Apr 09, 2021

What's Happening at the Center for Watershed Protection Conference?

The Center for Watershed Protection's 2021 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference will be held virtually this year starting on April 13. 

The Center for Watershed Protection's 2021 National Watershed and Stormwater Conference will be held virtually this year starting on April 13. 

The Center for Watershed Protection National Stormwater & Watershed Conference kicks off on Tuesday, April 13 and runs through Friday, April 16. The conference aims to provide a forum for watershed and storm water professionals to network and share solutions on how to increase water resilience in communities across the country. This year’s conference will be fully virtual on Zoom. 

In addition to workshops and panels discussions, the conference will also include educational sessions.Topics range from flood resiliency and community engagement to data collection and the blue-green economy. To prepare, SWS is highlighting a time block from each day with sessions covering various topics pertinent to the industry.

For the full agenda, complete abstracts and to register for the conference, visit the Center for Watershed Protection website. 

The opening remarks will begin at  10:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday, April 13. Hye Yeong Kwon, executive director of the Center for Watershed Protection, will welcome attendees before the educational sessions begin. 


Tuesday, April 13

Integrating Hazard Mitigation and Water Resource Management Plans to Address Local Objectives, Climate Change, and Ecologic/Economic Resilience

12:30-1:45 p.m. CT

According to the abstract packet, this session will “explore an integrated approach to hazard mitigation and water resource planning, and present details on how the approach can be implemented. Recent case studies and examples from state and local governments will be reviewed to highlight driving forces, process steps, implementation efforts, and funding opportunities. Audience members will participate in exercises that explore the extent of local planning integration, the entities involved, and the objectives undertaken (e.g., flood/fire/storm mitigation, water quality/reuse, etc.).”


Wednesday, April 14

Storm Water Predictions

2:15- 3:15 p.m. CT

Development of Future Depth-Duration-Frequency Curves for South Florida

According to the abstract, this session will discuss the initiation of the new Flood Protection Level of Service Program at the South Florida Water Management District. The abstract says     “basins in the SFWMD will be evaluated to determine their current and future level of service for flood protection. This requires an evaluation of rainfall estimates adopted for engineering design in the SFWMD’s permitting manual to determine if modifications are necessary to account for changes in future rainfall patterns. The U.S. Geological Survey has entered a collaborative agreement with the SFWMD to develop an ensemble of projected changes in rainfall depth-duration-frequency (DDF) curves.”

Does Rain Intensity and Dry Time between Storm Events Factor into Stormwater Loading?

The abstract reads: “Climate change has been known to increase the intensity and time between rain events. This change in weather pattern is expected to get worse with time. We have been involved in or collected storm water flow and water quality data for the last 20+ years at GBMc & Associates. Reasons for collecting the data include regulatory requirements, nonpoint source pollution grants, watershed planning, and watershed monitoring and assessment. Because we collected both stormwater flows and water quality data, stormwater loads were calculated. The loading data is spread across the state of Arkansas with different land uses and watershed sizes. This presentation will look at the time between rain events and the intensity of rain events to see if these factors play a role in stormwater loading across Arkansas.


Thursday, April 15

The Digital Revolution

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CT 

Digital Transformation is Revolutionizing Stormwater Programs: How to be Ready for Changes Ahead

According to the abstract, “Key discussion factors include: 1) Examining solution trade-offs. While all stormwater programs are unique in their own ways, software solutions shouldn’t be. Cities should assess the trade-offs of custom-built one-off solutions vs. leveraging existing solutions that are broadly scalable. All software requires maintenance, upgrades, repairs, and user support, and those ongoing costs are often overlooked with custom solutions. Enterprise solutions build annual costs into pricing structures resulting in less uncertainty about long-term costs. 2) Be open-minded to change. With digital transformation often comes changes to forms, processes, and workflows. Be willing to critically think about how to improve legacy processes that have been set in place for a long time. Staff will need to become familiar with using mobile apps to capture data. 3) Operationalizing institutional knowledge. In-house expertise are critical information sources, and much of that knowledge can be made more useful by building it into a dynamic structure that can adapt over time.”

Achieving Social Equity through Stormwater, Science and a Digital Revolution 

In this session, “2NDNATURE will present the case of social equity as a major benefit of effective stormwater management and how, by the digitization of stormwater programs, cities can leverage information generated from digital stormwater management platforms to guide where green infrastructure investments will have the biggest socioeconomic impact, thereby improving human physical and mental health, reducing crime, increasing social cohesion, reducing urban heat-islands, creating job opportunities, improving the quality of structures around schools and churches, creating pride and participation in communities who need it most.”

Friday, April 16

Pollutant Management Strategies

2:15-3:15 p.m. CT

Tracking Trash: A Trash Assessment Strategy for Effective Trash Management 

Viewers of this session will learn “the methodology for identifying high trash generation areas and present the strategy of best management practice selection to achieve a zero-trash discharge. As a universal pollutant, this approach may assist permittees across the nation currently struggling with effective trash management and unable to meet the reduction of pollutants in storm water runoff to the Maximum Extent Practicable,” according to the abstract.

PFAS in Stormwater: The What, How and Why of PFAS Testing

According to the abstract, “while this presentation will provide an introduction to the chemistry and history of PFAS, this presentation aims to provide clarity around the mountain of analytical options and growing regulations.”


About the author

Katie Johns is managing editor of Storm Water Solutions. Johns can be reached at [email protected]