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American Water Summit convened in Denver

Jacque Hinman provides opening remarks on innovation and sustainable water solutions

More than 400 senior executives, thought leaders and practitioners from the public and private sectors, along with top decision makers from water, energy, finance, technologies and cities came to Denver, Colorado, October 20-21, for the American Water Summit—discussing the business of water. Sponsored by Global Water Intelligence, the American Water Summit has become the premier water conference in North America.

CH2M Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jacque Hinman, together with Richard Adkerson, Chief Executive Officer, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., General Manager, City & County of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), provided remarks on innovation, technology, public outreach and the importance of managing our world’s water resources, during the summit’s opening plenary.

Taking attendees through a world water tour of projects that CH2M has worked with visionary clients to implement, Hinman highlighted how CH2M has contributed to the water industry, providing scalable solutions to advance sustainable water management. Key topics Hinman covered include the water cycle, public private partnerships, technology innovation, sustainable water management and reuse, as well as public outreach through our involvement with the Value of Water Coalition, WateReuse Research Foundation, WaterMatch and more.

“It’s not just enough to work on exemplary projects across the municipal and industrial sectors,” said Hinman. “It’s also about sharing, scaling and paying it forward to protect and effectively manage our water resources.”

Citing examples from Lake Tahoe, Denver Water, with their Direct Potable Reuse Demonstration Project, as well as Singapore’s NEWater project and others, Hinman demonstrated how these projects and clients have been used as models for the rest of the world to ensure communities have access to clean water supplies.

Following Hinman, Freeport’s Adkerson spoke on the company’s experience in managing water—sharing how Freeport has come to be a leader in prioritizing good water stewardship in the mining sector by working closely with the local communities where it operates. Through landmark projects in Peru, Colorado, Arizona and elsewhere, Freeport- McMoRan Inc. is committed to sustainable water management through efficient use of water, recycling and reusing water and identifying alternative water supplies. Adkerson commented on one of the best aspects of his job and that is seeing progress being made in communities where Freeport operates.

In closing, SFPUC’s Kelly shared how his utility has become a “Utility of the Future” through its environmental stewardship, being a world-class employer and a good neighbor to its surrounding communities, and by being a pioneer on innovative technology. One of the critical issues facing San Francisco, like so many other utilities in the nation, is its aging infrastructure. Undertaking projects to rebuild its water and sewer system, SFPUC has made the decision to re-invest in capital programs, like its Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP). Taking a holistic approach, SFPUC is not only looking at the technical components and infrastructure needs of its city, but has made public outreach a key success factor in its programs. Harlan played the SSIP video, “You Can’t Live a Day Without Me”, which was created to raise awareness on the value of the city’s aging infrastructure, which was well received by the audience.

From the opening plenary presentations during the American Water Summit, it’s clear that water is a global issue and one that our top water leaders and utility managers were pleased to discuss as the summit sessions continue this week.

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