2020 Annual Conference Workshops

We are excited to announce that AWRA will hold its 2020 Annual Water Resources Conference as planned this November, though with major changes due to extraordinary circumstances. We will be 'meeting' completely VIRTUALLY.

This was not an easy decision. The AWRA Board and the Florida Planning Committee worked together to assess the pros and cons of pivoting to a virtual meeting -- taking into account health experts' projections, state and federal guidelines, news reports, and myriad travel restrictions still facing many water resources professionals. Given our number one priority is the health and safety of all AWRA conference attendees, our staff, and the surrounding community, we have decided to play it safe and go virtual for 2020.

The Planning Committee, led by L. Donald Duke of Florida Gulf Coast University, and Roger Copp of Water Science Associates, seeks to present another milestone conference for others to emulate. We plan an excellent array of content and thought leadership. Our multidisciplinary approach guarantees a suite of technical presentations that will satisfy the seasoned professional and student alike. AWRA's commitment to Community, Conversation and Connection will guide our efforts.

Short Course 1: Floods to Droughts: Teaching Undergraduates About Water Issues Using Data, Modeling, and Math
Sunday, November 8 | 1:00 - 5:00 PM | FREE
Registration limits = 12 min; 25 max

Registration information coming soon.


Meet the Instructors: Venkatesh Merwade, Purdue University and Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO

Looking for ways to include real data, modeling, and compelling societal hooks into your hydrology and water resources courses? This short course gives undergraduate instructors hands-on experience working with teaching modules from the free online NSF-funded GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) project. Teaching resources span topics from flood hazard modeling to traditional and geodetic methods for measuring ground water. The Modeling Flood Hazards module has students working with HEC-RAS to generated flood maps and city mitigation plans. Two modules related to ground and surface water resources will also be presented Eyes on the Hydrosphere: Tracking Water Resources (intro level) and Measuring Water Resources with GPS, Gravity, and Traditional Methods (majors level). These have students working with data sets from GRACE (gravity) satellites and GPS to ground water wells and stream gages to better plan for water issues.

Short course is intended for undergraduate instructors and graduate students with teaching responsibilities. Participants who complete the entire short course will receive a stipend of $150 in the month following the workshop to defray travel costs. An additional $100 is available for instructors who use the materials in subsequent courses and give feedback.

Learning Objectives

Participants of this short course will:

  1. Be able to access online teaching resources presented in the short course.
  2. Practice using a cross section of available resources.
  3. Analyze which resources are most appropriate for the courses they teach.
  4. Initiate implementation plans for adopting and/or adopting relevant teaching resources.

Attendee Requirements

Participants should bring their own laptops; windows machine is preferred but not required.

Workshop 1: That's so Water Meta!
Sunday, November 8 | 1:00 - 5:00 PM | FREE
Registration Limit = 40 attendees

Registration information coming soon.


Meet the Instructor: Ashley Ward, Duke University

All too often, decision-makers are unable to answer fundamental questions about our water systems in a timely way. Even basic questions like: How much water is there? What is its quality? How is it used (i.e., withdrawn, consumed or returned for reuse)? The data needed to answer these questions often exist. However, they are scattered across multiple platforms at different organizations (both government and non-governmental) with different standards, so that it is difficult to reuse beyond the primary purpose for which they were collected. Moreover, it is difficult and time-consuming to transform these data into information that supports decision-making at local or regional scales. To address this challenge, the nation requires a 21st-century water data infrastructure, with new technologies. We will present options for sharing data, and we will practice creating and applying metadata to maximize the potential value of shared data and ensure data are findable, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).

Topics and activities to be included in the 4-hour period include:

  1. What is data sharing and why do it? Internet of Water.
  2. Ways to share data: Introduction to web services and cloud services.
  3. Ways to document data: Introduction to CUAHSI tools for metadata creations.
  4. Harmonizing shared data for use: Application of metadata using examples from WaDE and CUAHSI.
  5. Discussion of shared experiences among participants.

Workshop 2: Water Conflict Management and Transformation
Sunday, November 8 | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | $150
Registration Limit = 30 attendees

Registration information coming soon.


Meet the Instructors: Todd Jarvis, Oregon State University; Todd Votteler, Texas Water Journal, Austin; Aaron Wolf, Oregon State University

"Water Conflict Management & Transformation” offers an opportunity for water resources professionals regardless of background to learn about current and leading-edge ways to work effectively in contentious water situations. It explores conflict tolerance, prevention, management, and transformation through collaborative structures as well as through models of negotiation and dialogue. Water management is conflict management. Regardless of the scale, ensuring that the needs of the people and ecosystems that rely on this critical resource are met effectively requires comprehensive understanding of both water science and water conflict management, including dispute mitigation, transformation, and resolution. To address these needs, the instructors have designed a highly interactive approach to capacity-building, including theoretical approaches, case studies, role plays, and serious gaming. The goal of this course is to broaden the scope of approach to the conflicts inevitable in the water world, and to provide a more theoretical dimension to conflict, engage multi-level scales of conflict dimensions and strengthen skills through highly experiential learning opportunities.

Learning Objectives

  • Increase participants’ understanding of the issue of shared waters from various perspectives and scales
  • Develop the ability of participants to reframe interpersonal differences and apply this within the context of shared waters
  • Increase skills of participants to analyze stakeholders, issues and conditions for negotiations within a shared waters context
  • Introduce the participants to a wide range of negotiation tools, models and frameworks
  • Provide a space for participants to practice and demonstrate their negotiation/mediation skills

Workshop 3: River Water Quality Modeling with HEC-RAS 5.1
Sunday, November 8 | 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM | $89
Registration Limit = 30 attendees

Registration information coming soon.


Meet the Instructors: Zhonglong Zhang, Portland State University; Todd Steissberg, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center; Dan Rucinski, LimnoTech


To provide attendees with the knowledge to effectively utilize the latest HEC-RAS software to perform one-dimensional river water quality modeling and analysis in support of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development, environmental impact assessment, and ecosystem restoration projects. The course is designed for practicing engineers and scientists in consulting engineering, city, state and federal agencies, research organizations, and academic institutions.


HEC-RAS software is a river analysis model developed and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. HEC-RAS is an industry standard hydraulic tool that has been used worldwide. HEC-RAS can be freely accessed and downloaded from the HEC website: http://www.hec.usace.army.mil. A set of plug-in water quality modules have been integrated into the latest version of HEC-RAS and released from HEC-RAS 5.1.


Topics to be covered include an overview of HEC-RAS software; river hydraulics and unsteady flow modeling; transport and water quality modules in HEC-RAS; water quality user interface, water quality model data requirements and inputs; setting up a water quality model for simulating water temperature, general constituents, and nutrients; water quality model calibration and sensitivity analysis.

Take Aways

Having completed this course, attendees will gain a working knowledge of the HEC-RAS water quality model. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, attendees will learn to use HEC-RAS to set up, calibrate, and validate a river water quality model and perform an analysis of water temperature, general constituents, nutrients, and eutrophication.

Attendee Requirements

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own notebook computer. In addition participants should have administrator privileges on their computer in order to install the software. HOWEVER, participants are welcome to attend the workshop without a computer with the understanding that one will not be provided. Experience with HEC-RAS and water quality is a plus.

We are excited to announce that AWRA will hold its 2020 Annual Water Resources Conference as planned this November, though with major changes due to extraordinary circumstances. We will be 'meeting' completely VIRTUALLY.


If you actively engage in our community, your career and organization will benefit. We offer multiple opportunities for engagement via conferences, social media, webinars, committees and publications.

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