Great Water Cities continue to work together – learning from each other, sharing innovative solutions, and collaborating for a more resilient future! The Great Water Cities Summit 2015: Collaborating for a Resilient Future on July 21 and 22, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana, will propel forward the discussion on how the water sector is collaborating, managing water in extreme conditions, addressing workforce development and economic challenges, and continuing to foster innovation and investment. The Great Water Cities Summit 2015 is hosted by the Water Environment Federation, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, and Greater New Orleans, Inc. and will bring together leaders and practitioners in the water sector to exchange ideas and lessons learned on how to embrace the future of water management with a sharpened focus on resilience. The Summit is the latest in a series of dialogues to examine the case studies and elicit discussion that can distil lessons learned from leading cities and potentially change the agenda for other great water cities facing similar challenges.






This event is available to all registrants at a flat rate of $260.  Click here to register now!  (You do not need to be a WEF member to register.) 

Hotel Reservations:  

WEF has secured a room block at the Courtyard Marriott New Orleans Downtown Convention Center for your convenience at a rate of $119.00 plus occupancy fees per night.  Click here to book your room at the WEF rate now!   If you prefer to make your reservation by phone, please call 800-321-2211 and ask for the Water Environment Federation block to receive the discounted room rate.  In addition, WEF will provide a complimentary shuttle from the hotel to Tulane on  July 22 for your convenience.  The Summit's formal programming begins on July 22 with a day of expert panel discussions, structured networking sessions, luncheon, and peer-to-peer connections. We invite you to arrive in New Orleans on July 21 for an afternoon tour of key water facilities followed by a Welcome Reception in the evening. These optional activities will be available for complimentary selection during the registration process. More details will be emailed to you after registration.     


Preliminary Agenda:

DAY 1:  Tuesday, July 21, 2015 

1:00-4:00 pm               Key Water Facilities Tour 

5:00-6:30 pm               Networking Reception at the Courtyard Marriott


DAY 2:  Wednesday, July 22, 2015 

8:00 am     Shuttle bus departs hotel for Tulane University

8:30-8:35 am               Event Welcome from Ed McCormick, WEF President

8:35-8:45 am               Welcome from Cedric Grant, Executive Director Sewerage and Water Board of                                   New Orleans

8:45-10:00 am             Panel I – Utility / Utility Collaboration: Great Water Cities are collaborating with each other and learning best practices that are adaptable and resilient.  Innovative communities will share key actions they have adopted that helped them integrate, innovate, and optimize their operations.  The speakers in this panel will discuss specific approaches they implemented that helped make a difference in their water operations. 

         Panelists include:

         Tony Parrott | Executive Director, Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati 

         Barry Gullett | Director, Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities 

10:00-11:15 am           Coffee and Structured Networking Session

11:15-Noon                 Panel II – Managing Water in Extremes: Great Water Cities are managing their operations under extreme events.  Resilient communities are facing drought, floods, sea level rise and other challenges while maintaining service and continuing to protect water quality and the environment.  These extreme events are challenging resources, but are also leading to innovation, creativity and new approaches to managing water needs in affected communities. 

         Panelists include:

         Adel Hagekhalil | Assistant Director, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation 

         Vincent Sapienza | Deputy Commissioner, New York City DEP

         David Waggonner | President, Waggonner and Ball Architects

         Doug (Tom) Yoder | Deputy Director, Maimi Dade Water & Sewer

12:00-1:15 pm           Luncheon 

1:15-1:30 pm               Break

1:30-2:10 pm               Panel III – Workforce Development & Economics: Great Water Cities are increasingly focused on internal workforce and external community economic needs.  Resilience planning is leading communities to think about the broader needs of their communities and how they can inspire a more engaged workforce focused on continuous improvement and excellence.  Great Water Cities are deploying innovative recruitment and training programs while working with their communities and addressing their more basic needs as part of their operational planning. 

         Panelists include:

         Ashleigh Gardere | Sr. Advisor to Mayor Landrieu and Director, The Network for Economic                    Opportunity at the City of New Orleans

         Karen Pallansch | CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises 

2:15-3:00 pm               Panel IV – Innovation and Investment: Great Water Cities use innovation and investment to build more resilient communities.  These Cities have taken steps to prepare for the future through substantial investments in grey and green infrastructure, innovative technologies, and other capital projects.  This Session will focus on how Great Water Cities make decisions about investments and partnerships while optimizing their investments.  We will hear how innovation in other countries can help build our body of knowledge and improve our ability to leverage resources. 

         Panelists include:

         Mike Eckert | Chairman, NOLA Angel Network 

         Andrew Richardson | CEO, Greeley & Hanson

         Sue Schneider | CEO, Spartanburg Water

         Martin Vilhelmsen | Project Manger, RAMBOLL

3:00-3:15 pm               Afternoon Break

3:15-4:00 pm               Panel V – Katrina 10: Facilitated by Robin Barnes, Executive Vice-President                                   of Greater New Orleans, Inc. 

4:00 pm                      Next Steps Discussion by Eileen O’Neill, WEF Executive Director

4:15-5:30 pm               Peer to Peer Connection and Networking Wrap Up


Thank you to our sponsor for their generous support: 
  Greeley and Hansen    
Questions about this event?  Contact Melissa Rose, WEF Conference Coordinator: