Urban Water Innovation Network

Annual Meeting

July 30 – August 1, 2019

Fort Collins, Colorado

UWIN Annual Meeting Synthesis (2019)

The 4th Annual UWIN All-hands Meeting at Colorado State University focused on the research integration activities prioritized by the Network last year.  Integrative breakout sessions were conducted to support these synergistic efforts, discuss data availability and identify gaps, as well as plan appropriate next steps for the final products (see “Working Group Outcomes” for more details). 

In addition to the working group sessions, we also facilitated a transdisciplinary research panel discussion to explore meaningful avenues for UWIN research to benefit communities and help cities make informed decisions.  Thrust-level poster sessions provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion of the individual projects, progress and results.

A student networking workshop was conducted prior to the official start of the three-day event to provide our students an opportunity to learn about each other’s research and better understand the wide array of UWIN projects that support a transition toward more sustainable urban water systems.

This year we were fortunate to host several stakeholders and utility partners.  A special thanks to Bill Cooper (formerly NSF), Inge Wiersema (Carollo Engineers), Kristi Wamstad (Inst. For Sustainable Infrastructure), the Philadelphia Water Department team: March Cammarata, Stephanie Chiorean, Chris Bergerson and Dan Schupsky and the folks from City of Fort Collins Utilities – Liesel Hans, Jared Heath and Richard Thorp.  We truly appreciate your insight and contributions to a very productive and progressive meeting!

A heartfelt thank you to our External Advisory Committee – Howard Neukrug, Jonathan Gilligan, and Marc Cammarata, for your continued support and counsel to help the Network mature and prosper.

As we round our 5th year of funding, let us take pause to acknowledge the hard work of our colleagues and students across the country.  To date UWIN has produced:

  • 200+ conference presentations
  • 104 published journal papers
  • 36 Data sets
  • 19 research seminars
  • 8 stakeholder webinars
  • 7 Dissertations and 5 theses have been completed, with over a dozen more in progress
  • 4 book chapters
  • 2 special journal issues have been collaboratively produced

Thanks to everyone for not only your academic contributions, but more importantly your commitment to build an enduring research network full of enthusiastic and brilliant scholars, stakeholders, students and professionals.  We are looking forward to road ahead and year to come!

Synthesis Paper

At the 2019 UWIN Annual Meeting we convened several breakout sessions to move towards development of a synthesis paper that characterizes the baseline pressures on urban water systems. The goals of these breakout sessions were as follows:

  1. Identify paper participants;
  2. Identify data sets and study regions, research question(s) and research design;
  3. Assign responsibilities and come up with due dates.

The breakout sessions were successful and participants were enthused about the paper. About 18 people indicated interest in participating. At the close of the sessions, we had populated a Google document with an outline of the paper, developed jointly with the working group. We agreed to use a conceptual framework from existing UWIN work characterizing urban water systems. We also agreed to focus on baseline pressures (i.e., leaving future projections for a later time) and outlined figures and analysis to be conducted for the paper. Every single individual that agreed to share data stated, unequivocally, that the assigned (mini-)HW (i.e., analysis to be conducted post-meeting) was doable within a short period of time.

A key overarching goal was to decide on the focal regions of the piece. As a group, we decided to focus on all the regions to uncover pressures that are hard to characterize with UWIN or secondary data. Regions for which we are missing particular data will be discussed as future work in the closing section of the paper. We agreed to have a good draft of the paper completed by the close of fall semester 2019.

At the close of the integration presentations we agreed to coordinate between integration groups to agree upon common conceptual frameworks and language.

The first assignment for this paper is due on September 5th. This assignment is as follows:

What we are looking for is a variable (that has been standardized from 0 to 1) that characterizes a particular pressure for your UWIN region. If you have a variable where lower numbers indicate greater pressure than higher numbers, please reverse-code this variable so that it fits onto a spiderplot with end points of 0 (minimum) to 1 (maximum). Each individual group conducting the analysis is responsible for determining how they reach the standardized 0-1 index, following acceptable and defendable scientific protocol.

