Oct 14, 2008

Nearly 1,200 Attend WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition

Second international conference and expo slated for Oct. 7 to 9, 2009

Nearly 1,200 participants from 42 states and the District of Columbia as well as 17 foreign nations attended the inaugural WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition, Oct. 8 to 10 in Las Vegas.

Presented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense program and other leading national and international organizations, WSI offered 150 professional sessions in a variety of tracks as well as an expo hall featuring nearly 140 exhibitors.

"We're thrilled that such a broad cross-section of disciplines—from water agency officials to elected leaders, landscape professionals, golf course supervisors and water-use consultants—connected to make WSI a success," said Program Chairman Doug Bennett.

"The fact that so many people from such a range of professions came together to discuss the challenges and solutions related to urban water efficiency underscores the conference's goal of sharing ideas and experiences on a global scale," Bennett said.

The conference also featured keynote addresses Oct. 8 by His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Ibn Al-Hussein of Jordan and Oct. 9 by noted climatologist Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, coordinating lead author for the United Nations' Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment.

Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Water, presented the first WaterSense Partner of the Year Awards during the conference's keynote luncheon Oct. 9. Also addressing the conference was U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and SNWA General Manager Pat Mulroy.

Technical tours included visits to Hoover Dam, the Springs Preserve, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and other areas showcasing Southern Nevada's water-efficiency practices and water resources.

Next year's conference will be held Oct. 7 to 9, 2009, at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center. The deadline for submitting abstracts is Jan. 30, 2009. More information is available at www.WaterSmartInnovations.com.

Also partnering with the SNWA on WaterSmart Innovations were the Alliance for Water Efficiency, California Urban Water Conservation Council, the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association, Irrigation Association, American Society of Irrigation Consultants, Audubon Intl., Intl. Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and Intl. Center for Water Technology.