MPC and Openlands Forum "Choosing our Water Future": Choosing the Sustainable Path

May 12, 2010

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Choosing the sustainable path: National shifts in federal water policy, corporate stewardship, and catalytic philanthropy

Panelists
· Laurent Auguste – President and CEO, Veolia Water Americas; and Board Member, Milwaukee 7 Water Council
· Lynn Broaddus – Director, Environment Programs, Johnson Foundation
· David Monsma – Executive Director, Energy and Environment Program, Aspen Institute
· Betsy Otto – Vice President, Conservation and Strategic Partnerships, American Rivers

For generations, many Americans have viewed our water supplies as more or less limitless, resulting in waste and inefficiency. However, in 2010 Northeastern Illinois completed its first-ever stakeholder driven regional water supply plan, which concludes that without proactive investment, our current water use practices could lead to water shortages in the coming decades.

As a result, we are forced to rethink our water future. Can we make the choice now to manage our water resources, for both supply conservation and quality assurance, sustainably in the future? What is the role for corporate stewardship and philanthropic engagement in water policy? What are the opportunities for reforming how federal, state and local governments invest in water resources management?

"Choosing our Water Future," co-sponsored by MPC and Openlands, with the generous support of Harris Bank, tackles those questions. “Choosing our Water Future” is the launch event for a summer roundtable series highlighting such key issues as: · the overarching need for public discussion on water supply issues · the need for federal water policy and investment reform · implementation of the regional water supply plan · connections between water consumption, energy use, and climate change · supply expansion vs. demand management · water footprinting and corporate stewardship · full cost pricing · development of alternative water sources · prioritizing investments in water-related infrastructure · the role of green infrastructure and urban design in water resources stewardship · the impacts of water demand on sensitive and unique natural ecosystems in the region.

 

Recorded Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at Metropolitan Planning Council Conference Center.