Orange County Branch Newsletter

July 2013

EWRI Congress

EWRI Congress

By: Mujahid Chandoo, P.E.

Earlier this year the ASCE-OC adopted a local chapter of the Environmental and Water Resource Institute (EWRI) chapter (formerly HHTG). As treasurer for EWRI-OC, I attended the 2013 EWRI Congress in Cincinnati, OH in May.  This year’s Congress focused on various environmental and water resource challenges. Topics of discussion included hydraulic fracturing, stormwater technology and nanotechnology applications. The 2013 Congress featured over 700 presentations from practicing engineers, environmentalists, professors, and students from around the globe.

This congress provided the opportunity to become familiar with EWRI’s activities, attend presentations relevant to the future of the field, and learn the about relationships and internal organizations that shape EWRI. Specifically, the highlights of this year’s Congress included:

-       An Envision Sustainability Review. Envision is a new infrastructure sustainability rating system developed by the ASCE, APWA, and ACEC under a new organization called the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Envision provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure. More information about Envision can be found online at

-       A technical web portal that EWRI is establishing. The purpose of the portal will be to provide a forum for engineers and environmentalists to ask technical questions. Approved members will be able to respond to these questions in order to further discussion, foster innovation, and develop more ideas. EWRI hopes to have something in place in 2014.

-       An introduction of EWRI and activities that its local chapters engage in. This information was highlighted in the Section and Branch Activities workshop.

Attending the Congress was empowering for me. Not only was I able to become familiar with EWRI activities and goals, but I was also able to meet with the EWRI board and interact with other professionals and exchange ideas. The EWRI Congress 2014 will be held in Portland, Oregon. I truly appreciate ASCE-OC and RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker Coporation, for sponsoring this trip and encouraging my attendance at the conference.