The Water Leaders Summit 2019 was held in Milwaukee June 26 to 27. The annual summit, hosted by The Water Council, brought together water leaders from around the world for thoughtful conversations on global water issues and the future of water use. Presented as discussions among industry experts, this year’s event focused on rethinking water.
On the second day of the event, Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, presented the 2019 Water Warrior of the Year Award to Kevin Shafer, P.E. Shafer has served as the executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) since 2002. The award honors a water leader that has gone above and beyond in advocating for education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
Read the recap of day one here.
Following the award presentation, the day’s first panel discussion, Rethinking Water in Business, began. Moderator Charles Fishman led a discussion between Courtney Archibald, safety health and environmental manager for Nestle USA, and Emilio Tenuta, vice president, corporate sustainability for Ecolab. The talk focused on how businesses are rethinking water use and focusing on collaboration between facilities and stakeholders. The group also discussed how businesses can be proactive and not reactive to water resource concerns.
The second panel discussion of the day, Rethinking Water Investing, brought together Dave Henderson, founder of XPV Water Partners; Brian Iversen, managing partner for Cimbria Capital; and Puon Penn, executive vice president, technology banking group for Wells Fargo. The discussion focused on bridging the gap between water infrastructure and funding. It also explored the nuances of investing in water and discussed actionable strategies to navigate it.
Following a networking break, the day concluded with pitches from BREW (business, research, entrepreneurship, in water) Accelerator 6 winners, including Gen3Bio, Latitude Power, P4 Infrastructure, Rapid Radicals Technology and Watersurplus. The program aims to connect innovative startups with the resources and support necessary to bring their products to market.