With one month to go before our Annual Conference, I am...

President's Message | September/October 2022

With one month to go before our Annual Conference, I am excited to share with you this issue of Water Resources IMPACT. This issue gives us a glimpse into the breadth of the challenges that water resource practitioners are engaged with in the Pacific Northwest. From threats to salmon, a missing state plan, attempts to broaden engagement, contaminants of emerging concern, and groundwater contamination, to complex and thorny struggles over water resources—the Pacific Northwest has it all.

Water resources are multifaceted. Water resources are complicated. Water resources are life. Water resources practitioners see the inherent value of water. We act as translators for the resource. We try as best we can to voice what the data is telling us and what potential solutions might be. However, we often don’t hold the power to make the ultimate decisions. Instead, we often rely on decision makers to move work forward. This is where engagement is critical. Engagement can take time, but bringing everyone together and going through an inclusive process in pursuit of a common vision is absolutely essential. Once the vision is formed, we can implement change. Easier said than done, right?

This is where AWRA comes in. As a multidisciplinary association, AWRA offers a forum where we can learn and discuss a whole range of water topics with people who approach water through so many different lenses. I still remember my first Pacific Northwest conference in Portland. I came back home so energized from the different conversations I had with the new people I met. I was inspired. The synergy of these interactions led to new ideas, possible solutions, and lessons learned. In a period of three days, I went from not knowing what to expect to going home ready to tackle new water challenges.

I am so excited to be heading back to the Pacific Northwest for AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference—one of the most diverse and inclusive conferences in water resources management. For the first time since Salt Lake City in 2019, we will return to the “live” format. Though our 2020 and 2021 virtual conferences were extraordinary, for many of us Seattle 2022 will represent a welcome return to more “normal” times.

The preliminary program is now available, and more hotel rooms have been added. Click here to learn all about it. I hope you can join us there

Claire Bleser is the 2022 president of AWRA.


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