The New York Conference on Water
Fordham University Conference Center
113 W 60th St - Floor 12
July 16, 2014
On the subject of water, New Yorkers are understandably spoiled. Our vast network of reservoirs, aqueducts and tunnels almost effortlessly provides eight million of us with more than a billion gallons of water a day. Among the cleanest water systems on Earth, it is a seemingly inexhaustible resource that we tend to take for granted. But it is finite. As the English sage Thomas Fuller wrote, “We never know the worth of water till the well is dry."
That is a tough message to convey to New Yorkers, who have not experienced a drought in some 30 years. And yet, climate patterns are changing. One-sixth of the world’s population is water stressed. Scientists believe the global supply of fresh water is diminishing. And our local water supply is subject to the risks of pollutants, microorganisms, and the potential effects of fracking.
The New York Conference on Water will explore what New Yorkers can do to preserve and protect this precious resource. It will also examine how water presents the city with opportunities, such as recreation and transportation, as well as risks, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather. Finally, the Conference will discuss the many ways that water has defined New York for centuries as a great international port of trade and as a nexus for immigrants and travelers across the world.
Welcoming Remarks: Tom Dunne, Vice President, Fordham University
I. New York's Water Drinking Supply; Wastewater and Waterways, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
- What are the greatest challenges facing New York’s water and sewage systems now and in the future?
- As the 3rd Water Tunnel nears completion, what major projects should the city undertake in the coming decades?
- What are the most effective strategies for protecting the city’s coastal ecosystems and 520 miles of waterfront?
- Ate Atema (Moderator/Speaker) - Principal, Atema Architecture (Gowanus Restoration Project)
- Paul Gallay - President and Hudson Riverkeeper, Riverkeeper
- Emily Lloyd - Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection of New York City
- Larry Levine, Senior Attorney, Water Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
How can New York optimize the responsible commercial use of its waterways – for trade, commerce and tourism?
Why have New York’s ferries not been as successful as many had hoped?
What are the most practical ways of expanding our ferry system?
How can the city boost ferry ridership and make it affordable?
How can the city enhance recreational public access and use of its waterways?
What are the best new water management technologies on the marketplace, and how can they be integrated into New York’s water system?
- William Castro (Moderator/Speaker) - Manhattan Borough Commissioner, NYC Parks Department
- Frederick A. O. Schwarz - Chairman Emeritus, NRDC; Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore
- Helena Durst - President, New York City Water Taxi; VP, The Durst Organization
- Marcia Bystryn - Executive Director, New York League of Conservation Voters
- What are New York’s greatest vulnerabilities as it faces the prospect of extreme weather and rising sea levels?
- Is New York ready for the next Hurricane Sandy? What must be done to prepare?
- What can we learn from our global neighbors, such as the Netherlands, about water management and risk mitigation?
- Kate Sinding (Moderator/Speaker) - Senior Attorney and Deputy Director, NRDC; Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Board Member
- Jamie Rubin - Director of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Rising Communities Reconstruction Program; former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State
- Arjan Braamskamp- Senior Economic Officer; Portfolio: UN, Climate Adaptation, Water / Delta Management; Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York
- Eric Goldstein - New York City Environment Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Laura Starr, ASLA, LEED AP, Partner, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners PLLC; landscape architects for the BIG Team’s winning "Big U" system to protect Lower Manhattan
Closing Remarks: Honorable Steven Fulop, Mayor, Jersey City, NJ
The New York Conference on Water is produced by SAC Marketing & Consulting with the help of The Natural Resources Defense Council and New York League of Conservation Voters
Thank you to our sponsors: The General Contractors Association of NY and New York Water Taxi
A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to environmental non-profits focused on water conservation in the New York area.
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