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Alabama Water Institute

UA Hosts Inaugural Water Observing Technology Forum

Presentation at the inaugural Water Technology Observing Forum

During the last full week of April, The University of Alabama’s Alabama Water Institute and the USGS Next Generation Water Observing System hosted the inaugural Water Observing Technology Forum.

This year’s forum focused on imagery as data, mobile monitoring systems and an industry showcase. Speakers included federal agency representatives, academic researchers and industry leaders. They were excited to bring the water-observing community together for this event and provided updates on their research into innovative water monitoring technologies.

“We were honored to convene water leaders from multiple sectors across the world, establishing fruitful partnerships for the future,” said Dr. Steve Burian, AWI director of science and CIROH executive director.

Research into the utility of imagery-based observing platforms in regional and national surface and ground water monitoring networks has expanded greatly in the last five years. Establishing data requirements and standards, as well as data transfer and delivery tools for imagery data, are critical gaps that have been addressed through several coordinated efforts that were discussed at the forum.

Attendees were also provided an opportunity to tour the new, state-of-the-art USGS Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility on UA’s campus. The 95,000 square feet, two-story facility will include a hydraulics lab, water-quality labs, field testing facilities, environmental chambers, sensor innovation space, a warehouse, training labs, a network operations center and administrative offices.

“The primary objective of the WOTF was to bring together scientists, educators, innovators and private companies to make connections and discuss potential areas for research and collaboration, and we feel that we met that objective,” said Russ Lotspeich, USGS hydrologist and NGWOS research and development manager. “We are excited to already begin planning for the next forum and look forward to the opportunities it will provide while building off the connections that were made at this year’s event.”

More information about the WOTF can be found on the CIROH website.

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