SPEAKERS

José Luis Santos Garcia

José Luis Santos Garcia

City of Gauyaquil, Ecuador (EMAPAG).

José Luis Santos Garcia will present a case study discussing integrated watershed management for flood prevention and mitigation through land use planning, urban drainage and stormwater management planning. As General Manager of EMAPAG, the Municipal Water and Wastewater Company of Guayaquil, Ecuador, Santos has used such activities to adapt the city and its metropolitan area to rising sea levels and more severe impacts from El Niño associated with climate change. He has over 35 years of experience in water resources management projects associated with urban, agricultural and agro-industrial development.

Clifford Chan

Clifford Chan

East Bay Municipal Utility District.

Clifford Chan will address urban water utility mitigation opportunities, as well as net zero energy use and energy efficiencies. He will also discuss his experiences leveraging interdependencies and opportunities with energy partners and others. As Manager of the Maintenance and Construction Department at the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California, he has led many of the utility’s energy policy and climate change efforts.  In addition, he has served as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Ready Water Utility Working Group for the past six years.

Ray Hoffman

Ray Hoffman

Seattle Public Utilities.

Ray Hoffman leads an urban water system that was an early adopter of climate adaptation and mitigation. At the Forum, he will draw on these pioneering endeavors to share insights gleaned from embedding climate considerations into asset management and strategic planning, as well as engaging in the co-production of relevant climate change information through regional and national collaboration with other water utilities, scientists and researchers. He will also discuss advances Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has made to improve utility and community resilience, such as reducing greenhouse gases and addressing stormwater issues. SPU’s Director since 2009, Hoffman was formerly the utility’s Director of Corporate Policy and Performance.

Lars Therkildsen

Lars Therkildsen

HOFOR, Utility of Greater Copenhagen.

HOFOR, the Utility of Greater Copenhagen, provides water and energy to a million Danes. Its CEO, Lars Therkildsen, will speak on HOFOR’s climate resilience planning for the region’s water supply, stormwater and sewer service. His presentation will include the work being done to respond to cloudburst precipitation events, as well as other adaptation and mitigation measures HOFOR has taken. In 2008, he was appointed CEO of Københavns Energi, which in 2012 merged to form HOFOR, owned by eight municipalities, including the City of Copenhagen. HOFOR provides drinking water, wastewater services, heating and cooling, and erects wind turbines throughout the country to promote CO2-neutral energy.

Pat McCafferty

Pat McCafferty

Yarra Valley Water.

Pat McCafferty will explain how extreme drought conditions led Yarra Valley Water – the largest of Melbourne, Australia’s three water corporations – to change its planning approach and why that approach is relevant even if future climate impact projections change. McCafferty is the Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water, which provides water supply and sanitation services to over 1.7 million people.

Casey Brown

Casey Brown

University of Massachusetts.
Casey Brown will speak on climate risk management in water infrastructure and decision making in the context of climate uncertainty. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University. His research focuses on climate and water resources, and he has worked extensively on projects around the world in this area. He currently directs over $4 million in sponsored research in areas including: hydroclimatologic variability and change; climate risk management in infrastructure systems; water, climate and economic development; and sustainable water resources planning and management.

Tony Wong

Tony Wong

Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.

Tony Wong will introduce the latest innovations in water sensitive urban design and will discuss sustainable water resources management in an urban setting. He will also share the work of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer. The $120 million center encompasses four research hubs based in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Singapore and involves over 75 organizations across the academia/research, industry and government sectors. Wong is recognized as thought leader on building sustainable environments and is author of Australian Runoff Quality: A Guide to Water Sensitive Urban Design.

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr.

 San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. will moderate the Forum panel on drought and provide his perspective, as General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, of how the city is responding to and planning for the current drought. His civil engineering career spanning three decades includes tenure as the City Engineer of San Francisco. An authority on water, sewer and power policy, he now oversees $10 billion in capital programs, including the $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Program, the $6.9 billion Sewer System Improvement Program and the $1.8 billion Hetch Hetchy System Improvement Program for the city’s main water source.

Sue G. Schneider

Sue G. Schneider

Spartanburg Water.

Sue G. Schneider, the Chief Executive Officer of Spartanburg Water in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has a unique perspective on resilience and will describe how her utility is implementing steps to address climate, extreme events and other threats a little differently because of the politics of climate change. Schneider has more than 30 years in the environmental management and utility fields, including work for Westinghouse Electric at Department of Energy sites in New York and Ohio. Schneider received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University, a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Cincinnati and a M.B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Cedric S. Grant

Cedric S. Grant

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans.

