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Keynote Speakers

Monday, May 22, 2023 | 9:00 am   9:30 am

Honorable Sri Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama RaoHonorable Sri Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao

Minister for IT, MA&UD, Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana, Hyderabad 

KT Rama Rao is an Honorable Minister in the Government of Telangana, India for Information Technology, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, Mines & Geology, Public Enterprises and NRI Affairs. Under his leadership, the Government of Telangana has undertaken an ambitious $6 billion Telangana Water Grid Project, also known as Mission Bhaghiratha, to provide drinking water to about 30 million people in the state. As the Minister of IT and Industries, he has been highly successful in attracting large investments to Hyderabad city from several top blue chip companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. He is the architect of several initiatives and policies to promote smart technologies, E-governance, digital empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Mr. KT Rama Rao holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and has two post-graduate degrees, M.Sc in Biotechnology from University of Pune and MBA in Marketing & E-commerce from Baruch College, City University of New York.  After completing his MBA, before joining full-time in politics in India, Mr. KT Rama Rao worked in the US IT industry from 2001-2006. He has won many accolades from leaders across the cross sections of the industry for dynamism, vision, and making Telangana one of the most investor-friendly states of India.  He has been awarded Most Inspirational Icon of the Year 2015 by CNN-IBN and Ritz Magazine, and is one of the most sought out political leaders of India.

Monday, May 22, 2023 | 9:30 am 10:00 am

David GadisDavid Gadis

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & General Manager, DC Water 

David Gadis serves as CEO and General Manager of DC Water, overseeing a $1 billion dollar annual budget, a workforce of approximately 1,200 employees, and the largest Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in the world that provides services for nearly 700,000 District residents.

Since taking leadership of the Authority in May 2018, Mr. Gadis has led several transformative initiatives related to environmental justice and water equity. Many of these programs, such as the $2.7 billion Clean Rivers Project, and the Lead Free DC initiative, which will eliminate all lead service lines within the District by 2030, are now a part of the national conversation around water equity.

Under Gadis’ vision, DC Water has emerged as a model for utility resilience and sustainability. In 2019, DC Water became the first utility nationwide to receive the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) designation. In 2021, the Authority was the first utility nationwide to launch an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report. In 2022, DC Water was honored with the Smart Water Project of the Year at the Global Water Summit for the innovative Event Management System (EMS), which enables a faster response time to water emergencies.

Prior to joining DC Water, Mr. Gadis was Executive Vice President of Veolia North America and as CEO and President of Veolia Water Indianapolis. He graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU), with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications. In recognition of his exceptional basketball skills and leadership abilities, Mr. Gadis was inducted to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Monday, May 22, 2023 | 12:15 pm  12:45 pm

"SNWA Infrastructure Investment for Reliable Water Supply: Addressing Low Lake Levels and Climate Change"

David JohnsonDavid Johnson

Deputy General Manager of Operations, Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA)

David L. Johnson is the Deputy General Manager of Operations at the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority.

Mr. Johnson has been with the organization since 2004 and manages five departments with more than 600 employees within the Water Quality & Treatment; Operations; Information Technology; Human Resources; and Environmental, Health and Safety and Corporate Security departments. These departments are primarily responsible for the protection, treatment, and distribution of millions of gallons of safe drinking water within Southern Nevada to 2.2 million residents and visitors every day.

With over 30 years of experience in management relating to water supply, water quality and treatment, and chemical manufacturing in Nevada and New York, David brings innovative and forward-thinking initiatives to Southern Nevada’s water system. Mr. Johnson utilizes his knowledge in identifying solutions and launching pilot and full-scale projects to manage key operations of the organization.

Mr. Johnson serves as Chairman of the Board for WaterStart, a non-profit organization connecting innovative technology companies with global water agencies seeking solutions to enhance operations. David is also a member of the American Water Works Association, WateReuse Association, American Public Works Association, Water Environment Federation, International Ozone Association and Nevada Water Resources Association.

David earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and maintains Level 4 Water Treatment and Level 4 Distribution certifications from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

David and his wife, Lisa, have lived in southern Nevada for nearly 25 years where they raised four children.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | 8:45 am 9:45 am

"Water Industry Leaders Panel"

Carol HaddockCarol Haddock, P.E.

Director, Houston Public Works 

Carol Ellinger Haddock, P.E., is the Director of Houston Public Works, the largest American Public Works Association Accredited Public Works Department in the United States. Houston Public Works is responsible for streets and drainage, production and distribution of water, collection and treatment of wastewater, and permitting and regulation of public and private construction. The Department has over 3,900 employees and an annual budget of $2.3 billion.

