On my way home from the AWRA conference in Orlando I sat next to a fellow on his way home from the IAAPA Expo (International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions), which had taken place at the Orange County Conference Centre the same week. Even though he slept for most of the 7 hours we sat next to each other, I did learn a thing or two while he was awake. There were 35,000 people at the amusement park convention and the expo was so large that the distance to walk around all of the vendor booths was 9 miles! It is hard for me to grasp the scale and the meaning of this. There were, perhaps, 500 water professionals who could afford the time and money to come to the AWRA, a significant turnout for water professionals in North America.
The sessions and presentations at AWRA conference in Orlando Florida reinforced many observations I have been making about the water sector. Long gone are the days when the conference was dominated by the stereotype engineer with pocket protectors and a slide rule. There are no sessions on nuances of flood frequency analysis or the shear stress of rip rap. There is obviously still a need for water data for conventional engineering purposes but this need has been overwhelmed by a new reality. The application of water science is changing.
Tad Slawecki, Senior Engineer at Limnotech, provided a very interesting and entertaining ‘lightning talk’ at the Open Water Data Initiative session of the AWRA 2014 conference. Against a backdrop of increasing momentum toward ‘big data,’ which is often conceived as primarily ‘virtual’ data derived from distributed models, Tad argues that we need to restore our…
I had the great pleasure of re-connecting with colleagues at the NASH symposia at the AWRA 2014 national conference. There were three well attended NASH sessions and a panel discussion that were all great starting points for conversations. One such conversation about discharge measurement uncertainty with Tim Cohn resulted in the statement that is the title of this post. We were discussing the reasons for study into the problem of quantification of discharge measurement uncertainty.