Protecting and carefully managing ground water supplies is an increasingly crucial matter in the Southwest as its water supply challenges grow. The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) will bring together leading scientists and engineers to discuss key regional ground water issues, including perchlorate, clean-up technologies and aquifer storage and recovery at its Southwest Focus Conference, Feb. 20-21 in Phoenix.

Keynote speaker Herman Bouwer, retired chief engineer for the U.S. Water Conservation Lab, will speak on "Accumulation and Management of Salt in South Central Arizona." He will discuss some of the potential problems associated with the use of municipal sewage effluent for irrigation water and its possible impact on ground water.

Conference sessions will be devoted to:

  • Artificial and natural recharge

  • Innovative remediation technologies

  • Emerging contaminants 1,4-dioxane and perchlorates

  • Ground water modeling

  • Water supply planning.

Two plenary sessions will cover a range of topics, including the effects of forest fires on aquifers, water rights administration and California's ground water monitoring plan. Conference advisors are Herman Bouwer, William Mullican of the Texas Water Development Board, Patrick Longmire of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Neven Kresic of Malcolm Pirnie.

A pre-conference field trip will be offered the afternoon of Feb. 19 on the subjects of trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation and artificial recharge. Participants will travel to Scottsdale to tour a remediation project site where TCE-contaminated ground water is being treated by air stripping. The group also will travel to an area east of Mesa to tour the Granite Reef Underground Storage Project, one of the artificial recharge facilities of the Salt River Project.

For more information or to register, contact the NGWA Customer Service Center at 800-551-7379, or visit