GWC 2016 Header USA  

Great Water Cities 2016:
Rainfall to Results in Action

May 10–11, 2016 
Mid-America Club 
Chicago, lllinois 

Stormwater runoff is the largest growing source of water pollution across the United States. To help stormwater professionals apply best-in-class solutions to this growing problem, WEF launched the WEF Stormwater Institute in 2015. In late 2015, the Institute released a landmark report, Rainfall to Results: The Future of Stormwater, which was the first effort to identify priorities in the wake of significant rulemaking and resulting rapid changes in the industry.

Great Water Cities 2016: Rainfall to Results in Action will build upon the Rainfall to Results report and provide the catalyst for continued advancement in several key areas of managing stormwater runoff and valuing it as a resource. Both new and familiar themes will be addressed during the event, through the lens of the stormwater and wet weather sector. The summit will bring together thought leaders from various sectors who are impacted by and manage urban stormwater and water resources to exchange information and experience on the following areas:  

  • Close the Funding Gap 
  • Manage Assets and Resources 
  • Work at the Watershed Scale 
  • Support Innovation and Best Practices 
In addition to plenary discussions, the summit will challenge participants to engage in small groups so that participants can come away with ideas and actionable solutions to successfully meet the challenge of managing and valuing stormwater runoff at the local level.  


 Register for Great Water Cities 2016 


OR complete this registration form and email to for processing.  Thank you!



Schedule at a Glance

View the complete preliminary draft agenda and list of speakers (subject to change). 
 Tuesday, May 10    
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Great Water Cities Welcome Reception 
Wednesday, May 11                
8:30 am – 8:45 am Welcome Address 
8:45 am – 10:00 am Panel 1 – Close the Funding Gap 
  Stormwater runoff has been identified by EPA as the only major growing source of water pollution in many parts of the U.S.  While investment needs in the stormwater and wet weather sectors are significant and growing, using traditional methods to fund and financing these investments are likely to fall short.  New and creative ways to drive investments are being developed to not only meet regulatory obligations but also enhance community benefits.
10:00 am – 11:15 am Coffee Break, Discussion Tables 
11:15 am – 12:00 pm Panel 2 – Manage Assets and Resources 
  A focus on asset management in the stormwater sector has been largely absent until recently.  With investments in green infrastructure on the rise, there has been a growing need to better understand dimensions of long-term operation and maintenance that will protect and enhance these investments.  Similarly, topics such as proper design, installation and inspection by well-qualified professionals as well as approaches to optimize life-cycle costs are new and fertile areas of exploration and investigation.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Luncheon Speaker – Flooding & Resilience 
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Connecting the Dots – National Efforts and Your Community 
1:30 pm – 1:45 pm Break 
1:45 pm – 2:30 pm Panel 3 – Work at the Watershed Scale 
  Stormwater is a unique infrastructure type, as most of the critical aspects are integrated into the landscape across the watershed public spaces and private properties.  The distributed nature of stormwater infrastructure can be leveraged to have impacts across a wide area for larger overall benefits to communities and water resources.
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm Table Discussions and Peer-to-Peer Connections 
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Panel 4 – Support Innovation and Best Practices 
  Past paradigms for stormwater management has relied on passive simplistic practices with limited performance and output.  A new energy and focus has developed in changing this approach through inventive uses of rising technology, such as high-flow filter media and real-time cloud-based monitoring and operation as well as an appreciation of the advantages of working with nature through biophillic design for enhanced benefits that go beyond water treatment.
4:00 pm Next Steps Discussion and Adjourn 



Reserve your spot now by clicking here to register for Great Water Cities. WEF members can register for $260. The nonmember rate is $360. Not a WEF member? Join today. 


For your convenience, a hotel block is available for summit attendees at the Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park hotel (right across the street from the Aon Building, where the Mid-America Club is located). To book your room, please call the reservations line at 1-800-526-2008 and mention WEF Great Water Cities to receive a special rate of $339 per night plus occupancy taxes or make your reservation online 


 Thank you to our sponsor for their generous support:  

  Greeley and Hansen    
Questions about this event? Contact Melissa Rose, WEF Conference Coordinator, at