Congressional Briefing on Water Infrastructure Technology

Water Policy Briefing Agenda

Thursday, March 18

Introduction and Welcome

1:30 PM - 1:40 PM
  1. 1:30 PM - Welcome Remarks

    Moderator Peter Grevatt, CEO, Water Research Foundation

  2. 1:35 PM - Member of Congress Introduction

    Congressman John Katko (R-NY)
    Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) [Pre-recorded]

Importance and Relevance of Technology for Addressing Water and Wastewater Challenges

1:40 - 1:50 PM
  1. 1:40 PM - Issue Overview

    George Hawkins, President, Moonshot Missions

Congressional Action Needed

1:50 - 2:20 PM
  1. 1:50 PM - Provide Direct Federal Assistance to the Water and Wastewater Sectors to Adopt Smart Water Technologies

    Al Cho, Vice President and General Manager for Advanced Infrastructure Analytics, Xylem
    “Create a New Water Technology Grant Program”

  2. 2:00 PM - Provide Direct Federal Assistance to the Water and Wastewater Sectors to Adopt Smart Water Technologies

    Jim Proctor, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, McWane, Inc.
    “Fully Fund Technology Grant Programs”

  3. 2:05 PM - Create a Technology Clearinghouse

    Vanessa, Leiby, Executive Director, Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association
    Moderator Peter Grevatt

  4. 2:10 PM - ARPA H2O

    Jason Isakovic, Director, Legislative Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies

Case Studies and Examples

2:20 PM
  1. 2:20 PM - Examples of Technological and Policy Solutions

    Venus Price, Managing Engineer, Drinking Water Operations, Houston Water
    Travis Wagner, Vice President, Suez
    Dr. Lindsay Birt, Client Solutions Manager, Xylem

Questions and Comments

Briefing Close


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    Peter Grevatt, Ph.D.

    CEO, Water Research Foundation

    As CEO of The Water Research Foundation (WRF), Peter Grevatt, Ph.D. directs the world’s leading water research cooperative. WRF oversees research and promotes innovation across all aspects of the water sector—in pursuit of ensuring the highest water quality and improving water services to communities across the globe. With approximately 1,200 subscriber members in the U.S. and abroad, the Foundation has over $130 million of contracted research and innovation activities currently underway.

    Dr. Grevatt has dedicated over 30 years to the implementation of public health and environmental protection programs, including significant national leadership experience in the water sector. He previously served as Director of EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) where he was responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s drinking water supply. Dr. Grevatt also served as Senior Advisor to EPA’s Administrator for Children’s Environmental Health and has held leadership roles in EPA’s water quality and national hazardous waste cleanup programs.

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    George S. Hawkins, Esq.

    Founder and CEO, Moonshot LLC and Moonshot Missions

    George Hawkins launched his innovation-focused enterprises Moonshot LLC and Moonshot Missions after stepping down as CEO and General Manager of DC Water, where he served for eleven years. George helps agencies identify and adopt strategies to deliver better service and lower cost.

    George transformed DC Water into an innovative enterprise while tripling its investment in clean water. DC Water’s innovations ranged from Green Infrastructure to a $500 million investment in clean energy. DC Water issued the first century bond, first environmental impact bond, and spearheaded programs to support low-income customers and provide for local workforce development.

    George serves on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises the White House. George is an advisor to Xylem, Inc. and is an Executive in Residence for XPV Water Partners. George serves on the Board of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation. George has served as a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University and an Executive in Residence for American University. Mr. Hawkins also served as Director of the DC Department of the Environment and served as Director of non-profit organizations and held positions with the USEPA and the firm Ropes & Gray.

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    Albert H. Cho

    SVP, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Xylem

    Albert Cho is Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Digital Officer at Xylem, a $5B global water technology provider dedicated to solving the world’s water challenges. Previously, Albert led a business unit focused on advanced data analytics as well as Xylem’s corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions team. Previously, Cho also worked as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a White House Fellow and served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. He was an executive at Cisco Systems, a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and served at the United Nations. Albert serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Water Alliance and the Canadian Water Network, the Program Committee of Singapore International Water Week, and the editorial advisory board of World Water. He is a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is a recognized expert on global water issues, climate resilience, and international business and economics whose work has been cited in Forbes, The Guardian, and USA Today.

