AWRA Congratulates 2016 Award Winners

July 18, 2016 | Posted by cmccrehin
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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.

Fellow Member
– 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 (

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 (

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 (

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.

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 9 – 15 July 2016

July 15, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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mythsJohn 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


lisaWicked water problems – grown women and men cringe when they hear those three words.

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):

Solutions to Wicked Problems at Massive Scales: The California Water Crisis

Here is her article (starts on page 3) in the summer issue of Arizona Water Resource:

Download AWR-Summer-2016

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)

Last summer about this time I asked you for assistance in helping the USGot Water
Department of Labor ensure that the occupational term ‘Hydrologist’ was properly defined. You responded and the folks (Tammy Belcher) at RT(Research Triangle Institute), a Department of Labor contractor, were very appreciative.

Tammy (877-233-7348 ext. 119 or 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.

PDF: Download Volunteer_Request_Water_Resource_Spec

Word:  Download Volunteer_Request_Water_Resource_Spec



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

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 tbelcher@onet.rti.organd 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)

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 2 – 8 July 2016

July 8, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Some pictures….

These are by Mark Robak, taken from Highway 99 in California’s Central Valley.  Cawater
Lastly, this gorgeous shot of anticrepuscular rays, taken in early June 2016 by Regina Kelly in Westminster, CO (story here).

Click here to ready the weekly water summary and jobs!

“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

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 25 June – 1 July 2016

July 1, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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caadaHappy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! Don’t forget to get that wall up. You have only a few more months.

May my USA friends have a safe, meaningful July 4th Flag_of_the_United_Statesweekend!

Here is a handy guide to the dissemination of your results, courtesy of Tom Gauld:


Click here for the weekly water news summary.

“Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.” – H. Mumford Jones


TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 18 – 24 June 2016

June 24, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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6a00d8341bf80a53ef01b8d1fcd3f4970c-300wiHad a great week teaching a course in physical hydrology, five days, six hours per day. Great bunch of graduate students who remained engaged despite the long hours.

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

TGIF! Weekly Water News Summary, 11 – 17 June 2016

June 17, 2016 | Posted by Michael "Aquadoc" Campana
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Our persistent USA drought has now spread its arid tentacles across our northern border. Many Canadians have been forced into water smuggling to quench our thirst and make ends meet.

You can hear and see the story of Cindy McNeil a Canadian water smuggler. Every other day she makes the trip from BC into Washington state with a trunk load of fresh Canadian water to sell for profit to an American water buyer. The CBC followed McNeil as she made one of her water smuggling trips. See the video here.

Rumor has it that the Canadians are going to construct a wall along our northern border, and make the USA pay for it. In US dollars, too. See today’s quote.

Stay tuned; this issue is bound to arise during our presidential campaign.

Click here for the weekly water news summary!


“I will construct a wall along our southern border to stem the tide of illegal water smuggling into the USA. And I will make the Americans pay for this wall.” – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Arlene Dietz

Arlene Dietz, AWRA’s first woman president (1987).

 This interview is the first 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 Field
I began work in the water resources field in 1968 and continue today as a volunteer, all totaling about 48 years.

Current Position
Retired from the USACE and currently the Manager/Owner of Rice Farms LLC where I grow 300 acres of hazelnuts in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  Since retiring and returning to Oregon in 2005 I have served on Connect Oregon’s Advisory Group to recommend projects connecting marine/intermodal systems to the rest of the transportation system in Oregon. I currently serve as the farm representative on the executive board of McKenzie Watershed Council and on the Policy Advisory Group for the State of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resource Management Plan.

Positions Held

  • University of Wisconsin Kenosha and Waukesha (taught Economics)
  • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): North Central Division
  • Chief of Economics, USACE Chicago District
  • Institute for Water Resources (IWR) (managed many studies including the National Waterways Study which set the framework for many water policy decisions for Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) ‘86 and subsequent laws)
  • Director of Navigation Data Center (NDC)(consolidated most all water data information programs in the Corps plus oversaw the historic Waterborne Commerce of the U.S. and Port Series)
  • Acting Chief, Western Division of Planning, HQ; and Acting Director,  IWR

BA and MA in Economics with minors in Russian language and Geography.

