The summit will be held April 7 to 8, 2014 in Paris
The theme of the 2014 Global Water Summit is “Water for Growth” reflecting the fact that water is not just necessary to facilitate economic expansion, but can also, through productivity gains, be an engine of growth in itself. New technologies, better operational practices and inspired leadership are significant factors in creating greater security and success for cities and for businesses.
The Global Water Summit - Water for Growth  convenes at the Marriott Rive Gauche hotel in Paris, France, April 7 to 8, 2014. Hosted by Global Water Intelligence and the International Desalination Assn., the conference is the major annual business meeting for international water leaders and top executives from water-using industries.
Key speakers include guest counter-insurgency expert Dr. David Kilcullen, CEO, Caerus Associates. Kilcullen, an ex-soldier with first-hand experience of conflict, now runs a strategic design consultancy focussing on the overlapping problems of conflict, climate change, energy, health and governance. He will argue that access to water is one of the forces shaping the future of armed conflict and will explain the threats to our communities.
David Korenfeld, water industry speaker (to be confirmed), is director of the Comisión Nacional del Agua (CONAGUA) in Mexico, where its fast growing economy is putting severe pressure on limited water resources. He will outline strategies and remedies that are relevant worldwide.
William Ambrose, head of global risk with Norges Bank Investment Management, will explain why one of the world’s largest investors wants corporations to pay more attention to water.
Gail Klintworth, chief sustainability officer with Unilever, will speak about making a business out of being good: can big corporations align environmental commitment with growing profitability?
“Most businesses operating in the international water sector are still finding the market harder than it was before the crash,” said Christopher Gasson, publisher of Global Water Intelligence magazine. “That’s because competition has increased in their traditional markets, while the growth opportunities have moved to new areas.”
The summit is devoting a major part of its program to water in industry, inviting participants from food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, energy and other water-using industries. Throughout the agenda they will be invited to share key initiatives that could lead to sustainability programmes adding value rather than draining the bottom line. In addition to the water stewardship challenge, the summit will introduce a new initiative, the 'Zero Impact Project,' in which participants will play a key part in the project’s development. Other topics will include industrial wastewater in China, water management in mining and wastewater and reuse in Latin America.
Other items on the two-day program are the Water Technology Idol competition for emerging technologies, 40 round-table sessions and individual networking meetings.
The summit’s aim—to connect the private and public sectors and include all businesses that depend on water—will provide some clarity for executives struggling with less budget, increased regulation and urgent development targets.
“It is an exciting time, but also a confusing time," Gasson said. “The opportunities are now in unconventional oil and gas, Africa’s economic renaissance, emerging markets which have long since out-grown their legacy infrastructure, new financial models, and new approaches to performance in the utility sector. The Global Water Summit in Paris is there to help you make sense of the future, and to ensure that you are part of it.”