Agenda

Thursday, November 15th

8:00 am Breakfast & Networking Session
9:00 am Keynote: Mary Ann Dickinson, President & CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency
9:30 am Panel: Water consumption in cities
11:00am Break
11:15 am Keynote: James Workman, Founder, AquaShares
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Panel: Stakeholders
3:00 pm Break
3:20 pm Panel: Urban water economics
5:00 pm Networking session
6:00 pm MIT Water Innovation Prize Kick-Off

Friday, November 16th

8:00 am Breakfast & Networking Session
9:00 am Keynote: Jennifer Sara, Director, Water Global Practice, The World Bank Group
9:45 am Panel: Implementing innovative solutions
11:35 am Lunch
1:00 pm Panel: How to design a city from scratch
2:30pm Break
3:00 pm Panel: Water sharing beyond a city’s limits
4:30 pm Poster session & Technology Showcase


Keynote Speakers

Mary Ann Dickinson
President and CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency

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Mary Ann Dickinson is the President and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the efficient and sustainable use of water in the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Chicago, the Alliance works with nearly 400 water utilities, water conservation professionals in business and industry, planners, regulators, and consumers.  In 2014 the Alliance won the U.S. Water Prize in the non-profit category for its work.

Prior to joining the Alliance in July of 2007, Mary Ann was Executive Director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, a non-profit organization composed of urban water supply agencies, environmental groups, and other entities managing statewide water conservation in California and implementing the nation’s first set of Best Management Practices. 

Mary Ann has over 40 years of experience, having worked at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.   A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in environmental planning, Mary Ann has authored numerous publications on water conservation, land use planning, and natural resources management, and has co-produced two films which have aired on public television and community cable stations.  Mary Ann is past Chair of the Efficient Urban Water Management Specialist Group for the International Water Association, past Chair of the American Water Works Association National Water Conservation Division, past President of the California Irrigation Institute, past President of the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District, and currently serves as a Board member of the Green Building Initiative, and Texas Water Foundation. Mary Ann has presented numerous papers on water conservation internationally and all across the United States and Canada.

James Workman
Founder, AquaShares

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James Workman, founder of the online water savings trading platform, AquaShares Inc., is a leader in the quiet power and equitable design of resource conservation markets. Drawing on extensive field experience, he wrote the award-winning book book "Heart of Dryness: How the last Bushmen can help us endure the coming age of permanent drought," and co-authored the forthcoming "Hydrodiplomacy: A manual for amateur ambassadors in transboundary rivers."

He studied at Yale & Oxford, and taught at Wesleyan & Whitman colleges, but his real education came blowing up dams, releasing wolves, restoring wildland fires, guiding safaris, smuggling water to dissidents, breaking down in Africa's Kalahari Desert, and becoming a dad.

Starting as an investigative journalist, Workman has served as White House appointee to U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, later joining the World Commission on Dams under Nelson Mandela. Now based in San Francisco, he advises on rights-based resource management for the Environmental Defense Fund, the World Conservation Union, and the International Water Association, where he was founding editor of The Source, a magazine offering practical intelligence for water professionals.

Jennifer Sara
Director, Water Global Practice, The World Bank Group

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Jennifer Sara is the Director for the World Bank Group’s Water Global Practice, a position she has held since July 2014.  Ms Sara has 30 years of experience working on global water issues in the World Bank, with previous assignments including as Sector Manager for Sustainable Development based in Hanoi, Vietnam (2010 – 2014); Sector Leader in Brasilia (2006 – 2010), assignments based in Washington as Lead Specialist covering Latin America & the Caribbean, and Senior Specialist in Africa (1995 – 2005) as well as working for the Water and Sanitation Program in Bolivia (1990 – 1995). 

In her current assignment, Ms Sara is a core member of the GP’s senior management team, which drives the policy direction of the GP, oversees a portfolio of $25 billion in water-related investments, analytical work, multi-donor trust funds and global partnerships. Ms Sara supports an integrated approach to water security and service delivery, customizing the Bank’s global water strategy to the country dialogue, and providing policy advice and operational support in response to specific client needs. She holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of London, Wye College, and a BSc in Environmental Engineering from Brown University.


Water consumption in cities

How much water do major cities consume? What are the municipal water footprints in major cities, due to direct and indirect water use by individuals and industries? What accounts for variability in municipal water footprint? How do we reduce water consumption in cities?

Cheryl Dieter
Hydrologist & Water-Use Specialist, USGS

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Cheryl Dieter is a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center. Her current focus is water-use data and research in the United States, but interests also include recharge and water-supply issues in regional aquifers, ground-water flow modeling, geochemistry in aquifers, and ground and surface-water interaction.