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    Jim Proctor

    Vice President and General Counsel, McWane, Inc.

    James M. Proctor II is vice president and general counsel of McWane, Inc., one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of water infrastructure products, including smart water solutions. He has advocated for additional water and wastewater infrastructure investment and reforms throughout his career, and has testified before several Congressional committees.

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    Vanessa Leiby

    Executive Director, Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association

    Vanessa M. Leiby, the Executive Director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA), has a B.S. and M.S. in Zoology, with emphasis in aquatic ecology and aquatic toxicology respectively, from The Ohio State University. An environmental scientist and policy analyst, she has over 35 years’ experience in aquatic ecology, aquatic toxicology, drinking water and wastewater regulation development, water and wastewater technologies, innovation, enforcement, security, water and energy efficiency, and state drinking water and wastewater programs. She is responsible for overall management of the Association and leads the advocacy efforts for WWEMA with a focus on the Administration, Congress, and key Federal agencies. She maintains an extensive industry network at the national, state, and local levels to connect members to opportunities as well as industry thought leaders. Prior to joining WWEMA in 2014, Ms. Leiby was a Principal for 11 years at The Cadmus Group, an environmental consulting firm providing mission support work to EPA’s Office of Water. In that capacity, she provided extensive support to EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water on projects related to water and energy efficiency, source water protection, regulation implementation, Buy American provisions of ARRA, and water system security. She was the Principal Investigator for the Water Research Foundation project (#4223) Energy Efficiency Best Practices for North American Drinking Water Utilities and was the lead author on the first Water Sector Security Plan working in cooperation with EPA and the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to joining Cadmus, Ms. Leiby was, for 10 years, the Executive Director of the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. In that position, she was instrumental in the 1996 reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act and participated in discussions and negotiations on key aspects of the Bioterrorism Act that related to the water sector.

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    Jason Isakovic

    Director, Legislative Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies
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    Venus Price

    Managing Engineer, Drinking Water Operations, Houston Water

    Venus Price is a Managing Engineer at the City of Houston. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Venus manages the Transmission and Operations Technical Support group of 80 professionals within Houston Public Works/Houston Water/Drinking Water Operations.

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    Travis Wagner

    Vice President, Asset Performance, SUEZ

    Travis Wagner is a Vice President within Suez’s Smart Environmental Solutions Division focused on water sector asset and revenue performance solutions in North America. Mr. Wagner provides leadership in the development and implementation of digital, technology and service-based solutions delivering innovative, yet practical insights for utilities to optimally manage their infrastructure. His passion is helping utilities connect their people to high value decisions leveraging human and data insights with digital and technology solutions.

    Mr. Wagner has led analytical, product, software and professional services groups that developed industry leading risk analytics and decision solutions for utilities using advanced statistical (including artificial intelligence), hydraulic, spatial visualization, structural analysis and business intelligence solutions for a wide range of utility needs. These solutions have helped utilities focus operational and capital resources where they are needed most delivering measurable, validated benefits. He holds a Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and is a registered professional engineer. With over 25 industry publications, numerous conference and expert panel presentations along with professional organization standard development and committee participation; Mr. Wagner has been the face of advanced asset performance and management solutions for his organizations.

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    Dr. Lindsay Birt

    Client Solutions Manager, Xylem

    Dr. Lindsay Birt, Client Solutions Manager with Xylem, has extensive experience in water resource engineering, including nutrient management, in stream water quality monitoring and modeling, storm water management, sustainable design and performance assessments, geospatial information systems, stakeholder engagement and decision making, watershed management, and digital solutions for collections systems and wastewater treatment. She currently serves as the Watershed Committee Chair for the Illinois Water Environment Association. Also, she was recently selected as the US Water Alliance, Fall 2020 Rising Professionals Cohort. Dr. Birt completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University with an emphasis in Environmental & Natural Resources Engineering. She holds a M.S. and B.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University.