2016 AWRA Spring Specialty Conference: Water - Energy - Environment
Final Program
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Water, Energy, Environment. It's difficult to imagine three resources more essential to Earth itself and the lifestyles we humans pursue. For years we used these resources without concern, displaying little anxiety or consideration regarding their future availability. We just assumed sufficient resources would always be there. The environment was so vast that development and use would not have an impact. But, fortunately, in recent years, our faith in the sustainability of these resources has been shaken. Questions have risen regarding climate change, population growth, water and energy availability. Will these three critical resources of our civilization be adequate to maintain our current lifestyle and future development?

An important, fundamental consideration is the interconnection among these resources; they do not exist in silos although for simplicity we frequently manage them as though they do. For example, our industrialized agriculture demands water, energy, chemicals, and land. Elimination of one of these resources can have a negative impact on food production. How important is the interconnection between water, energy and environment? Is there a best course of action to develop and manage these resource?

Our conference will address the following:

  • Are we running out of freshwater?
  • Will improved water management reduce the need for additional supplies?
  • How will the Nation's energy needs be met while managing water and environmental resources?
  • What is the role of the energy industry in conserving and recycling water resources?
  • How do we meet the Nation's water, energy and environmental needs?
  • Is a holistic approach to water, energy, and environmental management desirable and even possible?
  • Is sustainability attainable?
  • Are any 'game-saving' approaches on the horizon?
  • What solutions do we still need?
  • Game saving methodologies - Do we need them?

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Where else but Alaska, the Last Frontier itself, could AWRA host a conference on the water-energy-environmental nexus and the future solutions we need to develop? The dynamic city of Anchorage, Alaska, surrounded by an abundance of water and energy sources and a near pristine environment, provides the ideal location for water, energy, and environmental professionals. This will provide opportunities to connect, converse, brainstorm and network. Join discussions on the latest advances, case studies, and challenges with a goal of finding solutions to these issues. Alaska provides a backdrop of the challenges and problems facing the other 49 states and other countries: from the development of water and energy infrastructure in isolated villages, to integrated water and energy systems in Anchorage, to the extensive oil, gas, and coal-resources development providing critical energy resources to the nation.

The conference will address present and future energy, water and environmental challenges society faces. Benefits of attending this conference include:

  • Learning and discussing the multidisciplinary approaches to water, energy and environmental resource issues
  • Opportunity to attend sessions on relevant topics including hydroelectric, oil and gas, and mining evaluations and management.
  • Learning from stimulating keynote speakers attuned to the latest developments in science and policy regarding the nexus of water, energy and environment.
  • Networking during coffee breaks, reception, conference luncheon, after hours, exhibits, etc.
  • Interacting with exhibitors displaying the latest technologies and techniques
  • Experience the enormous, breathtaking, Alaskan environment on various field trips
    • Train to the Future - Preconference 2-day field trip on the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Fairbanks - proposed Susitna hydroelectric project, coal mining, low temperature geothermal, Trans Alaskan Pipeline System, plus more!
    • City of Anchorage Energy Saving Water Utility Plants
  • Conference annotated bibliography focusing on water, energy and environment topics - led by Conference Student Committee
  • Webinar session for AWRA student chapters across the US on future water, energy, environment challenges
  • K-12 Webinar for teachers and students to discuss local water, energy issues
  • Enjoying the spectacular venue of Anchorage in Alaska, the USA's Last Frontier

The Planning Committee looks forward to seeing you in Anchorage!

Michael Lilly Giardino
Michael Lilly
Conference Co-Chair
Geo-Watershed Scientific, LLC
Fairbanks, AK
John R.(Rick) Giardino, Ph.D., P.G.
Conference Co-Chair
Geology & Geophysics Department
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX