AWRA 2023 Summer Conference

Connecting Land & Water for Healthy Communities

July 17 - 19, 2023 | Denver, CO | Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center

IMPORTANT: In order to receive important communication from the AWRA Team about your conference participation, you must add [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] to your safe sender list.

Call for Abstracts: CLOSED

NOTE: THERE IS NOT A STUDENT POSTER COMPETITION AT THIS CONFERENCE. If you are interested in presenting a poster, submit your abstract to compete in the 2023 Annual Water Resources Conference due September 12.

Click here to view the call for abstracts from 2021.

Troubleshooting: Before you submit an abstract, please do the following first:
  1. Clear your cache and cookies in the web browser and restart your computer.
  2. If the above does not work, please use a different web browser and consider using a nonwork computer. Often work computers have privacy settings that conflict with AWRA’s submission system.

As is our tradition, the AWRA 2023 Summer Specialty Conference: Connecting Land & Water for Healthy Communities will convene experts from multiple disciplines in Denver, July 17-19, 2023. Together, we’ll explore the connection between land and water, when it comes to policy, program, and practice. Building on the highly successful 2021 conference by the same title, this year’s presenters and discussants have something to say about the ways in which we have successfully connected the concepts of land and water—and the challenges that still remain. Submit your abstracts with the goal of adding your voice to the land and water discourse!

The Planning Committee is excited to bring you a program that is thoughtful and timely.

Our conference chair is Dr. Brenda Ortigoza Bateman, Director of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development and Past President of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA, 2018).

We have three co-chairs of the technical program:
  1. Bill Cesanek, AICP, Vice President of CDM Smith (East Brunswick, NJ) and Co-Leader of the American Planning Association’s (APA) Water + Planning Network
  2. Chi Ho Sham, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Scientist of Eastern Research Group (Concord, MA) and Past President of the American Water Works Association (AWWA, 2022)
  3. Tony Willardson, Executive Director of the Western States Water Council (Murray, UT)
Multi-disciplinary sessions will focus on:
  • Understanding the integrated nature of water and land, for promoting healthy and sustainable communities.
  • Exploring the various relationships among land and water resources—law and policy, planning, management, as well as special district / utility operations and challenges.
  • Considering the themes of supply and demand, waste, conservation, development, food and water security, equity, long-range planning, and integrated approaches from both land and water perspectives.

Our multi-disciplinary approach guarantees a variety of technical presentations that will satisfy seasoned professionals and academics alike. AWRA's commitment to Community, Conversation and Connection guides our efforts. Compelling presentations are the foundation of any conference, and the AWRA Summer Specialty Conference is no exception. We rely on our attendees to provide much of the content. Abstracts will be grouped together in special sessions, and for some, we may ask that they be added to an established special session if a good fit is determined by the technical and program committee. We have also removed the limit on presenters in a panel.

We invite you to submit abstracts describing your perspective, research, and experience in the intersection between land and water.

