The 27th Annual Alabama Water Resources Conference was held Thursday & Friday, Sept. 5-6, 2013, at the Perdido Beach Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Orange Beach, Alabama. Immediately preceding on Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Alabama Section of AWRA hosted a Water Resources Symposium. These meetings provided an excellent forum for updates on the status and issues regarding the many multi-disciplinary aspects of current and future water use, management, and conservation issues.
This year’s Conference and Symposium was a great success. About 280 people attended the conference and symposium. 25 students participated student presentation competition.
As the outreach program administrator in Auburn University’s Environmental Institute, Kay Stone coordinates more than 30 events per year as part of an environmental science and art program for middle school students in many of Alabama’s rural counties. She also works on a number of research projects focusing on imperiled species with the Alabama Natural Heritage Program, including the eastern indigo snake reintroduction project in the Conecuh National Forest.
Macon County juniors and seniors, some now recent high school graduates took part in an educational service and beautification project. The group worked with Kay Stone from the Auburn University Environmental Institute; as part of her outreach efforts, Stone has created an environmental art program through which she teaches students that a person can be a good steward of the land without being a scientist.
AUEI is pleased to announce five winners for its annual Excellence in Environmental Sciences scholarship program. The scholarships were selected by the Institute’s Scholarship Selection Committee, whose members include representation from Auburn University staff and faculty. Scholarships were awarded based on academic excellence, relevance of applicant’s coursework to the mission of the Institute (see www.auei.auburn.edu), extracurricular environmental activities, and environmental career interests.
Caitlyn Duffy was awarded Guy V. Bullock Excellence in Environmental Sciences Scholarship. Mignon Denton, Sara Geonczy, Ryan McGehee, Hilary Rizk were awarded Emory O. and Jeanne L. Cunningham Excellence in Environmental Sciences Scholarship.
Dr. Samuel Fowler, AUEI Director, poses with winners, from left to right, Ryan McGehee, Sara Geonczy, Mignon Denton, Caitlyn Duffy, and Hilary Rizk.
The Watershed Center of Excellence Report (2008-2010) provides an update of activities related the following specific projects:
Alabama Water Resources Research Institute recently announced the award of three FY-2013 AL Water Resources Grants. The object of this program is to facilitate research faculty in the state in making significant advances, and increasing regional and national competitiveness, in the water resources arena. For the purpose of this competition, “water resources arena” is defined in the broadest possible terms. Proposals are invited from all permanent full time tenured, tenure-track and non-tenured faculty from any universities or colleges in Alabama.
Details about the awarded proposals are available at http://awrri.auburn.edu/grants.php
Videos and presentation slides are now available from the “Drought Response” Workshop held on Oct. 8 by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and NWRI.
The filmed presentations include a fascinating discussion on how a water utility responded to the threat of a California wildfire (see David Briggs, SFPUC), a timely presentation on the current state of California’s water resources during a time of continued drought (Jeanine Jones, DWR), groundbreaking new research on atmospheric rivers that could very well change the entire field of climatology and how to predict droughts (Martin Ralph, Scripps), and a utility’s innovative groundwater banking program to mitigate against drought (Paul Cook, IRWD).
You can access the videos and presentation slides on NWRI’s website at:
44 pages of excellent information for today’s fleets interested in medium and heavy-duty vehicles that use alternative fuels or advanced technologies that can help reduce operating costs, meet emissions requirements, improve fleet sustainability, and support U. S. energy independence.
Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) offers a suite of tools that can aid a fleet in its analysis (afdc.energy.gov/tools).
Click here to download a copy of the the Guide.
EPA researchers recently published a study in which they successfully developed and tested a microarray-based assay that can detect fecalindicator bacteria and human pathogens in tap water. This tool can simultaneously detect multiple organisms in a single sample as well as provide information on how often these organisms occur. This information may be used to assess potential exposure risks to waterborne pathogens.
As part of the U.S. EPA Aging Water Infrastructure (AWI) Research program, a key area of research was a study of current approaches available for making rehabilitation versus replacement decisions. EPA scientist Ariamalar Selvakumar, PhD co-authored an analysis of wastewater and water system renewal decision-making tools and approaches that was published by the Journal of Pipeline System and Engineering Practice. This paper provides a review of decision support systems and methods used over the last 15 years and summarizes the findings from visits with eight large utilities in the U.S. to discuss how each makes rehabilitation versus replacement decisions of their water infrastructure systems.
The Stormwater Calculator is an easy-to-use desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site – any address in the United States – based on local soil conditions, land cover and historic rainfall records. The calculator assesses several national databases to provide local soil and weather conditions for the chosen site. The user supplies information about the site’s land cover as well as what type of green infrastructure they would like to use. Green infrastructure can include low impact controls such as rain gardens, cisterns and porous pavement that retain rainfall on site until it eventually evaporates into the air, infiltrates the ground, or is otherwise consumed. The calculator will be available here:
Drinking water shortages have increasingly become a problem in recent years and climate change will only increase shortages. EPA scientist Jeffrey Yang, PhD recently co-authored a paper detailing how urban water infrastructure managers can plan for water shortages through innovative system planning and decision analysis. The authors believe that you can balance the carbon footprint of a system and still ensure that it is cost effective.
EPA researchers are using climate models and watershed simulations to better understand how climate change will affect streams and rivers.
A warming climate threatens hotter summers and more extreme storms. We know we may need to upgrade our air conditioning systems and make emergency preparedness kits, but aside from temperatures and storms, what are other ways we will be affected by climate change?
Last Updated: Mar 18, 2013