Board Member Spotlight for October 2020

Posted by [email protected] on Oct. 29, 2020  /  Board Member Spotlight  /   0

Lauren Nance

Job Title:  Water Resources Project Specialist

Organization:  Aurora Water

What is your job in 25 words or less? 

I serve Aurora Water as a water resources project manager, technical advisor, and lead in raw water planning and development.

AWRA Member for # years:  2

Position(s) held in AWRA and year(s):  
2019 - AWRA Board Member At Large

2020 - Treasurer

What is your hometown?   Nixon, Texas

What is one thing you like to do for fun?

I enjoy whitewater kayaking and multi-day river trips.

How long have you worked in the water industry and what first sparked your interest in this field? 

I’ve been working in the water industry since 2006 when I had my first internship/co-op during college.  I first became interested in water resources through my involvement in Engineers Without Borders working with communities in Cameroon Africa and El Salvador to help them with water distribution and water quality issues. I then became inspired to work in water resources in the Western US after learning about major water projects such as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which provided additional water supply to Los Angeles but had major environmental and economic consequences to the Owens Valley.

What is one thing you wish you knew prior to starting your career?    

Working was a lot different and harder for me than school during the start of my career. There are no clear answers, directions or instructions, you just have to just figure things out the best you can. Building strong mentorship relationships and networking have been really helpful for me.  I wish I’d known how much reading and writing I’d still have to do as an engineer!

Is there a particular project or program that you have worked on or are working on right now that you would like to tell us about? 

I’m currently the project manager of a couple projects at Aurora Water where we are looking at how to optimize our existing water supplies and assets. We are also considering various options on how to improve our water supply system’s reliability and resiliency in the face of climate change and drought. 

What are some upcoming trends or challenges you see with Colorado water? 

Colorado has become a very popular state and continues to grow in population, especially along the front range. Our state also experiences severe droughts on a regular basis, and there is concern that climate change could lengthen and worsen droughts. Therefore, the biggest challenge I see is increasing water demands along with reduction in water supply. Reservoirs can help improve supply management in times of drought, but the complexity and cost to permit new reservoirs continues to grow.

What value or benefit does being a Colorado AWRA member bring you?  
AWRA provides value to me through their educational lunch talks and networking opportunities. AWRA student events also bring me a lot of joy by helping up and coming professionals at the start of their careers. 

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