For the Sep. 5th HW assignment, please write a succinct description addressing each the following:

  1. What variable are you using to characterize a pressure?
  2. Why did you choose this variable for the pressure?
  3. Comment on any disagreements in the literature about your particular variable. Is there consensus that this is a good universal measure or are others recommended?
  4. The data source of the variable (i.e., is it data you have produced directly from your modeling efforts, etc.).
  5. How the variable was computed?
  6. How the variable was standardized?
  7. A table with the value of the variable standardized from 0 to 1 for each U-WIN region for which you have data.
  8. Include any other information you think is important but not in this list (e.g., relevant metadata).


Urban Sustainability Indicators

During the UWIN annual meeting, the indicator task force conducted 14 interviews with UWIN researchers. The interviews focused on the factors relevant to urban water sustainability studied by UWIN researches as well as the relations between these factors. The team is currently in the process of transcribing the interviews.

Our analysis will focus on developing a typology of factors in relation to the simplified version of the Pressure-State-Response framework and exploring relations within and between types of factors. The resulting typology serves three main goals. First, it summarizes in a problem-oriented way the insights UWIN teams collectively have gained thus allowing us to map UWIN as a research network. Second, it provides a list of factors relevant to urban water sustainability that can be used by the web tool group as well as by stakeholders to inform decision-making. Finally, it provides a means to compare UWIN insights and foci against the factors evident in the literature as well as the interests and priorities of stakeholder communities and policy makers. Concerning the latter, we are in contact with the UWIN Stakeholder Engagement Team on use of data and analyses from the stakeholder meetings.


Urban Water Web-Tool

The Web Tool Integration Team used breakout sessions to solicit input from stakeholders attending the meeting (utilities and consultants) as well as UWIN team members that have not been actively involved in the team’s phone meetings. The following questions were posed to meeting participants in a workshop style:

  1. What types of questions should the tool answer/address?
  2. What types of outcomes should the tool measure and what types of questions would be asked to measure the progress towards these outcomes?
  3. What solutions (technological or policy) should the tool identify?
  4. What is the appropriate scale of application?
  5. Who are potential users of the web tool?

Meeting notes are available online. In summary, many of the technical questions to be answered by tool, outcomes, and solutions were similar to what the Web Tool Integration Team had identified. A few new technical considerations were raised and noted. Most importantly, the need was emphasized for the tool to include policy and management guidance. The current Web Tool Integration Team will move forward with the technical analyses and integrate existing models related to water supply, wastewater, and stormwater to assess benefits of these strategies. The team decided that a small working group to address integration of policy/management components into the web tool is needed, and would likely take the shape of guidance based on identified priorities for entities. Next steps include:

  • Finalize linkage of questions the tool should answer with outputs
  • Initiate test bed study in Globeville-Elyria-Swansia neighborhood to integrate models for analysis of One Water solutions
  • Form a small working group to conceptualize the policy/management component of the web tool
  • Initiate a stakeholder engagement process to solicit early input on the purpose/vision of the tool and outputs


Testbed Study

Brain storming of ideas was the main theme of this breakout session. Some of the ideas that were strongly discussed, and the pathways formed are:

  1. To conduct an experiment across the UWIN study regions to understand the ET potential of different bio-forms (plants and shrubs) used in green infrastructure (GI)
  2. To identify optimal list of plants for effective GI performance across different study regions, and;
  3. To identify geologic, socio-economic, policy parameters that dictate the implementation of GI at a location. Are GI structures built considering the overall impact to city’s water management needs, or are they just being built on open, empty lands as some “green initiative”?

