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Virtual Eastern South Dakota Water Conference to be Held October 14

September 22, 2020

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2020 Eastern South Dakota Water Conference, sponsored by the South Dakota Water Resources Institute, will be held Wednesday, October 14, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19, the annual conference, which has traditionally been held on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, will be held in a virtual format this year.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Water’s Lasting Legacy: Informing the Future with Lessons from the Past.”

Topics and speakers will include:

  • Merger of the South Dakota Department of Environment & Natural Resources and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture – Jeanne Goodman, Director of Environmental Services with the South Dakota DENR and Brian Walsh, Public Affairs Director with the South Dakota DENR 
  • Partnering to Develop Research, Outreach, and Education Resources to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms in the North Central Region – Hanna Bates, Iowa Water Center and Amy Weckle, Illinois Water Resources Center 
  • The Statewide Ground Water Quality Monitoring Network Information System – Tim Cowman, State Geologist with the South Dakota DENR 
  • NRCS Assisted Watershed Dams: History, Condition of Structures, Rehabilitation and DamWatch – Brett Pettigrew, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service 
  • Lake Mitchell & the Friends of Firesteel: A Public/Private Partnership to Improve Water Quality in the Firesteel Creek/Lake Mitchell Watershed – Paula Mazzer, Dakota Wesleyan University 
  • Investigating the Impacts of the 2019 Niobrara River Dam Failure to Riparian Habitats of the Upper 39-Mile Segment of the Missouri National Recreational River – Nathan Schaepe, U.S. Geological Survey, Nebraska Water Science Center 
  • Trend Analysis: Insights, Challenges and Building Blocks – Rochelle Nustad, Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Climate Whiplash: Drought-Flood-Drought – Water and Agricultural Impacts from 2018-2020 – Dennis Todey, USDA Midwest Climate Hub, Ames, Iowa
  • Cropping Pattern Changes Diminish Agroecosystem Services in North and South Dakota – Peter O’Brien, Research Agronomist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa 
  • Estimating Water Quality Lag Times Using Groundwater Age – Troy Gilmore, Groundwater Hydrologist with the University of Nebraska

To view the complete list of speakers and to register for the conference, visit the event webpage.

For questions regarding the event, contact David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist, at 605.995.7378 or by email or John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer, at 605.688.5610 or by email

About the South Dakota Water Resources Institute:

The South Dakota Water Resources Institute (WRI) at South Dakota State University provides leadership on evolving water concerns and problems being faced by South Dakota citizens through research, educational opportunities for students and professionals, and community outreach. The Institute is a federal–state partnership which:

  • plans, facilitates, and conducts research to aid in the resolution of State and regional water problems;
  • provides for the training and education of scientists and engineers through their participation in research and outreach;
  • promotes technology transfer and the dissemination and application of water-related information; and
  • provides for competitive grants for students and researchers.

Authorized by Congress as one of the nation’s 54 water resources research institutes, the WRI also connects the research expertise at SDSU to water-related problems at the local, regional or national level. The Institute is affiliated with the university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station.