/ Announcement / The American Water Summit 2018, Philadelphia: Crafting America’s Water Future

The American Water Summit 2018, Philadelphia: Crafting America’s Water Future

Parul Dubey on August 8, 2018 - in Announcement, Events

Global Water Intelligence (GWI) has announced the theme for the American Water Summit, taking place in Philadelphia on October 24th – 26th 2018. With the systems that have worked for the North American water sector for the past 40 years being more vulnerable than ever, the American Water Summit 2018 will focus on ‘Inspiring Innovation’ and answer the question: What is next?

The American Water Summit 2018 hosts C-suite executives from across the industry to talk frankly about money and water, and how the two combine with innovation and leadership to create strategy. This makes it a unique event in the North American industry. AWS is a space where the decision makers and thought leaders join the dialogue that will shape water’s future. It is a compelling discussion for all of the industry’s key participants: utilities leaders, engineers, technology suppliers, service providers, and investors.

Now in its 9th year, the American Water Summit is long-established as the most valuable networking and business development conference for senior executives working within the North American water sector. Experts from across the sector join GWI in Philadelphia to discuss the vital question of what comes next. 

Kicking off the American Water Summit is the headline opening plenary with keynote speaker Rich Karlgaard, Editor-at-Large and Global Futurist at Forbes Magazine, alongside David Ross, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Water, and David Gadis of DC Water.

Rich Karlgaard is one of the most influential figures in the technology, economic and business worlds, and helps businesses see the global marketplace with new eyes. Rich is the thought leader that Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and national associations turn to for a reliable roadmap of what’s to come. With the American water sector on the verge of significant structural change, Rich Karlgaard is set to reveal a prospective and comprehensive analysis of the disruptive forces that are reshaping the water industry. In his biweekly Forbes column, “Innovation Rules,” he provides an honest and incisive assessment on a broad range of emerging issues; his keynote address at The American Water Summit 2018 will aptly set the tone for this year’s theme, ‘Inspiring Innovation.’

GWI’s Publisher, Christopher Gasson, notes that “This year’s agenda is particularly urgent” as innovation in finance, technology and governance will be critical to continued growth and success, particularly in light of the economic vulnerability at the heart of the water sector. Across three strands, the agenda will address the delicate balance between driving innovation and change within the industry and the need to maintain efficiency and stability.

With a variety of panels, sessions, roundtables, and networking opportunities from public and private water industry leaders, the American Water Summit looks to answer the questions of how to encourage creativity while maintaining efficiency, embrace new technology without sacrificing stability, challenge the status quo without endangering culture and tradition, and balance the difficulty of ageing infrastructure, strained resources and a less predictable climate in the market:

  • While riding high on recent investment growth, there is always the question of how the American water sector will offset its exposure to the next economic down-cycle. How do we establish a sustainable financial model for water utilities?
  • Innovative thinking is required in order to ensure the American water sector gets the technology solutions that it needs for the next five years. What technological solutions will be the most relevant? How can the sector work more closely to create better harmony between technology offerings and end-users’ needs?
  • Water utilities are facing operational threats like never before. From historic flooding and droughts to targeted cyber attacks, cities are beginning to rethink their physical and digital infrastructure to prepare for new extremes. Is adaptive water and wastewater infrastructure the answer to a less predictable climate? 


The AWS pre-conference workshop, held October 24th, will focus on ‘Accelerating the digital utility: Making procurement, return on investment, and objectives work for water’. With former DC Water General Manager George Hawkins in the chair and with international utility leaders from the UK, Canada and Australia joining the discussion alongside some of the most dynamic US utility leaders, this event will shape the way digital water services are rolled out in the US and beyond. This half day workshop brings together some of the world’s most respected utility leaders to work with key vendors in the sector to address the obstacles to implementation. 


The goal of The American Water Summit 2018 is to bring together bold leaders who have inspired and driven innovation by turning adversity into opportunity and who can provide a perspective on the roadmap for the future. Speakers will address and debate the variety of issues and opportunities that arise when innovation meets the challenging and ever-changing nature of the water industry. Delegates at the American Water Summit 2018 will hear from CEOs, CTOs and government officials, alongside a variety of other senior decision makers from across the industry:


Allan Connolly, President, Aclara and Divisional Vice President, Hubbell Power Systems

David Gadis, General Manager and CEO, DC Water

Eric Gernath, CEO, Suez – North America

Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager, Denver Water

Erin Mahoney, Commissioner of Environmental Services, The Regional Municipality of York

Sue Murphy, CEO, Water Corporation, Australia 

Katherine Oven, Deputy Operating Officer, Water Utility Capital Divison, Santa Clara Valley Water District

Robert R. Puente, President/CEO, San Antonio Water System

Dave Ross, Assistant Administrator, The Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Andrew D. Seidel, CEO and Chairman, UGSI Solutions, Inc

Cindy Wallis-Lage, President of Water Business, member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Black & Veatch


Early bird registration for the American Water Summit 2018 ends August 10th. There are just a few days left to book a place at the reduced early bird rate, which will save delegates $395. To book your place, visit www.americanwatersummit.com/booking

Find out more about the American Water Summit 2018 here: www.americanwatersummit.com

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