Carol has an extensive background managing capital engineering projects and programs and has worked for the City of Houston for thirteen years.

Carol is a licensed Professional Engineer and currently serves on the Board of Direction for the American Society of Civil Engineers. Carol graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Rice University and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Houston.

John EntsmingerJohn Entsminger

General Manager Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority

John Entsminger is the general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which serves nearly 380,000 customer accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for providing water to local agencies that collectively serve 2 million residents and 40 million annual visitors.

Prior to taking the helm of these agencies in early 2014, Entsminger was instrumental in the development of several groundbreaking regional and international water agreements. He has been appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve as Nevada’s lead negotiator on Colorado River matters. Active in several national water associations, Entsminger serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and The Water Research Foundation, and is a Trustee of the Desert Research Institute Foundation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | 12:15 pm  12:45 pm  

"Rethinking Our Water Systems: Perspectives from A Researcher With an Extraterrestrial Past"

Jay GarlandJay L. Garland, Ph.D.

Division Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory

Dr. Jay L. Garland joined the EPA’s Office of Research and Development in 2011. Dr. Garland received a Ph.D. in Environment Science from the University of Virginia and spent over 20 years working on NASA’s efforts to develop closed, bioregenerative life support systems for extended human spaceflight. NASA recognized him for innovative technical achievements four separate times. He has worked on a range of topics, including methods for microbial community analysis, factors affecting survival of human associated pathogens, and various biological approaches for recycling wastes.

Dr. Garland has completed visiting fellowships and professorships at the Institute for Environment Sciences in Japan, the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. His current efforts focus on advancing innovative approaches to water infrastructure, including decentralized water reuse, and mitigating risks associated with antimicrobial resistance in the water cycle.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 8:30 am 8:50 am  

"Challenges & Climate Issues for the Engineering Community"

Climate change is already contributing to the disruption of electrical distribution systems; overtaxed water and stormwater infrastructure; flooded neighborhoods, roads and transportation systems; deterioration of bridges and pipelines; and the premature failure of dams and other critical infrastructure. As sea levels rise, intensifying precipitation, increasing temperatures, and other extreme weather-related events affect America’s infrastructure at an accelerating rate, it is the duty of the engineering community to meet this challenge through our policies, planning, and professional practice in collaboration with other built environment (public agencies, regulators, owners, planners, designers, constructors, operators and maintainers, and users) stakeholders.

Chris StoneChris Stone, P.E., F.NSPE, F.ASCE, LEED AP

Senior Principal, CLARK NEXSEN

Chris has over 45 years of professional experience in the development, leadership, fiscal management, and strategic direction of a diverse group of architects and engineers at Clark Nexsen. For the last 20 years, Chris served as Clark Nexsen’s President and CEO. Chris recently retired but continues to consult with the firm as the Senior Principal for Sustainability and Resiliency at Clark Nexsen.

Chris works to further develop and define “sustainability and resiliency” for all Clark Nexsen’s projects, to inform our clients about climate change, sea level rise, increased precipitation, and temperatures (heat island impacts), pandemics and the impact on our infrastructure, communities, the built environment, and their occupants.

Chris serves on the Virginia Joint Subcommittee on Recurrent Flooding and the Virginia Professional Engineer’s Licensure Board and served as the 2011-2012 National President for the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Chris also serves on the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, a group of prominent civil engineers from across the country, who advise the ASCE Board of Direction. Chris has a BSCE from Virginia Military Institute and a MSCE from the University of Virginia.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 12:30 pm  1:00 pm  

"Doing Our Part:  Meeting Water Demands in the Face of Scarcity"

Doa RossDoa Ross, P.E.

Deputy General Manager of Engineering at the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority

Doa Ross is the Deputy General Manager of Engineering for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority.  Ross joined the organization in 2000 and throughout her career she has been instrumental in the design and construction of critical water infrastructure, asset management, expansions in support of development, and ensuring system reliability for southern Nevada’s residents and visitor population.

In her current capacity, she is responsible for executing the design and construction of the critical water projects included in the Water Authority’s Major Construction and Capital Program and the District’s Capital Improvement Plan.  Ross has a passion for innovation in the areas of smart water technology and water loss management and incorporates innovative solutions into the projects and management of the system. Her departments include Engineering, Infrastructure Management and Customer Care & Field Services.

Ross graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is a licensed professional engineer and has served on multiple committees and boards in the areas of innovation, engineering design, construction best practices and materials performance.

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