Cedric S. Grant, Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, has important insights to share on infrastructure investment and resilient infrastructure design. He currently oversees the water system’s $3.3 billion capital improvement program comprising over 600 projects and is actively engaged in peer-to-peer information exchange via the C40 Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network. As the immediate past Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development for the City of New Orleans, he oversaw more than $1 billion in capital development related to the city’s recovery after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Harry Seah

Harry Seah

PUB Singapore.

Harry Seah has been invited to present a case study on PUB Singapore’s pioneering endeavors in building a sustainable closed loop water system, focusing on the innovations the utility implemented to turn its water vulnerability into a strategic advantage. Seah is also expected to discuss PUB’s investment in research and technology, its robust and diversified water supply, NEWater, community improvements, stakeholder involvement and other initiatives. As PUB’s Chief Technology Officer, Seah leads a team that coordinates research and development initiatives. He is also the Director of Technology Development for the Environmental and Water Industry (EWI) Programme Office, an inter-agency organization established to spearhead development in the environment and water industry.

John Langford

John Langford

University of Melbourne.

John Langford will draw on his extensive experience in research, strategic planning, operation and management of both city and irrigation water supplies to contribute to a panel on drought realities. Educated at the University of Melbourne, he earned a bachelor of engineering and a PhD in hydrology. He has served as Managing Director of the Rural Water Corporation of Victoria, a Commissioner of the Murray Darling Basin Commission and was the inaugural Executive Director of the Water Services Association of Australia. He is now a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Langford has a distinguished record of implementing complex reforms including city and irrigation water pricing, water trading and demand management.

Simon Pollard

Simon Pollard

Cranfield University.

Simon Pollard, a scholar with significant expertise in bringing risk science to bear in water utility practice and governance, will frame the importance of utility planning for climate resilience in the context of risk management and sustainability.  Currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield University in the U.K., Dr. Pollard’s work has influenced the practice of risk management and policy within government, regulatory agencies and the international water utility sector. He has authored government guidelines in environmental risk management and produced best practice guidance for the water sector on good risk governance.

Maureen Stapleton

Maureen Stapleton

San Diego County Water Authority.

Maureen Stapleton oversees a dynamic California water system that is aggressively pursuing a comprehensive array of water supply and infrastructure programs designed to diversify and improve the reliability of its water supply. She will share how climate change and the current drought have led the agency to reevaluate its planning approach, the initiatives undertaken and her perspectives on new directions for utility management. As the General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, she is responsible for implementing the addition of desalinated seawater to the region’s water supply; promoting water conservation through incentives, assistance programs and outreach; and supporting recycling and reuse projects to further diversify the region’s water supply sources.

Pat Mulroy

Pat Mulroy

Brookings Institution. 

Pat Mulroy will close out the Forum, tapping her many years of experience in water resources, utility management and industry leadership to offer her observations on the future of climate change adaptation. Previously the General Manager of both the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Mulroy is a nonresident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization. She is also the senior fellow for climate adaptation and environmental policy at the University of Las Vegas.

Edward Maibach

Edward Maibach

George Mason University.

Edward Maibach will provide perspectives on climate communication issues for water sector utilities and discuss successful approaches to communicating the challenges and opportunities of climate resilience with various stakeholder groups. Dr. Maibach is a professor at George Mason University and is Director of the university’s Center for Climate Change Communication. His research – funded by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and private foundations – focuses on public engagement in climate change. He recently co-chaired the Engagement & Communication Working Group for the 3rd National Climate Assessment.

Felicia Marcus

Felicia Marcus

State Water Resources Control Board, California.

Felicia Marcus will draw on her experience as chair of California’s State Water Resources Control Board to describe the extraordinary measures the state is implementing to address the impacts of climate change on its water resources and services. Identified as “California’s Water Czar” by the New York Times, Marcus is the face of state’s bold efforts to deal with unprecedented drought. She also brings perspectives from her work as Administrator of U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region and as head of the Los Angeles’ Department of Public Works at a time when the city garnered national awards for environmental excellence.

Mario López Pérez

Mario López Pérez

National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA).

Mario López Pérez will address the topic of water resources management, providing an overview of key issues related to how the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA) is implementing plans for climate resilience and adaptation that consider integrated management as well as inter-basin and transboundary issues. López Pérez is CONAGUA’s Engineering and Bi-national Water Issues Manager Manager, a position he has held since 2012. He is in charge of the bi-national water issues with the U.S., Guatemala and Belize, as well as the Climate Change and Water Program, National Water Reserves for the Environment Program and the National Program against Drought. Currently he is the Hydrology Coordinator at the Mexican Water Technology Institute and chairs the HELP Program for the Mexican IHP Committee, which is part of the UNESCO International Hydrologic Program.

Adel Hagekhalil

Adel Hagekhalil

LA Sanitation, City of Los Angeles.

