May 22 2020 10:28 AM

Organizers will instead offer a series of webinars this fall.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority, organizers of the annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, is cancelling this year’s event, originally scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Las Vegas.

“After much deliberation, we’ve decided the conference would be less effective and appealing if social distancing measures are still in effect,” says Doug Bennett, WSI program chairman and SNWA conservation manager.

While this year would have marked WSI’s 13th anniversary, organizers will instead offer a series of webinars this fall, featuring leading water-efficiency professionals who were slated to speak at the event. Bennett said more details about the webinar series will be made available in the coming months.

Bennett said social distancing measures expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future would make networking opportunities and classroom-style professional sessions impractical for WSI participants.

The inaugural not-for-profit WSI was held in 2008 and brought together professionals around the issue of urban water efficiency. With a typical audience of 1,000 attendees from across the country and around the globe, WSI has grown into the world’s preeminent event where professionals can share their successful water-efficiency practices, policies and experiences.

Despite the cancellation of this year’s event, Bennett said the conference is on track to return to Las Vegas in the fall of 2021.

The SNWA presents WSI in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the American Water Works Association and other organizations.