Richard Abdulnour
Special Assistant to the Regional VP for the Middle-East & North Africa, The World Bank

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Richard Abdulnour is a Water and Sanitation Specialist, Global Water Practice, World Bank. He is currently involved in water and sanitation projects in Morocco and Tunisia, focusing on urban water management in extremely water-scarce areas.

Professor Colin Kuehl
Department of Political Science, Northern Illinois University

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Colin is a political scientist interested in the social determinants of environmental behavior. His research focuses on how politically defined groups condition actor expectations in ways that affect the likelihood of engaging in environmental actions. He's interested in the determinants of pro-environmental behavior across different political domains and levels of analysis, from motivating individuals to conserve waters, to what makes countries more likely to ratify multi-lateral environmental agreements.


Jennifer Warner
Regional Liaison, The Water Research Foundation

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As a member of the Subscriber Services Team, Jennifer Warner liaises with large water and wastewater utilities and partners/collaborators in the Great Lakes states, New England states, and New York.


Stakeholders

Complexity of urban water management makes it a prerequisite for effective action. Who are the different stakeholders and decision-makers in a given city? What are the dynamics between the different stakeholders? What are the primary interests and drivers of each stakeholder? How can stakeholder interaction and engagement be optimized for efficient management of a city’s water?

Professor Lawrence Suskind
Department of Urban Studies & Planning, MIT

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Professor Susskind's research interests focus on the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution, the practice of public engagement in local decision-making, entrepreneurial negotiation, global environmental treaty-making, the resolution of science-intensive policy disputes, renewable energy policy, climate change adaptation, socially-responsible real estate development and the land claims of Indigenous Peoples. He is Founder of the Consensus Building Institute, a Cambridge-based, not-for-profit that provides mediation services in complicated resource management disputes around the world. He also was one of the Co-founders of the interuniversity Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Fred Laskey
Executive Director, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA)

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Before joining MWRA in June 2001, Mr. Laskey served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue from 1991 to 2001, managing the Commonwealth's tax administration, child support enforcement and local services. He served as Secretary of Administration and Finance from 1998 to 1999. As Secretary, he was the Governor's chief financial advisor, with oversight of the state's $20 billion annual budget and managed the Cabinet Secretariat that oversees the entire state workforce. Before joining the Cabinet, Mr. Laskey served as Senior Deputy Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue from 1994 to 1998, and was designated by the Commissioner to serve as Assistant Secretary in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Mr. Laskey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Achilles Kallergis
Research Scholar, Urban Expansion Program, NYU

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Achilles Kallergis is a Research Scholar in the NYU Urban Expansion program. He is also a doctoral candidate in Public and Urban Policy  and teaches at the Graduate Program for International Affairs at the New School University. His research interests include urbanization in the developing world with a particular focus on informal settlements.  He has consulted for the Gates Foundation, UN-Habitat and the World Bank and has collaborated with community networks such as Slum Dwellers International and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights.


Urban water economics

What is an urban water market? What players would be involved in urban water trading? How can water markets help equalize water distribution and pricing? What steps need to be taken to create a water market in a given city?

Paul Osborne
Assistant Director, Rates Division at Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities

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Assistant Director of the Rates and Revenue Requirements Division of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Since 1980, involved in all aspects of utility regulation from telecommunications to tow trucks.

Carlos de la Torre
Advisor, Fiscal Transparency

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Carlos is an advisor with a fiscal transparency program in Central America that has as partners several key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance, USAID and Deloitte. This program focuses on making more transparent in budget documents and financial statements the subsidies between the state-owned enterprises such as the water utility and other government agencies, consumers and private producers. These subsidies include, but are not limited to, tariff subsidies, uncollected accounts receivable, government loan guarantees, tax subsidies and concessional loans.

Carlos holds a master's degree from Georgetown University and was a SPURS Fellow and Visiting Scholar with the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

James Workman
Founder, AquaShares

James Workman, founder of the online water savings trading platform, AquaShares Inc., is a leader in the quiet power and equitable design of resource conservation markets. Drawing on extensive field experience, he wrote the award-winning book book "Heart of Dryness: How the last Bushmen can help us endure the coming age of permanent drought," and co-authored the forthcoming "Hydrodiplomacy: A manual for amateur ambassadors in transboundary rivers."

He studied at Yale & Oxford, and taught at Wesleyan & Whitman colleges, but his real education came blowing up dams, releasing wolves, restoring wildland fires, guiding safaris, smuggling water to dissidents, breaking down in Africa's Kalahari Desert, and becoming a dad.

