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 water 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. Medal, Ph.D., and James C. Schneider, Ph.D.
- How is groundwater used for adaptation and resilience? — panelists include Katharine L. Jacobs, Robert E. Mace, Ph.D., and John C. Tracy, Ph.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:
- Bill Alley, Ph.D. NGWA Director of Science & Technology; former Chief, Office of Groundwater, U.S. Geological Survey
- Lisa Beutler, Executive Facilitator, Water Resources Group,
- Michael E. Campana, Ph.D. AWRA Technical Director; Professor,
Oregon State University
- Sharon B. Megdal, Ph.D. (aka Groundwater Governance Goddess), Director, Arizona Water Resources Research Center
- Ken Reid, Executive VP, AWRA
- John C. Tracy, Ph.D.??, Director, Texas Water Resources Institute; Past President, AWRA
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” – Jonathan Swift