Welcome and Happy New Year!

President's Message | January/February 2022

It is with no doubt that we can say we are living in interesting times. For over a year, we have had a crash course in the dos and don'ts of technology, in how to conduct business while furthering our work, and in how to engage those who have different needs. One thing, however, is certain—our community remained strong, our conversations continued to grow, and our knowledge around water resources deepened.

After hosting six national conferences virtually, we are ready to give technology a break and meet in person. This year, AWRA has three unique conference opportunities to come together and discuss the many different angles of water. Our first conference of 2022, “Water Risk Under a Rapidly Changing World - Evaluation and Adaptation,” will be in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 25–27. At this conference, whose theme is covered in this issue of Water Resources IMPACT (and the last one), we will think about how we can communicate, build trust, collaborate, partner, and plan to develop resilient communities. This topic will take us in many directions, including how to be more technology secure and how to think outside the box.

Later in the Spring, we will gather for the 2022 Spring Geospatial Water Technology Conference, which AWRA has been hosting for 28 years. This conference has come a long way since it started as the Geospatial Information Society (GIS) Conference. The very term “GIS” doesn’t mean the same thing it did back then. Data, tools, models, and good cartography are still incredibly important. Many of us still perform much of our geospatial work on desktop computers. But we have moved well beyond floodplain mapping on our desktops to decision-making and web-based applications on the Cloud that integrate ecological and social factors. As GIS has changed, so has our biennial GIS and Water Resources conference. The GIS conference is now the Geospatial Water Technology Conference (GWTC).

Believe it or not, the last GWTC gathering was in March 2018. When COVID hit in 2020, AWRA held the event virtually with more than 400 participants. Now, after four years apart, we are at the edge of finally being able to come together for this conference. Unfortunately, owing to COVID and priorities from the state of Texas, the conference timing and venue had to be changed. Details on the new timing and venue will be announced soon.

Finally, save the date for our 2022 Annual Water Resources Conference in Seattle, Washington, on November 7–9. Calls for topical sessions are open now, and the call for abstracts is coming out soon. I hope you can join us in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t forget to check out our website for the most current COVID-19 information. I look forward to seeing you in person!

Wishing you a healthy New Year!

Claire Bleser is the 2022 president of AWRA.


If you actively engage in our community, your career and organization will benefit. We offer multiple opportunities for engagement via conferences, social media, webinars, committees and publications.

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