Starting as an investigative journalist, Workman has served as White House appointee to U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, later joining the World Commission on Dams under Nelson Mandela. Now based in San Francisco, he advises on rights-based resource management for the Environmental Defense Fund, the World Conservation Union, and the International Water Association, where he was founding editor of The Source, a magazine offering practical intelligence for water professionals.


Implementing innovative solutions

What technological solutions can be used to improve the existing infrastructure in cities? How can we enhance data collection from water supply networks to optimize water quality and water management? To reduce water consumption and cost? To increase communication between municipality and its citizens?

Dr. Michael Allen
Cofounder, Visenti (a Xylem Brand) and Executive Director, Embedded Systems

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Dr. Allen is a co-founder of Visenti (a Xylem brand) and Executive Director of Embedded Systems. He leads the development of Visenti's RTUs and their associated software for intelligent sensing, processing and real-time transmission.

Michael holds a PhD in Computer Science. His research focused on the development and integration of high data-rate wireless embedded sensing systems and on-line data processing algorithms. From 2009 to 2013 he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), where he worked on the development, integration and deployment of Smart Water Network Technologies for Singapore’s water distribution system.

Mary Conley Eggert
Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer, Global Water Works

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Mary Conley Eggert is passionate about seeing great technology transform our world for good. She was inspired at WEFTEC 2015 to switch careers to solve the harrowing issues of demand for water exceeding the supply by 40% by 2029 and the extinction of marine life by 2048 without appropriate action.

Dr. You Wu
Cofounder, Watchtower Robotics

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Watchtower Robotics, manufactures Lighthouse, a shuttlecock-shaped robot that travels through water pipes to detect leaks. It's an elegant solution to a big problem - over 20% of the world's clean water is lost to pipe leaks. The company will soon begin pilots in Australia and in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


How to design a city from scratch

If you were starting from scratch, how would you design a city to optimize water use and management? What would the infrastructure, an individual’s home, and water utilities network look like? How could these be structured in such a way that maximizes wastewater reuse?

John Sullivan
Chief Engineer, Boston Water & Sewer Commission

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John Sullivan is the Chief Engineer of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC). John has over 46 years of experience in water and wastewater engineering. Mr. Sullivan has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and an MBA degree from Northeastern University, as well as a Master’s degree in Emergency Management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Michael Grove
Chair of Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, & Ecology, Sasaki

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Michael is the Chair of Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Ecology and sits on the Board of Directors at Sasaki, a global design firm with offices in Boston and Shanghai. Leading much of the firm’s work in Asia, he offers unique insight into the unprecedented transformation and urbanization of the region. Michael is a fierce advocate for the vital role that landscape architects play in shaping contemporary cities. Informed by a rigorous inquiry of economic, ecological, and cultural influences, he believes that the role of the designer is to make cities more livable, equitable, resilient, and just.

Dr. Newsha Ajami
Director of Urban Water Policy, Water in the West

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Newsha K. Ajami, Ph.D., is the director of Urban Water Policy with Stanford University’s Water in the West and NSF-ReNUWIt initiatives. She is a hydrologist specializing in sustainable water resource management, water policy, the water-energy-food nexus, and advancing uncertainty assessment techniques impacting hydrological predictions. Her research throughout the years has been interdisciplinary and impact driven, focusing on the improvement of the science-policy-stakeholder interface by incorporating social and economic measures and relevant and effective communication.


Water sharing beyond a city's limits

Professor Kent Portney
The Bush School of Government & Public Service,Texas A&M University

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Dr. Portney is the holder of the Bob Bullock Chair in Public Policy and Finance, and the Director of the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He teaches courses in natural resource and environmental policy and management at the Bush School of Government, Texas A&M University. Previously, he was the director of the Water and Research Program at the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Dr. Portney’s areas of expertise include environmental policy, urban sustainability, urban politics, economic inequality, and policy analysis.

Ana Lucía García Briones
Senior Specialist, CA Groundwater Program, Environmental Defense Fund

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Ana Lucía leads the California Groundwater Program’s outreach to environmental justice groups and disadvantaged communities to vet ideas, listen to concerns and build support on groundwater pilots and market initiatives. She builds constructive partnerships with disadvantaged communities and designs outreach strategies to expand and deepen bilateral relations to advance policies that promote sustainable water and groundwater management in the Central Valley.

Since 2008, Ana Lucía has been part of a team of experts in environmental negotiation, facilitation and consensus building. Before coming to EDF she worked at Centro de Colaboración Cívica, a pioneering non-profit organization whose mission is to promote capacity building and a culture of dialogue, collaboration and conflict resolution