AWRA Water Blog

The AWRA-NGWA Groundwater Visibility Initiative – Workshop, 28 April 2016, Denver

AWRA LogoShill alert: I am invested in this workshop as an advisory committee member, member of NGWA and AWRA, and Technical Director of AWRA.

So what’s the deal with the title, Groundwater Visibility Initiative’? There are two components to my answer: 1) groundwater is physically invisible to humans – it’s underground and unless you’re in a cave or something, you can’t see it; 2) its lack of physical visibility has contributed greatly to its lack of visibility in many discussions of water policy, governance, and management. It’s not fully integrated into integrated waterngwa-logo-2015 resources management.

We aim to correct item (2) with our workshop.

How are we going to do this? With provocative talks, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. With an all-star group of specialists. And with a white paper to summarize the challenges, solutions, and chart a path forward. Who knows? Maybe a ‘Denver Declaration’ will result.

Here’s the blurb from the site:

Examine the challenges — and successes — of managing the integration of groundwater and surface water in this one-day workshop being held jointly by NGWA and the American Water Resources Association (AWRA).

The interrelationship between groundwater and surface water is well established by science. Yet, institutions at all levels have struggled to effectively incorporate these concepts into laws, regulations, management, and planning. This one-day workshop will examines the challenges and successes of:

  • The conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water as a single resource
  • Groundwater as part of integrated water resources management
  • Effective consideration of groundwater in watershed management and planning.

All aspects of water availability and quality will be considered.

This interactive workshop will include panel presentations on three specific topics representing diverse views:

  • What are the major institutional impediments to conjunctive use and management of groundwater and surface water? — panelists include Bill Alley, Ph.D., Sharon B. MedalPh.D., and James C. Schneider, Ph.D.
  • How is groundwater used for adaptation and resilience? — panelists include Katharine L. JacobsRobert E. Mace, Ph.D., and John C. TracyPh.D.
  • How do we build groundwater considerations into policies for agriculture, energy, environment, land-use planning, and urban development sectors? — panelists include John M. Stomp III, PE, Grant Davis, and Ken Rainwater, Ph.?D??.?
Advisory Committee:

Click here to register. If you’re going to the Groundwater Summit (25-27 April), just stick around an extra day. It’ll be worth your while.

Thanks to Kevin McCray, NGWA CEO, Kathy Butcher, NGWA Professional Development Director, and Ken Reid, AWRA Executive VP for their support and encouragement in getting this off the ground.  It was Kevin who suggested the concept to me.
See you in Denver!

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” – Jonathan Swift

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