-Aheads

More On Morons
We had the usual assortment of no-shows and unprofessional behavior (see my June 2011 message). I am more aware of this issue since I served as the General and Technical chair of the summer conference. What’s even more annoying was the fact that we actually had to track some people down to see if they were coming. Pat Reid, who deserves a Nobel prize of some sort, monitors the registrations and room reservations to see if everyone who is supposed to come (presenters, moderators, et al.) is going to come. If they have not registered within two weeks of the start date she attempts to contact them. We must have had 6-8 people we had to track down. “Oh, yeah, I’m in Santo Gordo and forgot to mention I cannot make it. Sorry.” One member of the Planning Committee even bailed as moderator a few days before the opening day. And we had to find that person because the email address no longer worked! Again, my devilish wish is that these people someday get the opportunity to chair/organize a conference  and ‘experience’ the disruptions that last-minute cancelations can generate.

Please note that I am not referring to people with legitimate reasons for last-minute cancelations.

Water Vision
During the conference the issue of a water vision for the US arose. Do we need one? If so, what would it look like? What purpose would it serve? To address these and other questions, on the final day Ada L. Benavides of the USACE HQ moderated a facilitated session on a US water vision. Much input was obtained as to the pros and cons of such a vision. So what’s next? We have a draft of a ‘Fifth Dialogue’ at which the participants would craft a U.S. Water Vision. Notice that I did not use the adjectives ‘national’ or ‘federal’ to modify ‘water vision’. To many people, especially those in the Western USA, those two words often signify a ‘command and control’ approach by the Federal government. We are seeking something that is neither driven by the Federal government nor a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

My Online Interview
Daniel Gilbert of the IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Science and Policy (under the auspices of UNESCO) at the University of Dundee posted this online interview with me. I discuss hydrophilanthropy, water security, and a few other things.

Here is a PDF of the Q & A:

Download Campana_Water_Q&A

Webinar
Technical Director Richard Engberg is working with Lorraine Loken of CWAA on this. It’s coming….

The IMPACT of Hydrofracking
The July issue of Water Resources IMPACT focuses on hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as hydrofracking. Editor-in-Chief Earl Spangenberg has done a masterful job assembling seven timely articles on various aspects of hydrofracking as related to natural gas production. AWRA Technical Director Richard Engberg’s Op-Ed sets the tone by drawing an analogy between Earth and Arrakis, the desert planet of the Dune series. If you do not have a copy of this issue of IMPACT I have posted a PDF on this blog (9 July 2011).

Convening in Colorado
I’m now on the other side of the Rocky Mountains along the Front Range – in Boulder, to be exact. Past President Ari Michelsen and I are attending the UCOWR -NIWR conference. Ari served on the UCOWR Board of Directors and I believe was also President; I served on the UCOWR Board about a decade ago and co-chaired one of its annual conferences (Traverse City, MI). I mention our attendance here becuase we are having a meeting tomorrow to discuss collaboration between AWRA and UCOWR-NIWR. I’ll keep you posted.

Key West Consumption?
After Boulder I will get a brief respite then it is off to Key West, FL, to attend the Florida Section’s annual meeting. President-Elect Bill Battaglin, Technical Director Richard Engberg and I will travel south to experience Key West. Today’s quote is a promise (warning?) from President Ron Edenfield. I am sure we will be well cared for. I suspect we’ll each have a ‘minder’.

“We will do our best to see to it that Richard, Michael and Bill are fully consumed by the KW [Key West] experience.” — Ron Edenfield, AWRA Florida Section President, to Ken Reid


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