By Thad Plumley
I get to be twice as excited as the 2017 Groundwater Week approaches this year.
Attending our industry’s biggest event is always a chance for me to reconnect with the water well system professionals I have gotten to know from around the country.
This time, though, Groundwater Week—which is December 5-7 in Nashville, Tennessee—is co-locating with Groundwater Summit 2017, the National Ground Water Association’s preeminent technical conference for groundwater consultants, scientists, engineers, and academics.
I have attended several Summits in recent years, and just like at Groundwater Week, been able to meet some great and incredibly talented people at those events.
Now, we’re all going to be under one roof. What a treat!
Chances are you’ll see some folks you don’t recognize at some of Groundwater Week’s most popular sessions. I encourage you to get to know them. This is a tremendous networking opportunity.
I bet you’ll be able to do so right when things begin in some of the workshops on the opening morning of December 5, but there are countless other events that will definitely have the entire industry together.
Seek out folks you don’t know at the Franklin Electric Welcome Party, the Keynote Address and Awards of Excellence Ceremony, the McEllhiney Lecture, the NGWA Delegates Meeting, the NGWA Foundation Auction—and especially when walking the packed aisles of the Exhibit Hall.
I’ve always thought the networking opportunities at Groundwater Week are one of the best benefits of attendance. Having the chance to sit down with a fellow groundwater professional from another part of the world and see how they may have tackled a similar situation you encountered is awesome. What a learning opportunity you can’t find in a book or on a computer screen!
But having attendees from the Groundwater Summit in the Music City Center this December as well is an extra bonus. This is an opportunity to get the perspective from an engineer about things you have recently seen on a jobsite or to ask consultants and researchers about tricky contamination issues or tough remediation jobs you’ve encountered.
Water well system professionals have told me through the years of occasions when they’ve wished for better communication between themselves and engineers. I’ve heard stories of jobs slowed due to misunderstandings on both sides. The chance to begin eliminating that problem has never been easier.
I hope you’re at Groundwater Week—and I hope you meet several people you didn’t know before you left home. If you do, I know you’ll be a better professional because of it.
Thad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl.