Las Vegas - The 64th National Ground Water Association (NGWA) Expo and Annual Meeting, the industry’s largest gathering of groundwater professionals, kicked off today in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“There’s a lot of excitement around this year’s show and for good reason,” said NGWA Chief Executive Officer Kevin B. McCray, CAE.

With more than 70,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Expo features more than 300 exhibitors, including 30 new exhibitors, 90 new products and more than 70 hours of educational offerings.

The first day started with a full slate of workshops in areas ranging from groundwater supply and groundwater quality, to business management and geothermal operations. Attendance for the all-day “Fundamentals and Refresher Course on Groundwater and Wells” reached maximum capacity.

General sessions start Dec. 5 with the keynote speech and awards ceremony. The keynote address will be given by Tommy “Two Hands” Gainey, a groundwater industry employee turned PGA Tour golfer. During the ceremony, NGWA will announce its Awards of Excellence and Outstanding Groundwater Project Awards.

It also marks the farewell presentation by Utrecht University hydrolgeology professor, S. Majid Hassanizadeh, Ph.D., of his 2012 Darcy Lecture titled, “Transport of Viruses in Partially Saturated Soil and Groundwater.” It will also see the kickoff of the 2013 McEllhiney Lecture by John Jansen, Ph.D., of Cardno ENTRIX titled, “Keeping the Pump Primed: Aquifer Sustainability.”

On Dec. 6, the exposition floor will be open again, and more workshops and classes will be offered. NGWA delegates will also meet to fill two positions on NGWA’s Board of Directors.