Groundwater Week in Las Vegas sets new attendance record, beating 2006 conference
75th anniversary conference attracted 6,642 groundwater professionals
December 12, 2023 By Ground Water Canada
Las Vegas – Attendance at last week’s Groundwater Week was the largest ever in the 75-year history of the National Ground Water Association.
The conference attracted 6,642 groundwater professionals from 40 countries, beating out the 2006 conference which attracted 6,612 people.
“We’re proud to have celebrated our 75th anniversary with the largest ever show attendance and thank everyone for making this historical milestone possible,” said NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse, CAE, CIC. “The groundwater industry is essential and, as such, extremely busy. We appreciate everyone taking time out of their busy schedules to be at Groundwater Week 2023.”
NGWA celebrated 75 years of serving groundwater professionals with a booth on the exhibit hall floor. NGWA past presidents and former staff members who helped the association reach the milestone were in attendance to celebrate the occasion. A closing party, “Popcorn and Pilsners,” wrapped up Groundwater Week 2023 in the exhibit hall.
Attendees took in nearly 40 water well contractor workshops and visited 303 exhibitors on a crowded exhibit hall floor. Dozens of educational sessions in the science & engineering forum took place concurrently. There was a total of 81,600 square feet of exhibit space – the most in NGWA history.
The groundwater industry’s top concern — workforce development — was covered in a variety of workshops, including a roundtable discussion on passing knowledge to the next generation. Two certified industry veterans and one younger professional shared what has worked for them over the years in recruiting, hiring, and maintaining their employees.
Geothermal technology was showcased again as the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association featured a pavilion for the third consecutive year in the exhibit hall along with its track of workshops. A workshop on NGWA’s ongoing geothermal retrofit detailed the design of the closed loop system. Morse and industry partners discussed different parts of the system and products that will help the association generate more than $250,000 in energy savings and a reduction of 640-plus tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years, according to design estimates.
For the second consecutive year, two events took place to aid young and early-career groundwater professionals. A tour of the exhibit hall led by seasoned groundwater veterans took place explaining how the tools and machinery seen on the floor are used daily in the industry. There was also a coffee and continental breakfast where young people had a chance to meet and network with each other.
The NGWA delegates meeting saw three incumbents get re-elected to the NGWA board of directors:
- Jeremy Bach of Bach Drilling Co. in Ellensburg, WA
- Robert Keyes, CWD, of Associated Environmental Industries Corp. in Norman, OK
- Chauncey Leggett, CWD/PI, CVCLD, of Lake Valley Well Co. in Tarboro, NC
Chip Nelson of GEFCO/BAUER Equipment America Inc. in Conroe, TX, was elected to the secretary position on the manufacturers section board and will also serve as a director on the NGWA board of directors.
Jeffrey Davis, PE, CGWP, was elected to the vice chair position on the scientists and engineers section board and will also serve as a director on the NGWA board of directors.
David Traut, MGWC, CVCLD, of Traut Companies in St. Joseph, MN, became the NGWA president.
For the first time, NGWA elected someone from the manufacturers section as president-elect — Eric Macias of LORENTZ U.S. Corp. in Slaton, TX.
Traut, who was interviewed earlier in 2023, spoke of his 2024 goals:
- Establish NGWA University online training powered by Oklahoma State University to meet the industry’s pressing workforce development challenges
- Launch NGWA Business PRO, a cloud-based software system to help groundwater industry firms run a profitable business.
Keynote speaker Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, a former University of Notre Dame football player whose life story was immortalized in the 1993 film, Rudy, motivated attendees during the keynote presentation and awards of excellence ceremony.
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