Virtual Spring Symposium

2021 Virtual Joint AWRA & National Capital Annual Water Symposium

Human Dimension to Resilient and Sustainable Water Management: Promoting Integrated Collaboration

Registration is open: April 15-16, 2021 | Virtual


Join us virtually for a two-day conference engaging cross-disciplinary interactions; all focused around the next phase of water sustainability. Special sessions will focus on the idea of circular economies, managing for the unknown such as the COVID-19 pandemic, social hydrology, environmental justice, and innovations in water resource management.

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Virtual Symposium hosted by the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), University of the District of Columbia, UDC.

Registration & Deadlines

  • CLOSED: Call for Abstracts
  • Registration is open! Full registration only; one-day registrations are not available for this conference.
  • National AWRA Member Rate = $75 (Excludes Gateway)
    National Capital Region Member Rate = $75

    Presenter Rate = $75 
    Non-member/Gateway Member Rate = $120 now through April 9, 2021; $145 from April 10-16, 2021

    Student National AWRA Member Rate = $30
    Student National Capital Region Member Rate = $30
    Student Non-member Rate = $50
    NOTE: Students must email their student ID and verification of their full-time student status to [email protected] in order to receive the student rate.
ATTENTION PRESENTERS: All presentation acceptance notices have been emailed. If your presentation was accepted please visit our Presenter Resources page for more information.

Symposium Overview

View Program at-a-Glance

Modern society, since the industrial revolution, has mainly adopted linear water production and consumption practices. Water is withdrawn from rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers for agricultural, industrial, and water supply purposes and then typically treated and disposed back into the streams. In recent years, due to high water demand resulting from population growth and consumerism, water resources professionals have been engaged in promoting water conservation and developing alternative water source technologies such as desalination and wastewater reuse. Even though such efforts have been tremendous, they still have a long way to go to achieve full success. Recent efforts have been focused on creating a more circular economy, which aims to produce more efficient resource systems (including water and wastewater), design out waste and pollution, retain products and materials currently in use, and regenerate natural systems. The transformative potential of circularity in the water sector is that water within a such a system is not specific to a single industry but instead considers the human dimension to be necessary for sustainable water resources (from food to the built environment).

Sudden shocks to the system can drive such transformative changes within the economic, social, political, and environmental arenas, as can more extensive disruptions. For example, the sudden events of September 11, 2001 sparked the water sector's attention on water security, while the more long-term impacts of climate change are perpetuating the need for a unified policy on water management. At present, another unexpected and sudden crisis, COVID-19, has exposed a diverse range of additional pre-existing community problems across the U.S. including environmental justice.

April 15 – Day 1

The major purpose of the first day of the conference is to focus on water research, education, and management, in terms of the human dimension, which can no longer be ignored. Water management has to be conducted through a sustainable lens with nature-based solutions that are both inclusive and holistic. More than ever, we need cross-sectoral collaborations to promote the sustainability and health of our water resources and water infrastructure. As such, expert panels will be convened to discuss emerging water topics: socio-hydrology, environmental justice, and innovations in water resources research, management and policy.

April 16 – Day 2

The Day 2 topic relates to the use of green water-infrastructure in circular cities to complement the circular economy. Advances in small-scale and decentralized water and renewable energy technologies provide significant opportunities for integrated and resilient urban water management to cope with cybersecurity, climate change mitigation/adaptation and community level environmental justice issues. We’ll present and share ideas and experiences that advance innovative solutions, particularly in the arena of decentralized and green urban water-infrastructure. The idea behind implementing such infrastructure envisions a holistic water and energy management system that supports water, energy, and food security within the built urban environment. The agenda will include plenary sessions, concurrent research/technical paper sessions, and poster presentations.

Click here to see the full symposium online program.

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