The National Association of Conservation District’s (NACD) national and regional meetings are a great opportunity for source water protection stakeholders to make connections with NACD and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners at the national, regional, state, and local levels as they consider opportunities for implementing agricultural conservation and practices to protect drinking water sources. Conservation district leaders, staff, and state and federal partners all attend these meetings to share information and conduct association business. Many of these meetings feature exhibitors and/or presentations by outside organizations.
Source water protection stakeholders should consider attending and presenting at one of NACD’s seven regional meetings that are held throughout the year. These smaller gatherings focus on region-specific issues and provide additional networking opportunities for connecting with local partners. More information about these meetings – including dates, location, and registration information – can be found here.
In addition to the regional meetings, NACD gathers twice a year at national forums: in the winter for the Association’s Annual Meeting and in July for the Summer Forum and Conservation Tours. Both meetings feature nationally recognized speakers, breakout sessions, and conservation tours. More information 2019 the Summer Forum can be found here. The 2020 NACD annual meeting will be held in Las Vegas in February and more information can be found here.
For example, National Source Water Collaborative partners from EPA, NRCS, the American Water Works Association, and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators presented a breakout session at the 2019 Annual Meeting on federal resources for source water protection, along with the Lower Niobrara Natural Resources District (a local conservation district) in Nebraska. During the session, speakers shared information about the NRCS program opportunities to protect drinking water, and how conservation districts can partner with state drinking water programs and water utilities to prioritize areas for putting agricultural practices in place to address drinking water quality concerns. More information on the 2019 Annual Meeting can be found here.