Chicago to Host Major Summit of Key Leaders from World’s Great Water Cities

Experts will share perspectives and strategies for progressive, adaptable water management


The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and World Business Chicago (WBC), with support from the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Chicago Sisters Cities International, will jointly present Chicago Water Summit 2014: Global Lessons from Great Water Cities. A distinguished panel of national and international leaders from the public and private sectors will share their experiences and perspectives about a new paradigm for water that will help communities of all sizes adapt to rapidly changing water management challenges.


Highlighting the program will be a luncheon keynote from Henk Ovink, Principal of Rebuild by Design and Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Ovink, who was recently profiled in The New York Times Magazine as a leading international water management expert, will help frame the overall discussion with insights into the famed Dutch water management approach. Other featured speakers include*:

Dr. Giulio Boccaletti, Vice President, The Nature Conservancy

Dr. Paul Bowen, Director, Sustainable Operations, The Coca-Cola Company

Albert Cho, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Xylem

Dr. Peter Grevatt, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, U.S. EPA

Christian Guenner, Director of System Development, Hamburg Wasser, Germany

Ted Henifin, General Manager, Hampton Roads Sanitation District

Harlan Kelly, Jr., General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities

Terry Mah, President, Veolia North America

Jeff Malehorn, President & CEO, World Business Chicago

Barrett Murphy, First Deputy Commissioner of Water Management, City of Chicago

Dr. Eileen O’Neill, Executive Director, Water Environment Federation

Sandra Ralston, President, Water Environment Federation

Andy Richardson, Chairman & CEO, Greeley and Hansen

Dieter Sauer, President Water Utility Division, Grundfos North America

David St. Pierre, Executive Director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Emilio Tenuta,Vice President of Corporate Sustainability, Ecolab

Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago


In many parts of the world, pressures from population growth, climate change and urbanization are straining existing water systems and resources, sometimes beyond capacity. In order to sufficiently meet current and future water demands, water managers and civil leaders from communities of all sizes are being forced to radically rethink water management by looking for smarter and more progressive approaches that will increase resiliency, enhance livability and conserve resources. Recognizing the value of global knowledge exchange, this exclusive, one-day meeting will bring together influential leaders to discuss the big picture trends in urban water management and the new thinking around best practices, including technology and innovation; resiliency and sustainability; investments in water infrastructure systems and its impact on job creation and a strong financial future; and collaboratively working with the private sector. This forward-thinking Summit is the latest in a series of dialogues examining case studies and engaging in discussion to distill lessons learned from leading water cities, in the hopes of changing the agenda for other communities facing similar challenges. It also sets the stage for the high profile and popular water leaders session that will be held at WEFTEC® 2014—WEF’s 87th Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference—this fall in New Orleans, La. As the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, WEFTEC brings thousands of water professionals and water equipment manufacturers to Chicago every other year through 2023.


Monday, July 21, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST Where: The Mid-America Club, 200 East Randolph Drive, 8th Fl., Chicago, Ill.

Note to editors: Media interested in covering the event may contact Lori Harrison at to register in advance. For complete registration and event details, please visit *The final panel will be announced approximately one week prior to the event.

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