The Economic Power of Water – Free Event

Sponsored by GE & Wharton/IGEL

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, CA

Get tickets (free) here.

With the global growth of both populations and economies, the demand for water is approaching unsustainable levels. By 2050 the world will demand 55 percent more water and 70 percent more energy—an unrealistic projection provided the finite supply. Even with this exponentially growing demand, we’re only reusing four to five percent of wastewater; California—one of the leading water conservation states—is reusing just eight to ten percent. The challenge is real and it’s escalating as evidenced by the Governor of California issuing its first ever mandatory water restrictions to deal with the current drought. We can and must do better.

Hosted by GE Water & Process Technologies and the Wharton-led Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), this event will push the world towards thinking about how water impacts economies. It will convene executives in both public and private organizations as well as leading thinkers in water policy and research. Against the backdrop of one of our nation’s most water-challenged states, it will explore the current challenges to unlocking the economic potential of water and provide actionable next–steps to create a more water- and energy-secure world.


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:40 a.m. Welcome

8:40 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. Opening Keynote, Mike Connor, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior

8:50 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.Mapping Global Water Scarcity, Charlie Iceland, Aqueduct Director, World Resources Institute

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m. Report:  Framing the Challenges of Scarcity in California, Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

9:10 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Panel: Policy and Regulation

Focused on education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, and regulations, this panel session will discuss how industry and government can work together to advance the potential of our water/energy future.  Moderator: Jon Freedman, GE; Panelists: Melissa Meeker – Executive Director WateReuse Association, David Sunding – UC Berkeley, Tom Iseman – Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of Interior, Michael Carlin – Deputy General Manager San Francisco Public Utlities Commission, Michael Markus – General Manager at Orange County Water District

10:10 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. BREAK

10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. Panel: Accelerating & Sustaining the Water Ecosystem through Innovation

This panel session will address how, leveraging social and human capital, the sectors are paving the way to solving energy issues in the 21st century through technology. Moderator: John Shegerian, Green is Good Radio. Panelists: Tom Stanley – Chief Technology Officer GE Water & Process Technologies, Eileen O’Neill – Executive Director at WEF, Vince Tidwell – Sandia Lab, Karla Kinzer – MWH Global, Robin Gilthorpe – CEO WaterSmart

11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. LUNCH

12:40 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. The Economics of the Power of Water w/ Q&A

Through individual presentations and a panel discussion, GE and other Fortune 100 companies will discuss water reuse in their organizations.  Specifically, they will address the corporate risk of not taking action to increase water conservation through reuse and current and possible future practices related to water and sustainability.

1:30 p.m. – 1:40 p.m. US AID’s Experience with Water Scarcity Challenges, Christian R. Holmes, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Global Water Coordinator, US Agency for International Development

1:40 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Closing Keynote, Jared Blumenfeld, Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region

1:50 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Wrap Up

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