Fire, Water, and the Annual Water Resources Conference

President's Message | October 2020

AWRA’s September issue of Water Resources IMPACT, "Fire and Water", could hardly have been timelier as wildfires again ravaged the Western United States and Australia gears up for its fire season. AWRA past-presidents Lisa Beutler & Michael Campana co-edited this edition, putting together a terrific collection of articles. Five of six articles cover the Western U.S., while the sixth covers Australia. I hope you find the readings interesting and useful. Be sure to join AWRA today if you haven’t seen the magazine (IMPACT is a member benefit). Lisa also kindly filled in for me as my husband and I evacuated from our cabin on the West Slope of the Cascades near Mt. Hood, Oregon. The Riverside Fire there was just 9 miles away to our southeast when we decided to leave; it travelled 17 miles to the northwest that day, nearly flattening my hometown of Estacada, Oregon, but remaining well outside the Mt. Hood Cooridor. My heart goes out to all those who lost their homes, businesses, and livelihoods, and those still threatened as this fire season continues. My hope is that winter and spring storms will bring much needed precipitation, but not result in devastating floods and debris flows from affected lands throughout the West.

Looking ahead, I hope everyone has checked out the upcoming AWRA 2020 Virtual Annual Water Resources Conference, which goes live November 9 and runs through November 11. Visit the virtual conference website to see the daily schedule, who’s presenting, and session abstracts. Be sure to also check out all the panels, special sessions, poster presentations, technical sessions, and virtual engagement opportunities. The program committee has done an excellent job of presenting many options to meet fellow attendees and sponsors. If you haven’t yet registered, please do sothe Super Saver rate ends October 30! Thank you and a hearty shout-out to our Annual Conference planning team, co-chairs Dr. Donald Duke (Florida Gulf Coast University) and Roger Copp (Water Science Associates); Technical Program Committee Co-chairs, Dr. Michael Campana (Oregon State University) and Dr. Teresa Thornton (GET WET!); Finance Chair, Samuel Palermo (Arcadis); Student Activities Co-Chairs, Allison Lewis (Jacobs) and Chris Martinez (out-reach coordinator); and Activities/Field Trip Co-Chairs, Patricia Gertenbach (ESciences) and Dave Watt (St. Johns River Water Management District).

I also want to thank our conference sponsors and exhibitors: American Institute of Hydrology, AECOM, Beta Analytic | Isobar Science, Black & Veatch, DSI LLC, Drummond Carpenter, Esri, Geosyntec Consultants, Golder, Intera, KCI Associates of NC, Phillips & Jordan, and Stantec. And finally, a hearty thank-you to all the AWRA volunteers who joined the Virtual Conference Technical Task Force last spring and helped us research virtual platforms. All have contributed to this awesome program for our first virtual Annual Conference (#AWRA2020). We wouldn’t be here without you!

Please also be sure to check out our upcoming Webinars and the Webinar Center for archived recordings. We have a terrific 5-part series on forecast informed reservoir operations (FIRO), hosted in partnership with the American Institute of Hydrology and other interesting sessions coming up. Webinars are free to members and past webinars remain accessible via our website. Best wishes to all for the coming winter months. I hope to “see” you November 9 as we kick off a fantastic Annual Conference.

We always appreciate hearing from you. Please feel free to correspond with me directly at Be safe and stay well.

Betsy Cody is the 2020 president of AWRA.


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