By George Hawkins, General Manager, DC Water

January 27, 2016

Although roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, less than 1% of it is usable, which makes water scarcity an increasing global concern. Dow Water & Process Solutions, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., joined the Value of Water Coalition to host a panel for Infrastructure Week 2015, held May 11 to 15 in Minneapolis.

The panel took place on May 15 and more than 50 representatives from greater Minneapolis businesses, academia and government attended to listen to leaders discuss advancing water preservation and sustainability and solving the growing issue of water scarcity. During the national reflections panel moderated by Radhika Fox, director of the Value of Water Coalition, Snehal Desai, global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions, spoke on Dow’s efforts to renew, reuse and recycle water and highlighted different examples throughout the world. Brock McEwen, global technology director of the Water Business Group at CH2M Hill, and Desai also addressed popular Infrastructure Week topics including the cost versus value of water and advancing progress towards a circular economy.

“As a whole, water technology is on the rise with local and national organizations working together to lead these efforts,” Desai said. “Our panel discussion in Minneapolis and all the events surrounding Infrastructure Week are bringing us closer to preserving our most precious resource and solving this global crisis though innovation and collaboration.”

The event was hosted by Faegre Baker Daniels and also included a local innovations panel featuring Jason Willett, director of finance and energy for the Metropolitan Council, Paige Novak, civil engineering professor at University of Minnesota and Jeremy Lenz, principal at Lenz Consulting. The topics focused on treating impaired water for reuse, the need for policy to help expedite the adoption of water treatment technologies and continued collaboration via public-private partnerships.

“Dow Water and Process Solutions has taken the lead in creating innovative solutions to our water technology challenges,” Fox said. “While communities across the country are looking for answers to solve pressing water problems, the hopeful news from Infrastructure Week is that our challenges are large, but our capacity to overcome those challenges is greater.”