The group decided that with the current state of UWIN funds available, experiments to find answers to the first two objectives, of the Testbed Study group, could be completed at least in two study regions by the end of this year (2019); ideally, Baltimore, and Fort Collins and/or Denver. Dr. Swan’s team (UMBC) will be in touch with the Testbed Study group about the methodology to conduct the experiments and will also be shipping the instruments to the project leads in other regions. For the third objective, Dr. Bledose (UGA) will form the main research questions. Dr. Cherrier (CUNY) also expressed the importance of this third objective and will coordinate with Dr. Bledsoe to jointly develop the research questions.

Student Networking Workshop


In 2018, the UWIN graduate and undergraduate research program students requested dedicated time at the 2019 annual meeting to learn about each other’s research, identify connections and potential research collaborations across thrusts and regions, and better understand how the wide array of UWIN research supports an integrated One Water Approach. A day-long student workshop was designed by members of the Student Success Task Force with input from several graduate students. It was led by Dr. Deana Pennington using the Employing Model-based reasoning in Socio-environmental Synthesis (EMBeRS) approach to help facilitate development of shared understanding across disciplines. All UWIN graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and undergraduate research program students were invited to attend with housing and meals support provided. 

The 23 participants found the workshop valuable and successful in achieving its goals. A majority (83% GR, 89% UG) developed new perspectives on how their research contributes to the One Water Approach and believe the workshop could lead to new or enhanced UWIN collaborations. All indicated they intended to apply what they learned in multiple contexts: 1) framing and explaining their own research; 2) collaborating on research, funding proposals and scientific articles; 3) working with stakeholder; and 4) teaching courses. Three-quarters of the graduate students indicated they would share the EMBeRS methods with others.  

Workshop Leaders:

  • Dr. Deana Pennington, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Dr. Shirley Vincent, Principal, Vincent Evaluation Consulting, LLC
  • Dr. Kate Thompson, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences, Griffith University
  • Yoga Korgaonkar, UWIN PhD student, University of Arizona



Within-Thrust and Cross-Thrust Integration with the Employing Model-based Reasoning in Socio-environmental Synthesis (EMBeRS) Method




Welcome and introductions (5 min)

Introductions and ice breaker question at each table (10 min)


Introduction to knowledge integration challenges and the EMBeRS method


Discussion: Working across disciplines as a graduate student (Korgaonkar)

Goal: Participants learn about ongoing research within their thrust and region


Share your UWIN research

-Individual representation creation: 15 minutes

-Sharing individual representations: 45 minutes



Goal: Groups identify and develop linkages across the research represented at their table


Synthesizing within thrusts and regions

-Groups generate a list of research themes in common: 10 minutes

-Individual representation creation: 15 minutes

-Sharing individual representations: 45 minutes

-Co-creation: 35 minutes


Lunch – Networking and URP students ‘speed-dating’ Graduate School Discussion

Goal: Participants work across thrusts in their region


Share your UWIN research

-Individual modification of representation: 5 minutes

-Sharing individual representations: 40 minutes

-Co-creation: 60 minutes

1:00 – 4:00

URP students work on case study




Gallery walk across regions


Reflection on the workshop (Thompson): 15 minutes


Wrap up



Download Agenda


Tuesday July 30, 2019

7:30 – 8:30 am

Hot Breakfast at Durrell Dining Center (2nd Floor)

8:30 – 9:00 am

Welcome & UWIN Year-4 Summary

Mazdak Arabi

9:00 – 9:30 am

URP/Education Update (Plenary)

Alan Berkowitz & Aude Lochet

9:00 – 9:45 am

Student Breakout Session (Lounge) – Shirley Vincent & Kate Thompson

Opportunity for UWIN students to share suggestions, concerns, and think about how to improve the program for next year and sustain the network post-funding.

9:30 – 9:45 am


9:45 – 12:30 pm

UWIN Integration & Synthesis Products

Mazdak Arabi – summarize and review priorities for integration efforts, discuss agenda for integration breakout sessions (10 mins)

Task force leads each have 30 mins to present update and Q&A (150 mins)

  • Test Beds (Arabi)
  • Indicators (Henry)
  • Web-tool (Sharvelle)
  • Synthesis Paper (Mack, Georgescu)
  • Communications & Student Success (Millonig)

12:30 – 1:30 pm


1:30 – 2:30 pm

Transdisciplinary Research Panel Discussion

Opportunity to discuss and gather feedback on the integration and synthesis products from practitioners and stakeholder advisory members

2:30 – 2:45 pm


2:45 – 4:00 pm

Synthesis & Integration Breakout Sessions

Working sessions for each integration activity.

