Corporate water stewardship focus of Phoenix-Israeli summit

As fresh, healthy water becomes increasingly scarce worldwide, the stakes for efficient water management policy and innovative advancements in technology have never been more crucial. By 2025, half of the global population will face water scarcity, according to the World Health Organization.  

To address this issue head-on, the Arizona and United States chambers of commerce are hosting a summit between two desert regions known as leaders in water conservation – Phoenix and Israel –  to brainstorm the best practices in water sustainability. The Business H2O: Water Innovation Summit is Dec. 11 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.

The conference will focus on improving water governance to promote industrial and economic growth, public policy and regulatory challenges; water stewardship; sustainable water principles; public-private partnerships; and investment in water infrastructure and technologies.

“Water is a critical resource for the U.S. and Israeli economies, from energy production and mineral extraction to manufacturing, agriculture and everything in between,” said Josh Kram, senior director for Middle East affairs for the U.S. Chamber. “This conference will help catalyze new partnerships, deals and information sharing between the U.S. and Israel in order to accelerate the adoption of innovative water technologies.”

Governor Doug Ducey is the keynote speaker, and leading water experts in business, government and technology will speak and strategize on a number of issues to address the ever growing, global demand for water. Session topics include:

Water Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships Implementing innovative water technologies that improve water access and service quality cannot be completed without massive investments in infrastructures. Panelists will discuss public-private partnerships and projects that contribute to economic growth and development. Speakers include Ian Parker, managing director, Public Sector and Infrastructure Banking, Goldman Sachs; Marshall Davert, executive vice president for water, Stantec; and Jim Gebhardt, water infrastructure and resiliency and finance center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Local Water: Challenges Faced by Local Utilities State and municipal utilities from the U.S. and Israel will discuss the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned in fostering local water technology adoption. Speakers include Kathryn Sorensen, director, Phoenix Water Services; Barbara Martin, director of engineering and technical services, American Water Works Association; Robert Puente, president and CEO, San Antonio Water System; and Jake Lenderking, director of water resources, Global Water Resources.

New Approaches to Water Scarcity: Desalination, Water Reuse, Drip Irrigation, and Digital Water Technology The world water scarcity has sparked new innovative technologies. This panel will focus on how desalination, water reuse, drip irrigation, and digital water technology to help meet the world water needs. Panelists include Amit Gross, director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Brian Powers, business development director, Water Solutions, DowDuPont Specialty Products Division; Neil Ginsberg, co-managing partner, Dynamic Water; and Uri Shani, founder of NDrip and former general manager of the Israeli Governmental Water and Sewage Authority.  

Water in the West: Cooperation, Water Sharing, and the Arizona Drought Contingency Plan Water managers in Arizona are working with federal officials to finalize a Colorado River drought-contingency plan with the goal of conserving water in Lake Mead. Such cooperation on a local, state, corporate, and government level can serve as a model for collaborative solutions to water conservation. Speakers include Tim Thomure, director of Tucson Water; Paul Orme, special counsel, Pinal County irrigation districts; Cynthia Campbell, water resource management advisor for City of Phoenix.

There also will be sessions on global water collaboration and developing cross-border initiatives for sustainable water policy and new approaches to water scarcity including desalination, water reuse, drip irrigation, and digital water technology.

This Arizona-Israeli collaboration event will be Dec. 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., in Phoenix. For more information or registration, go to: Business H20: Water Innovation Summit.

Victoria Harker

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