As the rest of the nation marks the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Robert B. Stephan, assistant secretary for Infrastructure Protection for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator, Office of Water for the U.S. EPA, will speak to the fourth Water Security Congress, hosted by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in Washington, D.C., Sept. 10 to 12, 2006.
The Water Security Congress, at Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel, brings together water utility managers from across the country with national security experts, emergency responders and public officials to address the essential need for the continued safety and security of the country’s water supply, our most valuable natural resource.
In his remarks, Stephan will discuss the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and highlight the agency’s collaboration with the water industry through the Water Sector Coordinating Council. Grumbles will provide the EPA’s perspective on the latest issues affecting the water industry.
The Water Security Congress will focus on important water supply issues before, during and after natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other water emergencies. Topics will include mutual aid agreements for water utilities – a growing area of interest in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- monitoring for contaminants, what to do with vulnerability assessments, emergency preparedness exercises and emerging technologies in water security. The Congress will also provide ample opportunity for water industry professionals from across the country to discuss best practices and share ideas about how to better protect the public.