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Past: Pooling Resources: A Workshop for the Innovative Utility Leader

Thursday, June 29 - Friday, June 30
InterContinental Hotel, New Orleans, LA



We hope you will join us at an invitation-only, off-the-record workshop with storm, drinking, and waste water utility leaders. This meeting will immediately follow the US Water Alliance’s One Water Summit in New Orleans (June 27-29). Are you a water utility leader interested in attending? Contact us here!  


This is not a traditional conference – the emphasis is on stimulating conversation, sharing big and creative ideas, and creating space for an honest discussion of the issues. 

Meeting goals:

  • Create space for an honest discussion of challenges and opportunities
  • Elicit big and creative ideas
  • Foster connection between utility leaders
  • Focus on strategies for collaboration between utilities and other departments/governmental entities

This event is focused on cities in the Great Lakes basin, but the topics covered will be broadly relevant. You will have the opportunity to connect with leaders facing many of the same challenges, from shrinking budgets to algal blooms to lead pipes. We will share what insights and analysis we have gathered so far from our research about how utilities can increase their efficiency in the face of these challenges.


If you are a utility leader interested in attending, please contact us to discuss.


While you're in town....
Come early for the US Water Alliance's One Water Summit 2017, directly before our workshop! The Summit (June 27-29, also at the Intercontinental Hotel) brings together hundreds of public, private and non-profit leaders from across the country to network, share best practices, amplify great ideas, and take actionable ideas back home. Utility leaders that attend our workshop will receive a heavily discounted registration rate to the One Water Summit ($395, almost a 50% discount!). Registration discount instructions for the Summit are provided after you register for our workshop. 

















Download the Full Agenda

Thursday, June 29

​2:00 - 3:00pm

​Registration Open

Gentilly Room, 1st Floor, InterContinental Hotel, 444 Saint Charles Ave

​3:00 - 3:30pm

Welcome, Introductions, Framing the Discussion

​3:30 - 5:30pm

Barriers, challenges, opportunities and strategies when working across silos and/or aiming for co-benefits

Setting the stage

  • Why collaborate? What do we mean by co-benefits?
  • Examples of success

Group discussion

  • Each utility leader shares out challenges and opportunities
  • What barriers and challenges are broadly shared?
  • What opportunities can we identify?
  • What strategies can we use?

6:00 - 9:00pm

Reception, Dinner, and Conversation

Featuring comments from Rob Renner of the Water Research Foundation and Jeff Mosher of the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation

Storyville Room, 2nd Floor, InterContinental Hotel

Friday, June 30

8:00 - 8:30am


Gentilly Room, 1st Floor, InterContinental Hotel, 444 Saint Charles Ave

8:30 - 10:30am

Review & framing

  • How can utilities help cities? How can cities help utilities? Promising strategies and tools
  • Based on themes from yesterday, how are you overcoming challenges/taking advantage of opportunities?

Group discussion

  • Do you have examples from your city where a collaboration across the city, or with an outside organization, has been successful?
  • What are some of the common ingredients in these strategies where a city and utility have found mutual benefit?
  • What do you think we still aren’t considering? Or, why wouldn’t the tools suggested in our handout work in your city?
  • What resources do you need to be more successful in partnerships?

​10:30 - 10:45am


10:45am - 12:00pm

Focus on funding: how is water funding bringing co-benefits to cities, and how can that go both ways?

Group discussion

  • Do you have examples from your own city?
  • What can we identify as common elements?
  • What are we not addressing in our toolbox? What wouldn’t work in your city?
  • How can a co-benefits and cross-departmental collaboration approach complement the growing needs for basic maintenance and replacement among utilities?
  • What resources do you need to uncover funding partnership opportunities?

12:00 - ​12:30pm

Wrap up, evaluation and adjourn

Gary Belan, Senior Director, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers
Theresa Connor, Project Development Officer, Colorado State University
Paula Conolly, Coordinator, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange
Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance
Adel Hagekhalil, Assistant Director, LA Sanitation, Los Angeles, CA
Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director, WaterNow Alliance
Nilaksh Kothari, CEO & General Manager, Manitowoc Public Utilities, Manitowoc, WI
Michael Lunn, Environmental Services Department Manager, Grand Rapids, MI
Mel Meder, Senior Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
Palencia Mobley, P. E., Deputy Director/Chief Engineer, Water & Sewerage Department, City of Detroit, MI
Edward Moore, Director of Public Utilities, Toledo, OH
Jeff Mosher, Chief Research Officer, Water Environment & Reuse Foundaiton
Howard Neukrug, Adjunct Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Tom Owens, Program Associate, Pisces Foundation
Rolfe Porter, Executive Director, Niagara Falls Water Board, Niagara Falls, NY
Rob Renner, CEO, Water Research Foundation
Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project
Katie Rousseau, Director, Clean Water Supply, Great Lakes, American Rivers
Brenda Scott Henry, Director, Green Urbanism & Environmental Affairs, Gary, IN
Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee, WI
Debra Shore, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Chicago, IL 
Wing Tam, Deputy ​Director of Watershed Programs, LA Sanitation, Los Angeles, CA
Timothy Thomure, Director, Tucson Water, Tucson, AZ
Chris Wanner, Director of Operations, Portland Water Bureau, Portland, OR