2014 Summer Specialty Conference: Integrated Water Resources Management: From Theory to Application
Preliminary Program


On behalf of the entire AWRA conference planning committee I want to welcome you to the 2014 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management - From Theory to Application. Building on the dialogue that was initiated in the inaugural IWRM conference held in Snowbird, Utah in 2011, Integrated Water Resources Management: The Emperor's New Clothes or Indispensable Process?, the program for this conference was developed to see how IWRM was being implemented to address water resource problems across the United States and the world.

Owens River and Eastern Sierra Nevada Range
Owens River and the Sierra Nevada

Why is it important to attend this conference?

Growing demand for adequate supplies of fresh water requires that our water resources be managed as efficiently as possible to ensure the sustainability of both societal and natural systems. IWRM holds promise as an approach to better manage this critical resource, and while it has not yet become the standard of practice, growing numbers of organizations are adopting IWRM principles as the approach that will be used to address their water resource challenges. This conference will provide an opportunity to learn about advancements in the practice of IWRM, the tools that have recently been developed to aid in implementing IWRM, and to discuss how well IWRM has worked (or not worked) in addressing water resource challenges.

What will you learn at this conference?

The presentations and discussions at this conference will focus on how IWRM is being applied to address a wide range of water resource management issues, featuring some of the largest and most challenging water resources management efforts in the United States. The conference will feature 27 technical sessions on issues associated with implementing IWRM, including: water quality, flood management; regional planning, economics, groundwater, utilities management, agriculture, ecosystems, and more.

Some of the conference highlights are:

  • Monday morning's keynote presentation will feature Mr. Randy Fiorini, Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, and Dr. Peter Goodwin, Lead Scientist for the Delta Stewardship Council. They will address the science and politics of restoring and managing the Bay Delta system, one of the largest IWRM efforts in the United States.
  • Tuesday morning's keynote presentation will also feature two distinguished speakers: Dr. Levi D. Brekke and Mr. Gary B. Bardini. Dr. Brekke is with Water Resources Planning and Operations Support at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, where he focuses on reservoir systems analysis, technical team coordination, and research on climate information applications. Mr. Bardini is Deputy Director for Integrated Water Management, at the California Department of Water Resources, where his primary responsibilities include implementing Integrated Regional Water Management, coordinating DWR's efforts related to climate change, updating and implementing the California Water Plan, promoting and facilitating the efficient use of water, overseeing DWR's flood management and dam safety programs, and implementing the FloodSAFE California initiative.
  • There will be a Special Session on how Environmental Justice can be incorporated into IWRM practices, as well as a trio of Special Sessions discussing the nexus between IWRM-WASH initiatives.
  • Panel discussions will address IWRM efforts in the American River Basin and Planning Wildcards, such as Climate Change, Population Growth and Emerging Ecosystem Issues.
  • If this weren't enough, we will also have a premiere of the film "Water and Disadvantaged Communities of the Eastern Sierra," followed by a panel discussion led by the film's creator.
  • Finally, for those of you able to spend an extra day in the Reno area, on Sunday there is a pre-conference technical field trip of the Truckee River, from mouth to source. This will provide participants with an opportunity to see the broad range of services that a river provides, and why the river needs to be managed in a holistic manner to be able to sustainably provide these services.

AWRA conferences always have ample opportunities for networking and interaction in a congenial atmosphere and the 2014 Summer Specialty Conference is no exception. We are employing our highly successful "Ask Me About" program which invites attendees to discuss topics of mutual interest with other attendees.

The 2014 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management will meet at the Nugget Hotel and Casino in Reno/Sparks, NV. Known as the Biggest Little City in the World, Reno is located at the base of the Sierra Nevada and is within an hour's drive of both Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake. Reno is an outdoor recreational mecca, near to thousands of biking and hiking trails, over 50 golf courses, lakes that are perfect for fishing, sailboarding, and boating, and the entire length of the Truckee River, which runs right through the center of Reno's downtown, which features a whitewater kayak park. Reno is served by Reno-Tahoe International Airport, located minutes from downtown, and has over 300 days of sunshine per year.

We look forward to meeting each of you in Reno this June and July as we continue AWRA's tradition of fostering "Community, Conversation and Connections" between and among professionals working in the developing field of Integrated Water Resources Management.

John Tracy
John C. Tracy
General Conference Chair
University of Idaho
Boise, ID
Michael E. Campana
Technical Program Chair
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR