Growing Blue at the American Water Summit

The American Water Summit is one of the most important water-related events of the year for anyone involved with the water sector at a senior level. The event includes many networking opportunities and focuses on making a better future for water in America. It will include engaging panel discussions, covering topics such as emerging water finance models, delivery and performance contracts, upcoming water and wastewater technology trends, sustainable action at utilities, investing in water, and much more.

  • Water utility leaders will discover the route map for renewal of water infrastructure
  • Business leaders will learn how water contributes to the triple bottom line
  • Investors will learn about market trends for the next decade
  • Engineers and water technology companies will have the opportunity to contribute to discussions that will shape the future of their businesses

The Growing Blue Session Track

This year, the Summit will feature a special Growing Blue track, which includes four sessions that relate to Growing Blue’s “Water-Economics-Life” theme.

Session 1: The Economics of Sustainable Water

Leaders from regional governments and the private sector will discuss how sustainable water management is linked to sustainable economic growth and long-term community stability.

Session 2: What Business Wants from Water

Effective management of water and related risks is increasingly important for businesses across a range of sectors. Leaders from industry will discuss how this affects their operations, decision making, and future planning.

Session 3: Delivering Performance

This session will discuss current strategies employed by water and wastewater utilities for delivering better operational performance. This session will compare various types of short and long term management or “performance” contracts that have been implemented both domestically and abroad to critically assess their positives and negatives for different stakeholders.

Session 4: Bringing Money into the Water Sector

This session will discuss how to leverage limited finances to deliver the best quality water, protect the environment, and bring great value to customers.

The Growing Blue Award

In addition to special Growing Blue sessions, the American Water Summit will also feature the final voting and awards ceremony for the 2013 Growing Blue Award. The purpose of the Growing Blue Award is to recognize an individual, company, government agency or department, water utility, academic institution, or non-governmental organization (NGO) for advancing our understanding of how water is as essential to our economic and social growth as it is to sustaining our environment. This year’s finalists are:

Blue Legacy
Shaping society’s dialogue to include water

Blue Legacy strives to tell the story of our water planet and shape society’s dia­logue to include water as one of the defin­ing issues of the 21st century. Founded in 2008 by Alexandra Cousteau, this not-for-profit organization inspires people to take action on critical water issues in meaningful ways, with work in many project areas:

  • Expeditions to chronicle water issues;
  • Development and distribution of media and educational assets;
  • Leadership in policy forums and action campaigns; and
  • Collaboration to increase the capacity and impact of grassroots watershed efforts.

Blue Legacy expeditions generate excitement and understanding about critical water issues, delivering “conservation-shap­ing” short films, blogs, images, and inter­active elements that engage audiences and enable productive discussions about the interconnectivity of water issues.

Maryland Department of the Environment / Department of Agriculture
Incentivizing conservation, promoting growth, and protecting the Chesapeake Bay

The Maryland Nutrient Trading Pro­gram, formed by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Agriculture, is pioneering the use of a market-based trading system to address nitrogen and phosphorus build-ups in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. By assigning a value to the damage cause by water pollution due to rising nutrient levels, farmers are incen­tivized to reduce the pollutants released by their operations. Farmers enrolled in this voluntary program receive credits for their conservation efforts, and sell them at a price that recovers implementation costs and ensures a profit.

Molson Coors
Brewer invests in improving watershed conditions

Leading a collaborative movement among stakeholders from government, business, academia, and more, MolsonCo­ors is helping to improve social and envi­ronmental integrity in Colorado’s Clear Creek Watershed. This movement, known as the Clear Creek Watershed Forum, aims to foster the sharing of knowledge and per­spectives that promote collective action, and supports shared water goals. Molson­Coors has acted as a catalyst and funder for this endeavor, and continues to play an important role in the forum, along with several other related initiatives. As part of this effort, MolsonCoors demonstrates how the private sector can contribute to water-related development goals and improving water security.

South Florida Water Management District
Protecting the Everglades and serving Florida’s residents

The South Florida Water Management District’s ALT4R plan, developed in part­nership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engi­neers, is slated to beneficially affect more than 1.5 million acres in the greater Florida Everglades. The plan, developed as part of the Central Everglades Planning Program, supports the delivery of an average of 200,000 acre-feet per year (675,890m3/d) of additional fresh water to the Everglades, and will reduce the severity of harmful, high-volume discharges, improving salinity in surrounding estuaries.

The District gathered a team of highly qualified and talented natural resource modelers to develop a complex set of numerical simulation programs to iden­tify better ways to distribute water through the massive water management system of south Florida. The plan has received wide­spread accolades from urban water users and the environmental community. The plan thus developed will reduce the poten­tial for fires and provide more sustainable water supplies for all users. This work highlights the critical linkages between the natural and social communities that are supported by sound water management.

The District’s work will have long-lasting positive benefits to the community and natural environment of south Florida, including the national treasure, the Ever­glades National Park. The projects identi­fied by this effort will be implemented over the next 15 years.