2018 Water Symposium Speaker Presentations

2018 Water Symposium Header

Cultivating Water Stewardship Presentation Descriptions
Embracing North Carolina’s water future

8:40 – 9:30 a.m.Opening Keynote Address
Quenching the Thirst of 3 Million More North Carolinians
Dr. Mike Walden, NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Where will the water come from for the additional 3.5 million people North Carolina is expected to add through 2050? At current rates of water use, this will mean 5.6 billion more gallons of water will be used in the state in 2050 compared to 2010. How will the state address the challenge? Reduce demand? Increase supply? What roles do increasing water efficiency and pricing have to play in meeting the challenge? As one of the country’s most respected economists, Mike will address these questions and provide you with a snapshot of how to position your company, utility or development project to meet the future.

9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
How will North Carolina Meet its Water Challenges?
Linwood Peele, Supervisor, Water Supply Planning Branch, NC Department of Environmental Quality, Raleigh, NC

North Carolina has been proactive in managing its water supplies using a number of tools, from conserving resources through statewide water conservation measures in times of drought to innovative water pricing implemented at the municipal level. As head of NCDEQ’s Water Supply Planning Branch, Linwood is in a unique position to provide a high level overview of how the state intends to meet water challenges in the future. He’ll address the big picture of the state’s water supply options and provide insights for businessmen, planners and designers to consider as they map a water strategy to meet the state’s growth through local regional and site level projects.

10:35 – 11:25 a.m.
The Georgia Experience, a Cautionary Tale
Chris Butts, Executive Director Georgia Green Industry Association, Epworth, GA

Multiple droughts in the recent past, limited natural water resources and a dynamic, growing economy all converge in the state of Georgia to create a labyrinthine network of special interests, regulation, jurisdictions and legal challenges. Yet in light of the challenges, Georgia’s green industry has fostered successful collaborations and partnerships. The results are that Georgians, especially those in the Atlanta region, are using less water and focused on conservation and the green industry is part of that. As a result, Georgia has avoided costly widespread water bans despite continuing drought conditions in recent years. Chris will tell the story, sharing the good and bad.

12:35 – 1:05 p.m.
Update from the Dean
Dr. Rich Linton, Dean, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Dean Linton will provide a perspective about how the college has grown over the past 5 years and will talk about some of the new agricultural initiatives that are helping the state of NC.  Dean Linton is shaping the College of Ag & Life Sciences around partnerships to address the issues we face today. NCSU CALS is bringing students, faculty/staff and industry together to grow North Carolina’s agricultural economy and benefit the public.

1:05 – 1:55 p.m.
Thriving in the California Drought by Managing Water in the Landscape
Peter Estournes, Vice President, Gardenworks, Healdsburg, CA

California’s legendary droughts have made national headlines. The landscape industry has been forced to change as the state grapples with the realities of limited water resources. The state’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) mandates water budgets and water efficiency. The landscape industry is in the process of implementing the provisions of MWELO. Peter will talk about how incorporating new thinking about water in the landscape has steered their business economically and created strong ties to their customers and the communities in which they operate.

1:55 – 2:45 p.m.
Florida’s New Water Efficient Landscapes
Dr. Michael Dukes, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

The great news from Florida is that “We can do this” based on Michael’s work with Florida water utilities and the green industry. Obtaining efficiency with landscape irrigation is not only doable, but it’s doable with existing technology. And, it can be done in the face of growth. Florida is discovering that homeowners will pay more for homes with water efficient landscapes. Michael will share data from landscapes using smart controllers as well as the state’s Florida Friendly Landscapes and Florida Water Star programs.

3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Putting it All to Work at Duke University
Jim Gaston, Director Duke Smart Home and Assistant Dean Pratt School of Engineering, Ryan Lavinder, Civil Engineer, Duke University, Durham, NC

Duke University is committed to a sound water future as part of their master sustainability plan. The campus’ iconic landscape and world class education programs are part of that commitment. This session will include presentation of the Duke Smart Home, an interdisciplinary laboratory for undergraduates to live and learn to use smart home technology. The facility’s landscape puts into practice the terminology smart water, through collecting and using rainwater as driven by technology. The Duke Campus itself features a number of water saving landscapes and rainwater harvest practices. The range includes everything from an innovative 6-acre pond that captures stormwater, reduces the university’s water needs and provides wildlife habitat to award winning new construction designed for low water use and stormwater capture. Jim and Ryan will share insights on what a sustainable water future could look like at the residential and institutional scale.

3:50 – 4:40 p.m.
Recognizing the Value of the Landscape
Dr. Mark Schmidt, Principal Scientist and Manager of Global University Relations, John Deere, Moline, IL

Landscapes and the landscape industry have broad and diverse value providing many economic, social and environmental contributions. Yet this value is often overlooked and unrecognized. With proper design, construction and management, landscapes can be true sustainability solutions with many positive outcomes achievable through effective and efficient input use and management. Mark will help the audience understand how current and future industry regulatory, business and societal pressures can be shaped to create a sustainable industry future rooted in measurable value. Innovation in inputs and management can help to create value where the landscape is viewed holistically. New language and value frameworks gaining traction in other sectors will offer means to reach broader audiences – terms like natural capital and ecosystems services that refer to and describe the measurable contributions of the many economic, environmental and societal benefits of the landscape.