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One Water Summit Maps a Path for a Resilient Future

· Events,Partnerships

Earlier this month, nearly 1,000 water industry leaders gathered at the One Water Summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The diverse audience included business leaders, utilities, policy advocates, local community members, Indigenous leaders, farmers, and artists. The “One Water, One Future” theme of the three-day conference, hosted by the US Water Alliance, included discussions of “reliable and resilient water utilities,” “thriving cities,” “competitive business and industry,” and “healthy waterways.” The consistent message from speakers and panelists was clear: collaboration is key for ensuring the future of water resources.

Innovation at utilities and industrial sites was also at the heart of many conference discussions. Businesses around the world are recognizing that holistic water management must be prioritized to increase efficiencies, manage risks, reduce costs and enhance brands. Evoqua’s Snehal Desai moderated a panel with Fawn Bergen of Intel Corporation, Kimberly Kupiecki of The Dow Chemical Company, and Amy Fredregill of the Environmental Initiative. The panel featured Intel’s progress toward restoring 100% of their total water use and Dow Chemical’s creative partnerships to address water sustainability. Current’s innovation platform that de-risks new technology solutions for utilities, industry and investors can help support such efforts to achieve both greater corporate and community resilience and sustainability.

In the “One Water in the States” panel, moderated by Current Board Member Andy Richardson of Greeley and Hansen, speakers from North Carolina, Minnesota and Iowa shared ideas on bold leadership and collaboration among state officials, utilities, and agriculture to help build One Water solutions. Richardson set the stage by providing an overview of challenges utilities and policy makers face, such as the changing regulatory landscape, customer awareness, shifting workforce demographics, and extreme weather.

Other conference activities included site visits to Pentair’s advanced water reuse facility at Target Field and to the University of Minnesota Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory. In addition, the US Water Prize winners were announced, including journalist Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for his outstanding coverage of Great Lakes issues and Yahara Watershed Improvement Network for its innovative approach to nutrient pollution through adaptive watershed management.

While water issues such as drought and aging infrastructure are more pressing than ever, it’s increasingly evident that the best solutions require collaboration and innovation across sectors. To build more resilient cities with sustainable utility and industrial water users, we need continued collaboration among diverse partners to accelerate innovative solutions.

Evoqua’s Snehal Desai moderating ‘How Business Leaders Are Valuing Water’ panel with Fawn Bergen of Intel Corporation, Kimberly Kupiecki of The Dow Chemical Company, and Amy Fredregill of the Environmental Initiative.

Kimberly Kupiecki, Global Sustainability Lead at Dow, shares the company's creative partnerships to address water sustainability.

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