We are a few weeks away from the 2018 California H2O Women Conference and honored to be showcasing so many leading women professionals, their work and their contributions to advance the water industry. We are also especially honored that Brenda Burman, the first woman to head the Bureau of Reclamation, is our keynote speaker. Commissioner Burman will speak about water and hydrology issues, hydroelectric power, and Reclamation infrastructure in the 17 western states, as well as her professional experience and career as a leader in water management.
Below includes a quick overview of topics we’ll address, along with our speakers. In our first conference in early 2017, we focused our attention on the historic drought and we celebrated our survival as we were beginning the long road out of it. This year, our conference theme is recovery and adaptation. How will we apply the lessons we learned from our most recent drought experience to adapt to a changing climate, new legal frameworks, and uncertain funding to address our most critical water needs? Following the conference, we’ll post a more detailed recap, as well as a compilation of resources gathered from our speakers and attendees.
Water Recycling and Reuse
Recycled water has moved from the fringe to a critical component of a diversified water supply portfolio, supplementing local and imported water supplies and increasing the reliability of water supplies to hedge against increasingly volatile precipitation patterns. This panel will address key trends, regulatory priorities and goals, as well as legal issues and other challenges to maximizing the reuse of water supplies.
Speakers: Stephanie Hastings, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission; Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board; Jennifer West, Managing Director, WateReuse California
With implementation of the most significant piece of water resources legislation in 100 years well underway, this panel will explore how the newly created Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are developing innovative solutions to ensure the sustainability of groundwater supplies, including treatment of brackish groundwater, water trading programs, construction of recharge basins, and the purchase of supplemental supplies.
Speakers: Katarina Buelna Campbell, Supervisor of Resources, Westlands Water District; Ellen Hanak, Center Director and Senior Fellow, PPIC Water Policy Center; Jennifer L. Harder, Professor, McGeorge School of Law; Iris Priestaf, President, Todd Groundwater
Business of Water
The confluence of the impacts of climate change on supply and demand, aging infrastructure, evolving regulatory landscape, and innovation and technology are yielding exciting challenges and opportunities for doing business in California. This panel will include top women in the water business and their insights into the priorities, opportunities and concerns for the industry.
Speakers: Norma Camacho, CEO, Santa Clara Valley Water District; Bar Littlefield, CFO, Poseidon Water; Leslie Moulton-Post, President & CEO, Environmental Science Associates; Cindy Wallis-Lage, President, Water Business, Black & Veatch Corporation
Climate change is here and already significantly impacting precipitation patterns and water supplies in California. As highlighted by the United Nations’ report released this month, avoiding the most dire consequences necessitates an immediate and drastic departure from the status quo. This panel will address state and local efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, how climate change legislation will impact water supplies, as well as the role of public education of climate science and how it relates to water management.
Speakers: Jamie Anderson, Manager Natural Resources Research, California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, CA Department of Water Resources; Juliet Christian-Smith, Senior Program Officer, Water Foundation; Maureen Stapleton, General Manager, San Diego County Water Authority; Amy Steinfeld, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Technology and Innovation
The recent drought and resulting conservation regulations sparked innovation in the water space. Water technology now has the attention of venture capital and private equity funds. This panel will explore the latest water conservation and water quality technology, discuss how to incentivize investments, overcome hurdles to expedite funding of infrastructure improvements and address how technology and innovation can break down the barriers facing disadvantaged communities.
Speakers: Laurel Firestone, Co-Executive Director, Community Water Center; Radhika Fox, Chief Executive Officer, US Water Alliance; Jay Iyengar, Senior Vice President, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, Xylem Inc.; Tina Anderholt Shields, Manager, Water Department, Imperial Irrigation District