Honors and Appointments

  • Selected as Congressional Fellow by the America Political Science Association and worked for the Chairman of the Senate’s Water Resources Sub-Committee. He oversaw preparation of WRDA’86.
  • Designated a National Associate of the National Academy of Science (NAS), National Research Council.
  • Selected Fellow of American Water Resources Association.
  • Elected to Emeritus membership on two NAS Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees.
  • Recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Willamette University.


How did you get involved in the water resources field? I worked for the USACE Division, District, HQ, IWR and NDC. I served in most offices of AWRA’s National Capital Section and on the national AWRA board, including chairman. I also chaired the NAS-TRB’s Marine Group and the Policy, Planning and Administration Group, and several marine committees.

How did you get involved in with AWRA? My involvement with AWRA first began through writing a technical paper, which was in Chicago in the 1970s. When I moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1977 a colleague at the Institute for Water Resources, Howard Olson, invited me to the local National Capital Section (NCS) meetings. The monthly luncheon meetings included a speaker addressing a timely topic. Annually, the chapter hosted a field trip as well. This section had a great mix of talented individuals from many agencies, many of whom I came to call my friends. I became active on the NCS board and was elected president. When the section undertook sponsorship of a national meeting in D.C., I chaired that meeting. This national meeting began my involvement with national AWRA.

How has the water resources field changed since you started your career? The field changed from being Engineer-centric to Bio-centric. It also changed from having just a few women in the field in the early 1980s to many today.  Working to develop a true multidisciplinary focus 35 years ago, it appears to have moved though multi-disciplinary into today’s Bio-centric focus.

How will the water resources field change in the next few years? It will continue to engage the grass-roots local level and the well-financed national NGOs. The government level will continue to be tied up in legal constraints. Hopefully, the professional water organization’s focus on science, not emotion, will make inroads in decision making at all levels. Witnessing the bullying approaches, the guilt approaches, the shunning approaches and the “my way or the highway approaches” adopted by the “true” believers is frightening and is dangerous. Questioning science-based decisions places the scientist, government leaders, community leaders as well as public questioners in the cross-hairs, and that is from both sides of an issue!

Biggest career success? My success encompasses the numerous opportunities given to me at the local, regional and national levels of decision making. I have been blessed with working with truly enlightened water resources greats and dedicated professionals. I have enjoyed each new challenge whether it was establishing the first Economics’ Branch in a district office to the great mix of Washington D.C., opportunities: the National Waterways Study; the U.S. Senate work on WRDAs; HQ leadership; establishing and guiding USACE’s Navigation Data Center; contributing to AWRA leadership; or working with the remarkable scholars at NAS-TRB and IWR.

Biggest lesson learned in your career? My career’s biggest lesson is that a share of personal humility has to be present along with the insistence on quality data, analysis and planning in order to reach a desired end, such as equitable and effective public policy (in my case both water and transportation policies).

Biggest regret? Probably not participating more actively in the international realm. I was pleased with the success of helping to integrate three nation’s marine statistics when I served as Marine Chair of the North American Transportation Initiative.

Share a leadership story? When I was vice president of AWRA and Director at the Navigation Data Center, I seized on an idea championed by Rich Herbert, the educational water poster program. I was able to have the USACE help sponsor two posters with AWRA, plus support a USGS employee to work on associated teacher materials. As chair of Ports and Channel Committee and later the Marine Group at NAS-TRB I observed the lack of research initiatives on the marine environment; military transportation; marine human factors; and ferries and was able to create sub-committees which evolved into full committees. Locally on our watershed council I have proposed and had adopted the initiation of rules of conduct to facilitate productive meetings.

Biggest challenge as a woman in the business? Little did I know in the 1960s that one will occasionally need a champion. In my career I have had several such individuals: supporters and mentors who offered me unprecedented opportunities, guidance, and later I found out, their personal support. Howard Olson, then chief economist at USACE North Central Division hired me in 1968. He worked hard to ensure I had opportunities to learn about water resources and transportation economics. He introduced me to professional involvement in AWRA. General Drake Wilson and his successor, General Hugh Robinson at USACE HQ pushed and supported me into a contentious Washington, D.C., leadership role: manager of the National Waterways Study. Robinson defended my appointment against the all-male USACE leadership who wanted control of that $6 million congressional study.

One piece of advice you wish someone had shared early on in your career? Can’t think of any…I had remarkable support and was ironically not influenced by the “women don’t do that” attitude. Family, educators, mentors and numerous professionals all offered their continuing support to me.

