In my final message to you, the AWRA community...

President's Message | December 2021

In my final message to you, the AWRA community, I am pleased to help introduce an issue dedicated to arguably one of the most important topics of our time related to water: water risk in a rapidly changing world. The increasing momentum I see in the water space to articulate and assess water risks in the face of our changing climate and political culture heartens me. After initial inertia, our water communities seem to be quickly evolving their practice to make sense of these risks and begin the process of adapting to them. This issue, put together by guest editors Michael Campana and Charlotte Roehm, begins the process of bringing some of these stories to your attention. There were so many worthy articles that we intend to follow this issue with more in the next one.

I mentioned the changing political culture. As a longtime state water manager, I am grateful to Robert Mace for his thoughtful piece describing the catch-22 in which government planners and regulators can find themselves in today’s political climate. Science has become more political than at any other time in my career, and no end is in sight. You may find some of what he describes familiar or radically different from the dialogue occurring where you live. That unfortunate reality only increases the importance of building robust conversations in our community and promoting connections in our wider communities that can facilitate messaging to achieve change. Tamim Younos identifies other impediments to change. That said, I know you will find useful suggestions on adaptation strategies from the articles that follow in a variety of water sectors. Maybe you will find something in this issue that validates what you are already doing, provides ideas to help you conceptualize a challenge you face, or supplies an example of a solution you can use. That is what AWRA does. We bring you content that is timely and relevant to the challenges you face in your world and connect you to practitioners and others that can deepen the dialogue in your community.

As my term as steward of this association comes to a close, I want to express my appreciation to all of those who continue to make what we do possible. My sincere thanks go out to our Board of Directors and our AWRA staff for their diligence in addressing the challenging issues associated with the pandemic while continuing to serve our membership. Everyone involved demonstrated a steady hand in navigating the rapidly changing events that have epitomized 2021. I also want to thank all of the contributors to our publications and conferences. It is clear to me, and confirmed by the response of our membership, that you are producing tremendous value that in some way will help us find solutions to the water challenges we face today and in the future. Thank you for providing this timely and valuable content to your fellow members and our global water community. We are enriched by your work. Finally, thank you to all the people who volunteer their time to serve our association as members of our technical committees and conference planning committees and as editors of our publications. Thank you. We could not do this without all of you.

A few updates in closing. As you may have heard, the Board of Directors made the decision move forward with in-person events in 2022. In order to protect the health and safety of our members, attendees, and staff, we will be implementing safety protocols that can be found on each event's webpage. We have a great lineup of events in 2022, beginning with the 2022 Geospatial Water Technology Conference on March 21–23; our 2022 Spring Conference, “Water Risk Under a Rapidly Changing World - Evaluation & Adaptation,” on April 25–27; and our 2022 Annual Water Resources Conference on November 7–9. I hope to see you there!

Finally, best wishes to our incoming leadership team of Claire Bleser, your 2022 president, and Jason Zhang, your president-elect. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this past year. It has been an honor.

We always appreciate hearing from you. Be safe and stay well.

Scott Kudlas is the 2021 president of AWRA.


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