Expert Panel to Discuss "The Industry of Water"

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

OK, so perhaps that's a bit dramatic, but water supplies are a growing concern, especially in parts of the US where the population is growing and the water supply is shrinking. Green business guru Joel Makower noted in a post last year on Two Steps Forward that "The world’s freshwater supply is at risk and the question is when and where, not whether, there will be major droughts or shortages that could have a major disruptive effect on business and society." Couple that with a growing global population, and we realize quickly that water concerns should be as high, if not higher, on the public agenda as energy supply issues.

This Thursday, Makower will be hosting a panel discussion with a range of experts on water supply titled "The Industry of Water: Future of an Essential Supply Chain." According to the event's announcement, the discussion will focus on how to harness the entrepreneurial spirit and technological know-how of "companies with a Silicon Valley mindset" to address the shortage of this necessary resource. The experts taking part in the discussion are:

  • Jared Huffman, Senior attorney with NRDC's western water project

  • Bill Kocher, Santa Cruz City Water Director

  • Dr. Shihab Kuran, Sanabelle Water CEO & Enpar Vice-Chairman

  • Eric van Gestel, Enverity Corporation, President and CEO

  • Slav W. Hermanowicz, Professor, UC Berkeley

  • The Aquaya Institute's Ranjiv Khush

  • Bill Reilly,President & CEO of Aqua International Partners; former EPA administrator (invited)
The participants will focus on water supply issues in California, but there's no doubt that the ideas presented in this discussion will have repercussions for the whole American West, and other parts of the world suffering from water shortages. Certainly some will also have questions about the very concept of a "water industry," with its implications of private control of a public resource, so be prepared for a lively discussion.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 on November 2 at Palo Alto Research's George E.Pake Audiotorium. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door, with reduced prices for students. Registration is available here (recommended), and directions to the Palo Alto Research Center are here. The event is sponsored by the MIT Club of Northern California Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Program. Thanks to Lara Abrams at Lara Abrams Communications for the "heads up."