____2014 One Water Leadership Summit____

 Kansas City, MO
September 15-17, 2014
5th annual One Water Leadership Summit

Global, national, state, and local water leaders convened in Kansas City from September 15-17 to participate in the U.S. Water Alliance’s 2014 One Water Leadership Summit, advancing the Alliance’s vision of “One Water”- holistic, unified water policy spanning the entire spectrum of water management, public and private, national, regional and local.

A common thread found its way through the diverse panels: we must work together to solve the issues confronting water. To progress and unite water across all sectors, a fervent and constant conversation is needed to share experiences, learnings, and opportunities, and to educate those who are unaware of the necessity of progressive and reformative water policy.

As the Summit progressed a clearer picture of One Water came into view. Central to this picture was the participants and their organizations. Still, the panelists emphasized that the issues facing water were known all too well by those within the industry. More importantly, to complete the vision of One Water it is now incumbent upon experts to open dialogues with communities and to promote the benefits of investing resources- time, money, education- in water. As individuals see recreational facilities and municipal improvements channeled through water, they will begin to see water not only as something for drinking and cleaning, but as something central to our existence and our community. Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem, Cindy Circo, noted that by making investments more visible to the community through widely discussed green neighborhoods and infrastructure, Kansas City has developed a groundswell of support for investment in green water services.  It was a sentiment echoed by the panel centered on San Antonio’s Edward Aquifer, which highlighted the recreational role the aquifer plays in Central Texas life, a role that has been parlayed to improve support for conservation efforts. These panels and many more contributed to and enhanced the theme of one water, helping to further clarify what is needed to bring about sustainable and holistic change.

We have provided various resources from the Summit below, including a collection of presentations discussed by the many panels. We hope you will take the time to learn more about the tremendous things people are doing throughout the water world. Of course, feel free to share- after all, that is what One Water is all about.


The Honorable Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri
Cindy Wallis-Lage, President, Global Business, Black & Veatch

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Edwards Aquifer, Texas
Upper Neuse River Basin, North Carolina
Precision Conservation
Urban Innovation in Water Reuse
Water Works! Water, Jobs & Economic Opportunity


Innovation in Onsite Water Management
Watershed Protection Utility
“Parknerships” for Green Infrastructure
Promoting Technology Innovation for Clean & Safe Water
Rural/Urban Partnerships
Water Quality Trading
Kansas City’s Natural Resources Inventory & Regional Green Infrastructure Planning
Community Colleges & River Corridors

Program & Agenda

Find the OWL Summit program here, which contains the Summit’s agenda, panel topic overviews, and panelist biographies.


Watch the Water Works! Investing Together for a Stronger America panel discussion here.

Green Bus Tours 

This year we had two different bus tours – Urban and Suburban.  Click the link to see where the  Green Bus Tours 2014 took folks this year!


Below are the PowerPoint presentations from the 2014 One Water Leadership Summit. Click on the presentation icon or title to view

Precision Conservation: New IT Tools for Innovation in Measuring & Managing

A futuristic overview- Precision Conservation is strategic management through technology that allows for better tracking and accurate measurement in real time, and that can promote innovative strategic investments in smart resource management. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!

Moderator: Mary Ann Dickinson, President, Alliance for Water Efficiency


Jeffrey Allenby, Director of Conservation Innovation, Chesapeake Conservancy
Stephen Harper, Global Director, Environment and Energy Policy, Intel Corp
Michael Sulliavn, Global Manager, IBM Smarter Water Management Solutions

Allenby OWLS 14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

Stephen Harper OWLS ’14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

Upper Neuse River Basin, North Carolina

The panel will highlight ways the Upper Neuse River Basic Association (UNRBA) reached consensus on a divisive set of water quality and water supply issues; how they achieved adaptive management in an environment of agency reluctance to provide flexible alternatives for stormwater nutrient management; and how to keep focus on reasonable progress without throwing the process into political ideology (thinking realistically about what the regulatory future may bring at a State and Federal level, and how to be ready to respond to ongoing regulatory requirements).

Moderator: Andrew Sauer, Water Resources Group Leader, CDM Smith


Forrest R. Westall, Executive Director, UNRBA
Pam Hemminger, Chair, UNRBA, Orange County
Alix Matos, Senior Project Engineer, Cardno
Don O’Toole, Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Durham
Kenny Waldroup, Assistant Public Utilities Director, City of Raleigh


UNRBA OWLS ’14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

Edwards Aquifer: Sharing Water Among Cities, Farms, and the Environment

Moderator: Ron Coker, Senior Vice President, Burns & McDonnell

Karen Guz, Conservation Director, San Antonio Water Systems
Tyson Broad, Research Associate, Sierra Club
Nathan Pence, Executive Director of HCP, Edwards Aquifer Authority
Tom Taggart, Director of Public Services, City of San Marcos

The Edwards Aquifer supports agricultural, industrial and municipal water needs across a 160 mile swath of South Central Texas that includes San Antonio.  The aquifer also supports spring, riparian and coastal ecosystems. Disputes over use of the aquifer came to the forefront in 1991 when the Sierra Club filed suit against U.S. Fish and Wildlife over loss of endangered species habitat. The cascade of court cases, regulation and state law that resulted from the suit was tumultuous and contentious. Environmental, agricultural and municipal interests held opposing views.  Despite the often heated controversy there have been constructive outcomes including successful water conservation programs, an approved Habitat Conservation Plan and a mature water rights market.  Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that the negotiated Habitat Conservation Plan avoided both severe pumping reductions and new, expensive engineered solutions. Instead a combination of conservation, paying farmers not to irrigate during the worst drought periods, and using an existing aquifer storage and recovery system combined to achieve planned reductions in aquifer withdrawals. This bottom-up approach requires long-term contributions and monitoring from all stakeholders to assure success.

Edwards Aquifer OWLS ’14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

EAHCP and Spring Cities Regional Asset Preservation in Action from U.S. Water Alliance

Rural/Urban Partnerships

Moderator: Bruce Roll, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director Watershed Management, Clean Water Services (Hillsboro, Oregon)

How do we develop partnerships that lead to large scale restoration and leverage RCPP funding? Participants will discuss financing methods used to finance and the evolution of conservation agreements that support such work.

Bruce Roll Urban and Rural Partnerships OWLS 14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

Urban Water Federal Partnership: Creating Multi-Sectoral Collaborations to Improve Urban Rivers for Multiple Benefits

Moderator: Lisa Pelstring, Advisor, Urban Envrionmental Issues, U.S. Department of Interior


Dwane Jones, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, University of D.C.
Jenny Hoffner, Senior Director, American Rivers
Roberta Vogel-Leutung, Middle Blue River Urban Waters Federal Partnership Lead, U.S. EPA Region 7

Cities across the U.S. are seeking solutions to meet urban stream water quality standards and reduce aging water infrastructure failures. 750 US cities have Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), and every two minutes there is a water main break in the U.S. Innovative partnerships are providing models of promising, collaborative approaches that create multiple benefits as they revitalize communities and economies and reduce pollution.  At the Federal level, a key initiative, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, was launched in 2010 to work  collaboratively with communities on their priorities that centered on urban river restoration and recreation.   Panelists will explore how they are establishing innovative funding and multi-sectoral regional partnerships.


Dwane Jones OWLS14 Presentation from U.S. Water Alliance

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