4:00 – 5:00 pm

THRUST A – Poster Session

Interactive session to facilitate in-depth discussion on specific projects, activities and integration.  Each project is expected to present a minimum of one scientific research poster.  Students are highly encouraged to participate.

6:30 – 9:00 pm

URP Mentor & Student Dinner

Bawarchi Biryanis – Indian Cuisine: 1611 S. College Ave #100, Ft Collins CO 805251



Wednesday July 31, 2019

7:30 – 8:30 am

Networking & Hot Breakfast at Durrell Dining Center (2nd Floor)

8:30 – 10:15 am

Synthesis & Integration Breakout Sessions

Working sessions for each integration activity.

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 11:30 am

THRUST B – Poster Session

Interactive session to facilitate in-depth discussion on specific projects, activities and integration.  Each project is expected to present a minimum of one scientific research poster.  Students are highly encouraged to participate.

11:30 – 12:00 pm

URP Case Study Presentation

12:00 – 1:00 pm


Citizen Science Affinity Group Meeting

1:00 -2:15 pm

Synthesis & Integration Breakout Sessions

Working sessions for each integration activity.

2:15 – 2:30 pm


2:45 – 3:45 pm

THRUST C & D – Poster Session

Interactive session to facilitate in-depth discussion on specific projects, activities and integration.  Each project is expected to present a minimum of one scientific research poster.  Students are highly encouraged to participate.

3:45 – 5:00 pm

Synthesis & Integration Breakout Sessions

Working sessions for each integration activity.

URP Debrief and Survey (M2)

5:30 – 6:30 pm

URP Mentor Meeting – Avogadro’s Number: 605 S Mason St, Fort Collins

6:30 – 9:30 pm

Group Dinner – Avogadro’s Number: 605 S Mason St, Fort Collins


Thursday August 1, 2019

8:00 – 9:00 am

Task Force Debrief Meetings  & Hot Breakfast at Durrell Dining Center (2nd Floor)

9:00 – 10:15 am

Integration & Synthesis Reporting (Plenary)

Task force leads will report out the developments and next steps identified during the working group sessions

External Advisory Committee Meeting (Room 2)

Complete site visit report

Select Committee Chair to report EAC findings to UWIN

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 11:30 am

External Advisory Committee Report

11:30 – 12:30 pm

Moving Forward – Next Steps for the UWIN SRN

Mazdak Arabi, Gary Pivo, Bill Cooper

12:30 pm

Adjourn  (Lunch Available in Dining Center)

Travel Reimbursements

To expedite your reimbursements, please submit your documents within 14 days of travel. Any documents submitted outside the designated time frame may result in delayed payment.

A completed Travel Reimbursement Request form must be submitted with receipts.

Electronic Receipts and the completed form should be emailed in ONE packet to: sarah.millonig@colostate.edu 

  • CSU Travel Services will ONLY reimburse lodging with an original folio from the hotel showing payment and balance $0.
  • For airline tickets purchased online, CSU Travel Services requires the entire email confirmation showing itinerary and payment section
  • Scans of receipts are now accepted

All submitted receipts must show that they have been paid by the traveler

  • Exceptions are made for public transportation or parking where just a stub is received
  • Receipts are not required for reimbursements of $25 or less on taxi, shuttle, parking and baggage fees.
  • Google/Mapquest maps are required for mileage reimbursement requests


You may also mail completed forms and original receipts to:

One Water Solutions Institute
Attn: Sarah Millonig
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Campus Delivery 1372
Engineering Room 205
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372


Printable address label