The following topical sessions and workshops have already been selected for the conference. Please use the Topical Session Letter Code (which is the letter before each title of the topical session or workshop) as the code you will enter when submitting your abstract. (example: A, B, C, AA....):
    A. Water Re-Use: Multi-benefit Water Reuse Project: Providing a Drought-proof Water Supply to People and Fish along the Santa Ana River
    B. Intersection of Land and Water Policy at the State Level
    C. Dry Times: Paradigm Shifts in Drought Risk Management in the Western U.S.
    D. Water Markets: Advances in Water Markets to Achieve Sustainability in Water Scarce Regions
    E. Water Measurement Techniques: Closing the gap on water balance methods given advances in measurement
    F. Communication: Reducing Complexity in Water Stressed Regions by using Stakeholder Friendly Water Budget Models
    G. Rivers and Their Communities: The Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Plan; A Multi Benefit Community Oriented Effort
    H. Universal Access to Clean Water for Tribal Communities
    I. Source Water Protection: Beyond the Safe Drinking Water Act
    J. Bridging Jurisdictions: Planning for 30 Miles of the South Platte River
    K. Wastewater Infrastructure Issues in Rural, Underserved Communities in the U.S.: Demonstration Through Alabama’s Black Belt
    L. Water development, growth, tradeoffs, and novel approaches in Colorado's Front Range
    M. Uncertainty of Agricultural Water Sustainability: Exploratory Scenario Planning Case Studies
    N. Hurricanes: Opportunities for Resilience Planning in Florida
    O. Incorporating Climate Change into Quantitative Risk Analyses
    P. Innovative Data Platforms and Tools for Western Water
    Q. California Wildfires: A Multifaceted Approach to Wildfire Mitigation and Water Quality Management
    R. From Alliance to Action: Collaborative Approaches to Implementing the Colorado Water Plan
    S. Theory Versus Practice: Water Markets in the Western U.S.
    T. Maximizing Water Resources through Integrating a Multi-benefit Approach into Land Use Planning
    U. Diversifying Colorado’s Water Portfolio: The Potential for Stormwater Capture and Use
    V. Waters of the United States: What is Water? What is Land?
    W. Integrating truth and reconciliation in flood & drought management in Calgary, Alberta
    X. Growing Water Smart: Shared Regional Problems, Context-Specific Solutions
    AA. Nature-Based Water Storage, linking land & water planning, and decision-support tools
    BB. Considering Land-Use Planning in Regional and Local Water Decisions
    CC. Emerging Digital Tools for Effective Water Management in Water Scarce Regions
    DD. Exploring Water Sustainability of Water and Land Policy Using Interactive Applications
    EE. Assessing the Effectiveness of Land and Water Policies in Achieving Water Sustainability
Topical Session and Workshop Notes:
  1. If you are submitting an abstract for a specific topical session or workshop in which you are a confirmed presenter, please enter the Topical Session Letter Code in the abstract submission.
  2. If you are submitting an abstract and want to be considered for a topical session, please enter that Topical Session Letter Code in your abstract submission. Acceptance is not guaranteed.
In addition, we invite you to submit abstracts on land and water topics including, but not limited to:
  • Municipal, state, region, or basin-specific law, policies, programs, or practices
  • Federal law and policy
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • International case studies
  • Private sector perspectives
  • The role of non-governmental organizations and citizen groups
  • Working lands, including agriculture, forestry, and coastal management
  • Emerging issues
  • Research updates—applied and academic research
  • Funding opportunities and challenges
  • Long-range planning and governance
  • Integrated approaches
  • Intersection with climate change
  • Equity issues and environmental justice
  • Land and water in curricula
  • Land and water in literature, culture, art, and music
  • Built and natural systems
  • Source water protection programs involving land use management
  • Management, tools, and techniques
  • Hydrology and hydrogeology
  • Other

Abstract Preparation and Submission Guidelines

The following information is required to be included in the abstract submission:
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Affiliation
  • Email Address
  • Topical Session Code (if submitting an abstract that falls under a specific Topical Session you are either specifically presenting for or think your abstract should be considered.)
  • Abstract Title
  • Abstract (150-200 words)
  • Author and co-author(s) name(s)
  • Author’s and co-author(s)’ titles and affiliations

Abstract Submission Process - NEW!

  1. The abstract portal is closed.
  2. Do NOT select more than one abstract submission fee at a time.
  3. After payment is submitted, you will receive a link to the Abstract Submission Form in your confirmation email.
  4. Complete the form and click Submit.
  5. If you would like to submit another abstract, you may click on the link on the Thank You page. 
Please note:
  • Purchase only ONE abstract submission fee at a time.
  • You must use the same AWRA account to submit the abstract fee and submit the abstract.
  • Abstract fees are non-refundable.
If you should have any questions about abstracts, please contact [email protected]. If you have questions related to conference registration and AWRA Membership, please contact [email protected].


AWRA Code of Conduct

All conference participants (presenters, moderators, panelists, attendees, etc.) must adhere to the AWRA Code of Conduct and must register at the appropriate registration rate. AWRA Gateway members are not eligible for discounted conference rates. The registration fees are the major source of funding for the Conference, and the sharing of registrations is prohibited - every person attending the conference must register. For presenters, if two or more individuals will be presenting, each individual must register for the conference. This includes: all technical session presenters; all panel session presenters; and all poster session presenters.

Cancelations must be made in writing. Those cancelations received by June 9, 2023 will be subject to a processing fee of 30% of total fees. No refunds will be given after June 9, 2023 but we can transfer your registration to someone else. The transfer must be completed by July 10, 2023. Abstract submission fees are nonrefundable. Refunds will be processed after the conclusion of the conference.


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