Adel Hagekhalil will join a panel of water authorities with extensive first-hand experience on the impacts of drought to share his insights as a wastewater utility manager and speak about the Los Angeles “one water” approach to resiliency challenges. His agency worked closely with the city’s drinking water agency to write and implement the One Water LA 2040 Plan to increase local water supplies and improve water security in the context of climate change and resiliency.  As the Assistant Director of LA Sanitation, City of Los Angeles, Hagekhalil is responsible for the wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, water quality compliance, and facilities and advance planning.

Angela Licata

Angela Licata

New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

Drawing on her experience as Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP), Angela Licata will provide her perspectives on resilience and will describe how the utility arrives at its decisions for implementing steps to become resilient to climate, extreme events and other threats. Licata directs NYCDEP’s Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis and is responsible for long-range planning to ensure appropriate forecasting, trend analysis, regulatory review, scientific modeling, research and environmental impact analysis. She also leads efforts related to the protection of Jamaica Bay, climate change, stormwater best management practices, and planning for the new growth stimulated by rezoning throughout the city.

David St. Pierre

David St. Pierre

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

David St. Pierre heads the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), whose leading edge initiatives are changing the industry landscape. During a panel discussion where speakers will provide their perspectives on resilience, he will discuss the District’s stated vision of recovering resources and transforming water by adding value in traditional and non-traditional ways, and he will address utility business models for a unified water policy connecting water management regionally. As the MWRDGC Executive Director, St. Pierre manages a utility that provides wholesale wastewater treatment for over five million residents. The District, created in 1889, operates seven wastewater treatment plants, which treat one billion gallons/day, and also provides regional stormwater services.

Paula Verhoeven

Paula Verhoeven

City of Rotterdam, Department of City Development. 

Paula Verhoeven will discuss the progress Rotterdam has made to implement strategies to become “climate proof” under the Rotterdam Climate Initiative. Verhoeven will also talk about the role of partners, such as other cities participating in C40 and other Rotterdam city departments. A strong advocate of international alliances for collective knowledge development on climate issues and the exchange of best practices, Verhoeven is the General Director of Rotterdam’s Department of City Development. In 2006, Verhoeven was responsible for developing the first comprehensive Rotterdam Water Plan, and, in 2009, she became the Netherlands first director of climate affairs.

J. Carl Ganter

J. Carl Ganter

Circle of Blue. 

J. Carl Ganter’s multimedia presentation at the Forum will highlight the developments at the Paris Climate Change talks (COP21), which will be unfolding at the time of the Forum. His presentation will tie together the Forum’s themes of water resilience for urban utilities with those that emerge at the international negotiations. Ganter is Director and co-founder of Circle of Blue, the international network of leading journalists, scientists and communications design experts reporting on the global freshwater crisis and the increasing competition between water, food, and energy. A past vice chairman and a current member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water Security, Ganter is also a photojournalist, writer and broadcast reporter.

Doug Yoder

Doug Yoder

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. 

Douglas Yoder will provide insights and examples of how the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department is working to adapt to the impacts of climate change, specifically storm water drainage and sea level rise, with an emphasis on the communication component of Miami-Dade’s work. Yoder’s talk will include insights to Miami-Dade’s approach to communicating with customers, elected officials and other stakeholders about the need for and benefits of adaptation. Yoder is a Deputy Director of the Water and Sewer Department, the largest utility in Florida and one of the 10 largest in the United States.

Jim Lochhead

Jim Lochhead

Denver Water. 

Jim Lochhead will present a case study on how Denver Water is implementing adaptation measures. He will discuss Denver Water’s participation in regional and national collaborations with other water utilities, scientists and researchers on climate adaptation, as well as how the utility incorporates climate change into its long-range water planning, customer conservation programs, supply diversification, greenhouse gas reductions and other initiatives. Lochhead is the CEO and Manager of Denver Water, which serves drinking water to 1.3 million people in the Denver metropolitan area.

Rob Pritchard

Rob Pritchard

City of Calgary, Utilities and Environmental Protection. 

Rob Pritchard will discuss how Calgary’s Utilities and Environmental Protection Department has moved forward in developing and implementing strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, through comprehensive planning and risk management strategies, and what course corrections Calgary has employed on the path toward resilience. Pritchard is the General Manager of the department, which is responsible for the city’s drinking water, wastewater and drainage utilities, as well as waste, recycling services and environmental and safety management.

 

Trevor Bishop

Trevor Bishop

UK Environment Agency. 

Trevor Bishop will talk about the politics of climate change, highlighting the gap that often occurs between science and policy. Bishop is Deputy Director of Water, Land and Biodiversity for the United Kingdom Environment Agency, where his responsibilities include all aspects of the management and operation of water resources across England and Wales, focusing water demand management and monitoring, water allocation, strategic water resource planning and climate change adaptation and mitigation.