Georgia Water Resources Conference is April 16-17 in Athens

by Beth Gavrilles,
Contact: Duncan Elkins,

Word cloud in the shape of the state of Georgia; prominent words are River, stream, quality, coastal.

Athens, Ga. – Water resources professionals and students from across Georgia and beyond will converge on Athens for the 16th Georgia Water Resources Conference from April 16-17. The biennial event, which takes place at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, provides an open forum for the discussion of water policies, management strategies and the results of research and technical studies.

“The state of Georgia is facing unprecedented challenges to its water resources due to drought and extreme weather events, population growth, and changing agricultural demand,” said conference organizer Duncan Elkins, a postdoctoral research associate in the University of Georgia River Basin Center. “The Georgia Water Resources Conference provides an unparalleled venue for water scientists, water managers, and industry practitioners to present research, share ideas, and expand their perspectives.”

The conference, which was first held in 1989, typically draws approximately 300 participants from academia, state and federal agencies, consulting firms and non-governmental organizations.

“This year we are particularly excited to have increased participation from several universities in the state, including the Georgia State University Geosciences program, the College of Coastal Georgia, and the University of North Georgia, which broadens the impacts of the conference for the next generation of Georgia’s researchers and leaders,” Elkins said.

The 2019 conference includes sessions and panels on such diverse topics as the Flint River, green infrastructure, hurricanes and flooding, agricultural wetland policy and preventing lead in school drinking water. Plenary speakers will address issues such as water resource recovery, agricultural water use, how a changing climate will affect water in Georgia and state and federal perspectives on water policy.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to view “Hidden Rivers,” a documentary about the biodiversity of southern Appalachian streams and the efforts of those working to conserve them. A public screening, with a catered reception and Q&A with the filmmaker, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at Ciné, 234 West Hancock Ave. in downtown Athens. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Ciné box office or online.

Walk-in registration for the conference will be available starting at 8 a.m. on April 16 at the Georgia Center.

The Georgia Water Resources Conference is organized by the University of Georgia River Basin Center. Sponsors include YSI; the Jones Center at Ichauway; Jacobs Engineering Group; Georgia Sea Grant; UGA Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems; UGA College of Engineering; UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Carl Vinson Institute of Government; Georgia State University Department of Geosciences; Greater Apalachee River Community, Inc.; Nutter & Associates; Georgia Water Tanks; Mitigation Management; Altamaha Riverkeeper; Tetra Tech; Troutman Sanders; Oconee River Greenway Commission; and the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust.

For more information, including the complete schedule, see the conference website.