Top 10 Reasons to check out this year’s Iowa Water Conference

SPECIAL NOTE: Today’s guest blog post was written by Melissa Miller, Program Coordinator with the Iowa Water Center. The annual Iowa Water Conference is just around the corner, and Melissa outlines her Top Ten list of reasons why each of us should consider attending!

On March 23-34 in Ames, we’ll hold the Iowa Water Conference. This is the TENTH year in its current format. What used to be many water-related conferences came together under one umbrella for several reasons – perhaps the most important of those being that we are all responsible for Iowa’s water management, and we must work together to make improvements.


With it being the tenth year, it seemed appropriate to provide the top ten reasons you’ll want to attend this year’s conference, if you haven’t already registered.


10Affordability. The registration fee remains at $150 again this year; $75 for students. This number includes breakfast, snacks, and lunch on both days. (Registration fees go up March 12, so get signed up!)


9Weather. We planned the event three weeks later in 2016 in the hope Mother Nature will be kind to us. We can’t guarantee good weather, but we have better chances this year.


Competition. As in past years, we’ll have a photo contest and student poster contest.


7Exhibitors. We’ve already secured a long list of commercial and non-profit/educational groups that will have tables in the lobby, including our ILF/Water Rocks! friends. If you want to exhibit, get your form in by March 11!


6Networking. The Water Conference is cross-cutting and you’ll be amazed by all the people you meet during breaks and the evening reception (read on).


5Evening reception. Back by popular demand is the evening networking reception. From 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday night, we’ll provide heavy hors d’oeurves and a cash bar right before heading into the adjacent community event (read on).


4Art of Water 2016. This FREE community event will feature a gallery viewing of Ames High School Bluestem Institute water quality photographic prints and a presentation of Body of Water, a production that uses dance, music, and video to tell the story of an Iowa watershed. For more info, check out the event website.




3The optional workshop this year (an additional $50 fee) is a different kind of topic than we typically offer –The Psychology of Sustainable Behavior – a skill-building workshop to support voluntary behavior change.


2More breakout sessions. This year you’ll find presentations on water quality, water quantity, nutrient management, the soil/water connection, the next generation of water professionals, strategies for social engagement, green infrastructure: benefits and maintenance, green infrastructure: function, current technology, and current research. The committee worked especially hard this year to strategically schedule presentations so you wouldn’t have to face tough decisions, but with the high quality of the talks, there was only so much we could do. (Don’t worry, the entire conference is being recorded!)


1Plenary presentations. We kick the conference off with a bang -“Water Quality in Iowa: What does the public think?” will be presented by Mary Losch with the Department of Psychology and Center for Social and Behavioral Research at the University of Northern Iowa. Other plenary topics include zero stormwater runoff discharge, watershed planning for treatment plant nutrient offsets, the California water odyssey, a legislative look at achieving environmental quality, and using psychology to engage people to preserve water resources.


We hope we’ve piqued your interest (and potentially managed to answer every question you may have had) about the Iowa Water Conference. Follow along on Twitter using #iawaterconf16 and be sure you don’t miss the March 11 registration deadline!

Melissa Miller


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