Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 ESRI Water Conference in Austin, TX (not a bad place to be in February). This was the second annual iteration of the conference, and this year they included not only utilities, but also water resources. And I think that was an interesting move, to expand the scope to a broader look at the water cycle.
Naturally there were a plenty of interesting GIS uses and technologies showcased from streamflow and flood prediction to a growing number of mobile applications. Primarily interested in the keeping up with the latest ESRI has to offer, I got the most excitement out of the upcoming releases of applications like Collector and Survey123, and the news of development for a new Utility Network Model. It was also pretty awesome to hear what other organizations like the City of Philadelphia are doing with the technology and water management.
Austin was a great venue and the downtown scene had plenty of great food and music. And for those dealing with water and GIS, I'd recommend this conference if you get the chance. It's a nice, more focused alternative to the UC, or early addition / sneak peak.