Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

Water innovation and equitable outcomes in a post-COVID era

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The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the critical role that drinking water and wastewater systems play in protecting human health, but it also highlights long standing inequities. Good hygiene is foundational in fighting the spread of the virus. But it’s hard to wash your hands when you don’t have access to clean water. 3 billion people, 40% of the world’s population, lack access to this basic human right. That’s only part of the problem, nearly a billion people experience only partial access or regular shutoff when they do have piped water. And millions are at risk for total shutoffs as they no longer can afford their bills. 

Zoom into the United States – more than 2.2 million Americans lack access to clean running water and basic indoor plumbing. And it’s no accident that these places tend to be communities of color. Be it in rural towns of Kentucky, cities like Flint and Detroit, or SOCAP’s backyard – the Central Valley of California, countless people face this inequity. 

These stories of communities struggling to maintain basic sanitation due to a lack of clean water underscore the need for solutions. We need to think about the technologies, business models, and policies that can create lasting impact for those struggling with access to safe and affordable water in the United States.

Imagine H2O, the global water innovation accelerator and nonprofit, will lead a session on the following: 

  • Brief introductory presentation by Imagine H2O around the water’s significance to public health and community resilience
  • A panel conversation between experts around opportunities and barriers to equity and access in the United States 
  • Roundtable discussion with panelists and attendees on how to harness, amplify, and invest in solutions to water access and equity

Confirmed Panelists

Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O

Unconfirmed Panelists

Catherine Flowers, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

Orianna Bretschger, Aquacycl

Lynn Broaddus, Broadview Solutions

Laurel Firestone, California State Water Resources Control Board

Margaret Bowman, Spring Point Partners

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