2018 AWRA-WA State Conference -- Early Bird Registration open through September 16th!

  • 16 Oct 2018
  • 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle WA



Location: Mountaineers Seattle Program Center

7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA

AWRA-WA welcomes you to join us for an interdisciplinary investigation of Washington water resource management. This year’s conference will delve into several key Washington State Supreme Court decisions as well as recent legislation to evaluate how water management in our state may be required to adapt to meet stresses from development pressures and water use.

The conference registration is now open on our website (https://www.waawra.org/event-2837056).

Our keynote speaker will be Leon Szeptycki, from the Stanford Woods Institute.  His work includes issues related to stream flow restoration in the context of western water law and increasing human demands.

The conference timeline is:

 7 - 8 am Registration 
 8 - 8:10 am Welcome Conference Co-Chairs 
 8:10 - 9 am  Keynote Address 
 9 - 10:20 am  Session 1 (3 speakers) 
 10:20 - 10:40 am  Break 
 10:40 am - 12 pm Session 2 (3 speakers) 
 12 - 12:15 pm State of the Section Report and WA-AWRA Outstanding Professional Award 
 12:15 - 1 pm  Lunch and Networking 
 1 - 1:55 pm Session 3 (2 speakers) 
 1:55 - 2:15 pm Break 
 2:15 - 3:45 pm Session 4 (4 speakers) 
 3:45 - 4:05 pm Break 
 4:05 - 5:00 pm Session 5 (panel) 
 5 - 5:05 pm Closing by Conference Co-Chairs
 5:05 - 7 pm Reception

More details on each session are included below:

Session 1 - Introductory Session – will focus on legal cases that preceded the adoption of ESSB 6091 in the 2018 Legislative session, with speakers include State, Tribal and environmental attorneys. Speakers are:

• Alan Richman – would talk both on Hirst and Foster cases

• Patrick Williams (attorney on Foster case)

• Lauren King, a tribal attorney – would talk about tribal perspective on culverts and Boldt case. She represents the Quileute Tribe in US v. WA including the culvert case and will deliver the tribal perspective

Session 2 – Implementation Session - will cover implementation of ESSB 6091 from three different watersheds, with speakers from three different lead agencies who have been tasked with updating watershed plans and getting agreement from planning participants. Speakers are:

• Kristen Harma from Chehalis Basin Partnership

• Mike Hermanson (Spokane County)

• Mark Personius, Director of Community Development, Whatcom County

Session 3 – Net Ecological Benefits is a technical session focused on the concept of “Net Ecological Benefits.” ESSB 6091 requires that plans meet the net ecological benefit standard, but did not define what that standard is. Panelists will talk about the interrelationship between water quantity, water quality, fish habitat, and how to measure Net Ecological Benefits. Speakers are:

• Kiza Gates from WDFW.

• Phil Roni from Cramer Fish.

Session 4 – Climate Change/Impact Session is another technical session which will cover current scientific understanding of potential impacts to water resources from climate change. Panelists will talk about climate modelling, predicted groundwater response and changes we’ve already seen in our surface water systems. Speakers are:

• Rick Dinicolla, USGS, - will address climate change impact on groundwater

• Dr. Nick Bond, UW would talk about atmospheric rivers

• Jennifer Johnson , Bureau of Reclamation (Idaho-based) (would talk about Grand Coulee Dam and/or Yakima River)

• John Chandler from Puget Sound Energy would talk about impacts of non-stationarity.

Session 5 – Looking Forward Session - panelists will discuss future considerations and policy issues related to water resource management. This panel will include our Keynote speaker, as well as state and agricultural water resource managers to talk about what changes to policy might be needed to respond to New Era of Water Management. Panelists are:

• Keynote Speaker (Leon)

• Mike Schwisow, Former Deputy Director of Washington Dept. of Agriculture

• Darrel Williams, Tulalip Tribe Natural Resources Director

• Mary Verner, Head of Water Resources at Ecology

About our Keynote Speaker - Leon Szeptycki is a Professor of the Practice and Executive Director of Water in the West at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Water in the West is an interdisciplinary research program that engages Stanford in developing solutions to water scarcity and water management challenges in the American West.

Leon is an attorney who specializes in water quality, water use and watershed restoration. His work includes issues related to stream flow restoration in the context of the western appropriative rights system, sustainable groundwater management, and restoration of aquatic species. Over his career, Leon has worked on a broad range of matters related to the restoration of river health and water quality on a landscape scale.

From 2006 until 2012, Leon taught at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he ran the Environmental Law and Conservation Clinic and helped create an interdisciplinary course in conservation for students in the environmental sciences department and the law school. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with Trout Unlimited, a national conservation organization devoted to the protection and restoration of trout and salmon rivers. While at Trout Unlimited, Leon helped develop innovative legal and policy tools for voluntary watershed restoration by a variety of means, include dam removal and reclamation of abandoned mine sites. He has also worked in private law practice and at the U.S. Department of Justice. Leon received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

In 2016, Leon was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the Board of Directors of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, an organization formed in 2016 whose sole purpose is to oversee the removal of four dams on the upper Klamath river.

Early-bird registration is open July 9th through September 16th.
Registration pricing is summarized in the following table:

Type of Registration

Early-Bird Rate (before Sept. 16th)

Regular Rate

(after Sept. 16th)







Student/Recent Graduate (Looking for Work)



Student Volunteer*



Speakers and Awardees*



Sponsor Registrations*



*If you plan to request a complimentary registration, please register for the conference but do not pay, then email the webmaster and provide the name and email of the individual to receive the complimentary registration.

Please contact Conference Chair Felix Kristanovich at fkristanovich@ramboll.com with any questions or if you are interested in being a student volunteer.

Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Click here!


Questions about the website? Please contact the Webmaster: waawra.webmaster@gmail.com.
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