Media Contacts: 
WEF: Lori Harrison, 703.216.8565,
WBC: Wendi Taylor Nations, 312.553.4938, 

July 16, 2014
Safeguarding Our Cities is Focus of Monday's Chicago Water Summit
Leaders from the world's great water cities will share perspectives, strategies for protecting our communities and adapting to rapidly changing water challenges

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and World Business Chicago (WBC), with support from the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Chicago Sisters Cities International, will jointly present Chicago Water Summit 2014: Global Lessons from Great Water Cities. A distinguished group of national and international leaders from the public, non-profit and private sectors will share their experiences and perspectives about a how the Great Water Cities can help communities of all sizes adapt to rapidly changing water management challenges. 

Opening remarks will be provided by WBC CEO Jeff Malehorn and WEF President Sandra Ralston, followed by a series of focused panel discussions on a range of key water-related topics that are impacting modern communities. Topics include: impacts from climate change; extreme events such as storm surges, drought, and sea level rise; urbanization and population growth; water reuse and resource recovery; and the need for investments in resilient water infrastructure systems and its direct correlation to job creation and a strong financial future. 

A highlight of the summit will be a luncheon keynote from Henk Ovink, Principal with Rebuild by Design (RBD), who will talk about his work in supporting the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s efforts to rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Named #1 in CNN’s 2013 top 10 of most innovative ideas, RBD was created to ignite innovation for a new standard of regional resilience in design and development as well as building and rebuilding in the light of climate change, sea level rise and future economic, ecological and cultural demands. The one-day event will conclude with remarks and next steps from Robin Barnes, Executive Vice President and COO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. and WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill.

Panel 1: Great Water Cities are Sustainable
Karen WeigertChief Sustainability Officer, City of Chicago (Moderator)
Howard NeukrugCommissioner, Philadelphia Water Department, Pa.
Emilio TenutaVice President of Corporate Sustainability, Ecolab
Albert ChoVice President, Strategy and Business Development, Xylem
Karen SandsManager of Sustainability, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Wis.

Panel 2: Great Water Cities Embrace Innovation
David St. PierreExecutive Director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (Moderator)
Ted HenifinGeneral Manager, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Va.
Christian GuennerDirector of System Development, Hamburg Wasser, Germany 

Dr. Peter GrevattOffice of Ground Water and Drinking Water, U.S. EPA
Tali Landau-OferFinance Director, TaKaDu Ltd., Yehud, Israel

Special Presentation: Chicago as a Great Water City
Andy RichardsonChairman & CEO, Greeley and Hansen

Luncheon Keynote: Great Water Cities are Resilient
Henk OvinkPrincipal, Rebuild by Design and Sr. Advisor to the Secretary of U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Panel 3: Great Water Cities Invest in the Future
Barrett MurphyFirst Deputy Commissioner of Water Management, City of Chicago (Moderator)
Harlan Kelly, Jr.General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities, Ca.
John AustinDirector, Michigan Economic Center, and Non-Resident Sr. Fellow, Brookings Institute
Cedric S. GrantExecutive Director, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, La.
Dieter SauerPresident Water Utility Division, Grundfos North America

Panel 4: Great Water Cities Partner with the Private Sector
Jon FreedmanVice President for Government Affairs, GE Water (Moderator)
Terry MahPresident, Veolia North America
Dr. Paul BowenDirector, Sustainable Operations, The Coca-Cola Company

Dr. Giulio BoccalettiManaging Director, Global Water, The Nature Conservancy

Bob BaileyExecutive Vice President, City and Urban Solutions, CH2M Hill

As the latest in a series of dialogues to distill sustainable approaches and lessons learned from the world’s leading water cities, this forward-thinking Summit is intended to help direct the agenda for other communities facing similar challenges. It also sets the stage for the high profile and popular session, “Great Water Cities: Path to Livability, Prosperity & Resilience” that will be held at WEFTEC® 2014—WEF’s 87th Annual Technical Exhibition & Conference—this fall in New Orleans, La. As the world’s largest annual water quality conference and exhibition, WEFTEC brings thousands of water professionals and water equipment manufacturers to Chicago every other year through 2023.

Monday, July 21, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST

The Mid-America Club, 200 East Randolph Drive, 8th Fl., Chicago, Ill.

Note to editors:
Media interested in covering the event may contact Lori Harrison at  or 703-216-8565. For complete registration and event details, please visit

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations and staff proudly work to achieve our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide. To learn more, visit

About World Business Chicago
Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago (WBC) fosters private sector growth and jobs through the advancement of a business-friendly environment that attracts world-class talent. WBC leads the city's business retention, attraction and expansion efforts, raises Chicago's position as a premier global business destination, and guides implementation of the Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs.