The nation’s brightest minds and most committed leaders will come together at the One Water Summit 2017 to
discuss our most pressing water challenges and most promising solutions.
Issue and Skills-based Institutes offer summit attendees the opportunity to delve deeply into a key issue facing the water sector. These sessions allow for ample dialogue and skills-building.
ONE WATER COUNCILThe One Water Council is a cross-sector collaborative group that engages leaders from across the country to advance integrated, sustainable, and inclusive approaches to water management. It is a unique benefit for US Water Alliance members. Once a year we open up the meeting to non-members at the One Water Summit as space allows. During this extended session, hear more about the work of the One Water Council, and engage with utility managers, business and agricultural interests, community leaders, and others who are driving the towards One Water management. The agenda and speakers will be posted on the summit website prior to the meeting.
UNDERSTANDING AND BUILDING WATER EQUITYAging infrastructure, water quality crises, affordability, flooding, and drought disproportionately impact lower-income people and other vulnerable communities. At the same time, there are promising examples of community organizations, utilities, businesses, and others who are advancing a new paradigm of equitable water management. This session will present the US Water Alliance’s water equity framework and national clearinghouse of promising practices that can improve economic, environmental, and community outcomes for vulnerable communities. Presentations, moderated discussions, and case studies will give session participants in-depth understanding of equitable water management.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER NUTRIENT DIALOGUESeveral years ago, the US Water Alliance convened agriculture, drinking water, wastewater, and environmental leaders in the Mississippi River Basin to explore how their sectors might mutually benefit by working together to reduce excess nutrients in waterways within the Basin. Through honest dialogue, skepticism about the benefits of collaboration between the agriculture and water communities was transformed into optimism and a readiness to work together. Participants agreed that in order to safeguard critical freshwater assets like Mississippi River Basin we need new, collaborative approaches that look beyond the current regulatory context and traditional silos in which we have operated. Since that time, much progress has been made, and much more is needed. This dialogue, amongst the One Water Delegations from the Mississippi River Basin states and other interested stakeholders is an opportunity to take stock of where we are, what’s working, unresolved challenges, and to surface collaborative opportunities coming off of One Water Summit 2017.
THE GOVERNING BOARD OF UTILITIES: A LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLEElected and appointed members of the governing boards of utilities play an essential role in securing America’s water future. They are responsible for making important policy and investment decisions that drive water resource management in every community across the country. They are also on the frontlines of communicating the value of sustainable water decisions. This is a particularly daunting task at a time when confidence in government is at an all-time low generally, and with water utilities in particular, as a result of the water crisis in Flint. This roundtable brings together members of the governing bodies of utilities to dialogue with each on the critical issues that face the water sector. It’s an opportunity to consider the big trends facing the water industry and strategize with peers from other governing boards. Attendees will expand their knowledge of issues critical to effective governance, share experiences, and ask national industry leaders questions in a safe environment, free from utility staff. Topics will include the effect of changing demographics on the utility workforce; affordability and challenges with full-costing of services; the role of the private sector (manufacturers, consultants, private capital, private operators); how to effectively convey the importance of One Water management; and what to expect in the current regulatory environment with the changes at US EPA. Participation in this session is limited only to appointed and elected members of the governing boards. A brief survey will be sent out in advance of the session so that participants can help shape the priorities items for discussion.
FINDING COMMON GROUNDHosted by Loyola University’s Center for Environmental Communication and e/Prime MediaOne Water Summit 2017 is pleased to host a film screening of Finding Common Ground, a recently-released documentary exploring “traditional ecological knowledge” and its importance in planning for coastal restoration in Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta. Award-winning documentary producer Kevin McCaffrey teamed up with co-Executive Producer Dr. Robert Thomas, Director of Loyola University’s Center for Environmental Communication, to produce this rich and informative first-hand look at the existential crisis unfolding in Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands. Summit participants can learn about this complex environmental challenge, and some of the proposed solutions, through the eyes and voices of local residents, scientists, fishermen, and policymakers. Dr. Thomas, a widely-respected player in efforts to educate the public about Louisiana’s disappearing coast, and will be on hand to answer questions following the 90-minute film screening.
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