Managing Tensions Within the Water-Energy-Food Nexus

September 24, 2018

Featured

WEFTEC session to showcase how challenges can drive innovation

Producing both energy and food requires one critical element: water. WEFTEC 2018 will bring together water users, water providers, and water conservationists. During Session 101: Exploring the Tensions Within the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, on Oct. 1, professionals representing food, energy, and environmental groups will gather to discuss the management of various needs for water in a community.

“Collectively we need to view water as a resource integrated with other needs and the nexus as a driver for innovation,” said Will Sarni, session speaker. “The energy-water-food nexus is a driver for innovation in technology, partnerships, financing, and business models.”

Water is the foundation for both energy and food production. Tensions rise within the water-energy-food nexus as populations increase and freshwater supply fluctuates with climate change. A panel of speakers will discuss the nexus, steps to manage common challenges, and areas where tensions have driven new business decisions.

“The nexus is an opportunity for innovation and to move beyond business as usual,” Sarni said. “Silo strategies for water, energy, and agriculture are no longer viable as the demands for these resources increase.”

The interactive session will feature an introduction and overview, presentations from guest speakers, and an interactive panel discussion. Speakers will be asked to define the nexus; address how water supplies can be allocated among municipal, agricultural, and industrial needs; explain management of different sources of energy with minimal effect on the economy and environment; and describe how food systems can become more resilient.

Will Sarni is founder and CEO of The Water Foundry (Denver). Photo courtesy of Sarni.

Will Sarni is founder and CEO of The Water Foundry (Denver). Photo courtesy of Sarni.

Session speakers will include

  • Sarni, founder and CEO of The Water Foundry (Denver), who has authored numerous papers and books on the water-energy-food nexus;

 

 

 

 

Brandy M. Wilson is sustainability director for J.R. Simplot Co. (Boise, Idaho). Photo courtesy of Wilson.

Brandy M. Wilson is sustainability director for J.R. Simplot Co. (Boise, Idaho). Photo courtesy of Wilson.

 

  • Brandy M. Wilson, sustainability director for J.R. Simplot Co. (Boise, Idaho), who works to develop and maintain a sustainability program for the agribusiness firm;

 

 

 

Gopi Sandhu isdirector of sustainable operations at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. (St. Louis). Photo courtesy of Sandhu.

Gopi Sandhu is director of sustainable operations at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. (St. Louis). Photo courtesy of Sandhu.

 

  • Gopi Sandhu, director of sustainable operations at Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. (St. Louis), who promotes sustainable manufacturing practices throughout the company’s North American operations;

 

 

 

David Marrs is senior wastewater technologist at Valero Energy Corp. (San Antonio, Texas). Photo courtesy of Marrs.

David Marrs is senior wastewater technologist at Valero Energy Corp. (San Antonio, Texas). Photo courtesy of Marrs.

 

  • David Marrs, senior wastewater technologist at Valero Energy Corp. (San Antonio, Texas), who oversees wastewater-related projects at 15 oil refineries in the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom; and

 

 

 

 

Karl Rockne is the director of the environmental engineering program for the National Science Foundation. Photo courtesy of Rockne.

Karl Rockne is the director of the environmental engineering program for the National Science Foundation. Photo courtesy of Rockne.

 

  • Karl Rockne, director of the environmental engineering program for the National Science Foundation, who manages a research portfolio that exceeds $50 million.

This session will be one of the five plenary sessions taking place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Oct. 1. Other featured WEFTEC 2018 sessions include

Browse other events by focus area, and prepare to attend by reading the WEF Highlights article “Coming to WEFTEC 2018? Get All the Information You Need Here.”

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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