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Posted 9/8/2017

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Mobile District commander speaks at Alabama Water Resources Conference

By John Barker, Mobile District, public affairs specialist

Mobile District Commander Col. James DeLapp was the key speaker Sept. 7 at the annual Alabama Water Resources Conference, or AWRC, in Orange Beach, Ala. DeLapp gave a presentation on the Mobile District and key water resource projects within the state of Alabama.

“I was honored that the committee wanted to hear from Col. DeLapp because they realize the importance the Corps has in managing water resources in the state of Alabama,” said Todd Boatman chief, planning formulation branch, and chair of the conference’s 2017 planning committee.

“The Alabama Water Resources Conference is the state’s largest and longest forum for showcasing emerging research, education and outreach in all aspects of water resources,” he said. “Col. DeLapp opened the conference with his keynote address which sent an important message to attendees that the Mobile District has the tools, experts and the desire to collaborate with them on the complex water resource challenges that are important to the state of Alabama.”

The AWRC features presenters from a broad spectrum of water-resources research areas, management and outreach backgrounds, as well as keynote speakers that are regionally and nationally known authorities in water resources.

A statewide committee composed of water-resources agency, industry and academic leaders accept and review more than 100 abstracts and compile two days of concurrent sessions covering the following areas: Aquatic ecology and biology; coastal Issues, including a session on Weeks Bay, a National Estuarine Research Reserve in Fairhope, Ala., that was established as living laboratories for long-term scientific research and estuarine education; drought and climate Issues; ecological flows; flood issues; mapping and water management; and groundwater availability and management. The conference also focused on issues that are pertinent to the USACE mission, including modeling in water management; restoration and remediation; storm water management; water policy and law; water quality; water quantity; water resources education and stewardship; water and wastewater systems management; and watershed management and connecting agencies.

The 250 people in attendance included of university students, members of private companies, officials from state agencies and stakeholder groups, as well as officials from federal agencies and Alabama cities.

A record number of states were represented at the conference this year, and they were: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire and Arkansas.