Tad Slawecki of the Stormwater Coordinating Council 

This year, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) will feature comprehensive, continuous stormwater programming throughout WEF’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®) 2011. Taking place October 15-19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the 84th annual show includes a green infrastructure workshop, a facility tour, and 42 presentations.

WEF continues to expand its coverage of stormwater topics, with WEFTEC being a prime example. The exhibition also will include approximately 1000 vendors with the latest technology, many offering stormwater-related products and services. The exhibition offers attendees a chance to interact with manufacturer’s representatives, handle that latest filter or inspect a permeable paver, and learn what might work for their project.

Additionally, WEFTEC offers opportunities to meet fellow stormwater professionals and WEF volunteers serving on technical committees. These volunteers contribute to many of WEF’s technical products, and committee meetings provide a behind-the-scenes look at how they devise an integrated menu of stormwater information, from webcasts to conference sessions. The Stormwater Coordinating Council (SWCC), whose inaugural meeting was held at WEFTEC 2010, is charged with coordinating stormwater activities among WEF’s many committees.

The SWCC meeting at WEFTEC 2011 will include a discussion of both past and upcoming events as well as projects that committees anticipate for 2011-2012.  This meeting, which is open to the public, also will include a presentation by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff on the proposed stormwater rule. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions about this major rulemaking effort.

Workshop 209, “Green Infrastructure: Beyond the Hype to Real Results,” kicks off the stormwater programing on Sunday, Oct. 16. Speakers will describe real-life experiences with implementing green infrastructure solutions in different towns and cities around the nation, giving participants an appreciation of how to plan and implement green infrastructure projects and an opportunity to interact with the nation’s leading green infrastructure practitioners.

On Oct. 17, conference attendees may consider sitting in on Technical Session (TS) 18, “Quantifying the Benefits of Green Infrastructure.” This session will describe how some of the largest municipal green infrastructure programs are evaluating options, utilizing performance data, and analyzing economics as they turn the cityscape green.

Oct. 18 is a triple-header for stormwater. In the morning, at TS42, “Stormwater Management Challenges and Solutions in the Urban Watershed,” speakers discuss implementation of stormwater management solutions. After lunch, TS65, “Solving Stormwater Issues Through Monitoring and Modeling,” will delve into optimization of stormwater control designs using the appropriate modeling tools. TS66, “Emerging Solutions to Stormwater Problems Through Applied Research and Development,” takes place immediately after and provides insight into the approaches and technologies of tomorrow.

On Oct. 19, TS90, “Sustainable Solutions to Stormwater Issues Through Green Infrastructure,” demonstrates that green approaches can be win-win-win on the triple bottom line, while TS109, “Green LA Stormwater Infrastructure,” explores how green approaches have improved WEFTEC’s host city, Los Angeles. TS109 is complemented by Tour 7, “Stormwater Management Tour,” which includes two Los Angeles stormwater projects—a wetland park and green streets project.