I am excited to welcome you to a new era of AWRA as the first Pakistani American woman president in the association’s 60-year history.

President's Message | November/December 2023

My name is Rabia Ahmed, and as the 2024–25 president of AWRA, I am excited to welcome you to a new era of AWRA. While not the first from the great state of Washington, I am the first Pakistani American woman president in the association’s 60-year history. I am indeed humbled and honored in this capacity. 2023 was a year of strategic thinking and planning for AWRA, with the completion of extensive bylaws revision and strategic planning processes. Special thanks to Jason Zhang, the outgoing 2023 president, for leading us through this last year, and for staying with us as president emeritus to guide and advise us this year. While we implement the strategic plan during 2024, we are mindful that we continue our mission of providing the quality experience you have come to expect from AWRA as an environmental professional. We hope that you will join AWRA for our 60-year celebration at the AWRA, UCOWR, NIWR 60th Anniversary Joint Water Resources Conference from September 30 to October 2, 2024, in St. Louis, Missouri.

This issue of Water Resources IMPACT is my first as AWRA board president. As we head into 2024 together, allow me to extend my heartfelt thanks to the readership of this magazine, and even more for the kind welcome I have received from the AWRA community. I look forward to bringing new perspectives to all of you in print, online, and in person in the coming year.

I am so pleased that this issue centers on integrated water resources management (IWRM), a field with a long history and one that has grown exponentially in recent years, to the betterment of local planning efforts as well as the global effort to ensure collective water needs are met. As our expert authors show, when done well, IWRM can transform communities and set us on a course for an inclusive, sustainable, and equitably resourced future.

In these pages, we dig into just what that future can look like. We feature reports and voices from on the ground in several communities: Plant City, Florida; Georgetown, Texas; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and the Southwest region of the United States.

We also look back on the last several decades of water resources management, seen through the lens of IWRM. Mike Antos argues for the inherently relational nature of IWRM, and Dan Sheer and Jay Lund tease out the roles that have emerged as essential to ensuring IWRM runs smoothly. Meanwhile, Harry Zhang argues for IWRM, and especially “One Water,” as the ultimate systems approach that can solve climate, business, and social issues in one fell swoop. I am excited about 2024, and look forward to this journey with our wonderful community of environmental professionals, practitioners, and students. In this new year, I wish that all our membership and broader community may find hope in the future and joy in one another. I expect the stories recorded here will help in that endeavor.

Rabia Ahmed is the 2024 president of AWRA.


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