Presenting at the Symposium 

We look forward to hosting several different types of engaging sessions throughout the Symposium. We believe learning should be fun and is best advanced through interaction with ideas and people. To that end, we put out a call for abstracts for diverse types of contributions from members across our network to create a rich program, including sessions with panels, roundtables, small breakout discussions, minds-on brainstorming, co-creation sessions, lightning sessions, as well as traditional presentations.   

Submission Timeline

The submission window is now CLOSED. To view a list of the full program agenda and corresponding speakers, please click here

Session Overview

In a recent survey, AWE members ranked the following primary topics as the topics they are most interested in exploring at the Symposium. Prospective contributors may choose to apply to present on one of the core or unique topics listed below.

Core Program Topics

  • Behavior Change 
  • Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Water Use 
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, Affordability 
  • Drought and Water Shortages 
  • Landscapes and Irrigation 
  • Climate Change, Water/Energy/Climate Nexus, and Weather Extremes  
  • Water Efficiency in Water-Rich Regions 
  • Data and Analytics​
  • Water Loss
  • Measurement and Evaluation of Water-Saving Strategies
  • Codes, Standards, and New Development Strategies

Unique Program Topics

These unique sessions bring in topics outside of the ones listed above or tackle a topic in a different way.   

  • Conservation Pairs Well With: Learn how organizations are succeeding at breaking down common silos by demonstrating how water conservation and efficiency work together with long-term planning and forecasting, financial sustainability, water loss management, water reuse, stormwater management, land use and planning, water quality issues, and energy efficiency, among others.  
    Apply for this session if you have a topic outside of the core topics above (like those listed in the description). You’ll need to demonstrate how water conservation and efficiency are intentionally integrated.  

  • Permission to Fail: Turning the traditional format on its head, this session format encourages transparency of the journey, the lessons learned, the stumbles, the errors, and more. Each of these moments teaches us something valuable for the future – join to learn from the best failures around. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford.  
    Apply for this session if you’re willing to pull back the curtain on your journey as we can learn just as much from what didn’t work. We want to hear about how you knew it was a fail, your trials and errors, what you would have done differently, and what you did next.  

  • Word of Mouth Pitch Session: Hear directly from organizations that have adopted new technologies, software, products, tools, and more. Understand the problem they were looking to solve, how they selected the solution, and suggestions for others in the market. The companies will be on deck to answer questions, too. 
    Apply for this session if you are a water provider and recently acquired a new tool, software, technology, consulting service, etc., have had a positive experience, and want to share how it helped your organization. 

  • The Talent Pipeline: How has the “water conservation professional” job changed over time? We recognize that folks come into this field from a variety of different educational and professional backgrounds. Join this interactive seminar where we’ll gather new and seasoned professionals to collectively work on understanding what skills are needed in this profession, how to nurture and develop our pipeline of water professionals, how to make working in water efficiency into a compelling career, how to recruit great candidates, how to tackle current workforce challenges and more.   
    Apply for this session if you are passionate about making sure a career in water conservation is awesome. Submit your ideas on how to develop our workforce, tackle workforce issues, and share your perspective as a new or seasoned pro. We need a diverse set of voices to contribute to this session. 

Types of Sessions

  • Panel: you are one of a few short presentations. You may prepare and present a few slides, with lots of time for panel conversation and audience Q&A. 
  • Lightning Round: you are one of many short, energetic presentations. 
  • Roundtable: you are one of a few short presentations with a few slides each, followed by facilitated small group conversations, with a large group wrap-up at the end.  
  • Breakout Conversation: you facilitate or co-facilitate a small group conversation on a focused topic with a goal of learning and sharing across participants 
  • Co-creation session: you will present and get feedback on a project you are working on or would like to work with others on. Symposium attendees will be your bonus colleagues to bring fresh eyes to whatever you are tackling.  
  • Mini Workshop: you’ll teach attendees a skill, how to use a tool/model, how to present to a City Council or Board, how to [insert your idea here!]. This is a teaching moment, and there should be an aspect of attendee participation/interaction.  
  • Traditional Single-Presenter: you will be one of 3-4 presenters preparing slides and giving a 15-20 minute talk with a short amount of time for Q&A.  

Submission Tips

  • Choose a clear and concise title, which is catchy and accurately reflects your idea. 
  • Plan your abstract thoroughly before writing it. A high-quality submission addresses the problem or question, the evidence/data, and the solutions/conclusions. It is important to give an overview of what you specifically intend to include in the presentation.  

  • Sentences should be short to convey the needed information and free of words, phrases or otherwise extraneous information/context that do not add value.  

  • Sentences should be in an active voice. 

  • Avoid obscure jargon.  

  • Proofread all content before submitting; you can draft your content in an editing application like Microsoft Word and/or ask a colleague to review your draft. 

  • Keep your audience in mind as you prepare your abstract. 

Click here for a PDF of the Abstract Submission Process