December 2023 Edition

President's Notes

By Jessica Kuchan - Confluence Law PLLC

AWRA-WA Section President

Dear Members,

I would like to extend my gratitude to the AWRA-WA members for the honor to serve as President this year. AWRA-WA has had a great year supporting students and increasing our in-person professional events. I would like to briefly extend my appreciation to the members and sponsors that worked to make this a successful year.

This spring, we awarded four AWRA-WA fellowships to help students support their research projects. We also funded state conference admission for an additional six students. In April, AWRA-WA and AWRA-CWU hosted an event in Ellensburg that brought together many students and professionals. I would like to extend my gratitude to the Student Mentorship Fellowship Committee as well as all the student applicants.

Over the summer, AWRA-WA updated its newsletter format. I believe this new format allows for an easier interface for our members to gather information. Many thanks to the Membership and Communications Committee for this effort.

In the fall, we hosted our first in-person Annual Conference since 2019 at the Mountaineers in Seattle. The conference was very well attended. The theme was the Four Corners of Washington: Water Resource Challenges and Adaptations. The Conference included presentations and panel discussions addressing topics across the state. I greatly appreciate all the efforts by co-chairs Tom Ring and Hayley Ventoza in putting together a wonderful conference. Many thanks to the Conference Committee members, presenters, attendees, and student volunteers that made the event such a success. Enclosed in this newsletter are summaries of the conference panels.

We also hosted an event to discuss water resource issues for H2A Farm Worker Housing in Union Gap. Many thanks to the Events Committee and speakers. I also attended the National AWRA conference in November with a number of our Washington members. At the National Conference, our past president, Rabia Ahmed, was elected President of the AWRA National Board. Congratulations to Rabia!

As the calendar year comes to a close, we are preparing for the Board election and our Annual Members Meeting. You likely have received an invitation to vote for our 2024 Board of Directors. Please review the information and submit your vote. We are planning for an Annual Meeting in person (at Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle) and virtually on Thursday, December 14, 2023. Noah Wentzel from the Washington State Department of Ecology will provide a legislative update on bills introduced and enacted during Washington’s 2023 legislative session concerning water resource issues. I hope you can join us.

I also want to thank our many sponsors and co-marketing partners for their continued support. Their financial and in-kind support allows us to provide student fellowships and learning opportunities for members.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as President and on the Board.

Happy Holidays!

                               

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