True inspiration? “True” is a powerful word. I have always known through my parents, my educational guides, my mentors, my husband and children, and my followers, that honesty and finding the best in each individual brings out the “great” in everyone, and in doing so offers continual inspiration. Inspiration comes from those who surround you; therefore one must choose people of good character when there is a choice.

As mentioned, this is a six-part series on AWRA’s Women in Water. Watch for next month’s interview with AWRA Board member Brenda Bateman.

Author Martha Narvaez is AWRA’s President, email:

Women in Water Resources

June 15, 2016 | Posted by cmccrehin
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Martha Naravaez, AWRA President

Martha Narvaez, AWRA President

A six interview blog series by AWRA President Martha Narvaez.

As I watched the 2016 White House Water Summit (video) this past March (2016) I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of women in leadership roles at the summit, and I was especially struck when one of the presenters noted the strong leadership roles women have played in water throughout the Obama administration. This comment made me extremely proud and led me to think more deeply about the leadership roles AWRA women have played in the water resources field.

In the 16 years that I have been a member of AWRA, I have had an abundance of female role models. AWRA is full of women, from all over the world, doing great things in the water resources field and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to build relationships and reap the benefits of their expertise and advice.

As I thought about the summit and my AWRA experiences this blog idea came to mind. I wanted to share with the AWRA membership the stories of a few of our organization’s leading women in water resources. These women are decision-makers, researchers, scientists, engineers, teachers and communicators, as well as active leaders in the AWRA community.

As I started the journey to create this blog, it was quite simple for me to rattle off a list of women that I wanted to interview. I was fortunate that the women I chose quickly and enthusiastically responded to my request. Then I learned that was the easy part.

The next step I wanted to take was to collect data on women working in the water resources field and to quantify the gender composition of AWRA. Unfortunately, this was not as straight-forward. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the water resources field, obtaining a meaningful number of women working in the field is a complex undertaking. So, I then set off to quantify women with membership in AWRA. Finding this number was also difficult since we do not currently collect demographic data on our membership applications (we hope to change this in the near future).

Even with two big fails I wasn’t quite ready to quit, so AWRA Director of Membership and Marketing Christine McCrehin and I started exploring AWRA records from the past 50 years to find evidence that women are, indeed, an important part of our organization. It didn’t take long to prove this theory. This is what we found:

  • Although we were unable to find out the percent of women who are members of AWRA (due to a lack of demographic data) we did find that of the 69,000 unique visitors to the AWRA homepage in the last year (members and nonmembers) 38% were women and 62% were men. The majority of those women (52%) were 25-44 and only 16% were 55+. Of the 62% of men that visited the site in the last year, 49% were 25-44 and 24% were 55+.
  • In the past 50 years, 16% of AWRA presidents have been women, the first in 1987. Since 2000, six presidents in the past 16 years (or 37%) have been women.
  • In reviewing the Honorary and Fellow members there is work that needs to be done to decrease the gender gap, but in my review of the AWRA awards that have been established in the past 25 years (Mary H. Marsh, A. Ivan Johnson, David R. Maidment) there is a much higher percentage of women award winners, ie. 86%, 38% and 50% respectively.
  • Women are well-represented as scholarship awardees. The Richard A. Herbert scholarship is awarded to the most qualified undergraduate and graduate for academic performance and/or research performance related to water resources. Since 1996, 62% of the Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship award winners have been women. In the past 2 years (2014-2015), 75% of the award winners have been women.

Gathering this information was an enlightening exercise and it became clear to me that in the water resources field, and in AWRA, women’s roles and contributions are significant and most importantly, their impact is increasing.

Following this data search I concluded that I would interview six women who are accomplished leaders in the water resources field and have been actively involved in AWRA. Each one of the women in this group has proven to be a strong and successful leader in the water resources field internationally, nationally and at the state and local levels. Each one of these women is extremely busy, yet took the time to contribute to this blog and I would like to sincerely thank each one of them.

In the interviews each woman provides a brief background on her education and professional experience and insight into her work and career. I hope you find these interviews as interesting and inspiring as I do. With this blog I hope to give a voice to women who have led and continue to lead so that women and men in our community can learn from their successes, hurdles cleared, accomplishments and motivation to keep moving forward.

And without further ado I’d like to get started with the first interview and the most obvious choice, AWRA’s first woman president, Arlene Dietz.

If you have any questions, please comment below or send me an email:


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