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Water and Climate – What COP27 Means For You

November 16, 2022 @ 8:30 am - 2:00 pm EST


In November, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation hosted the COP27 Water Pavilion in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.

On Wednesday, November 16th the Reservoir Center for Water Solutions hosted its own “Water and Climate” pavilion highlighting the importance of COP27 to the water sector.
The event featured a cross-section of water stakeholders – including Water Utilities from Europe and the Americas – and Administration officials live from Sharm El Sheik highlighting the importance of water in COP27 discussions as well as the latest trends for climate resilience and mitigation in the water sector.



See the various sessions below:

9:00 – 9:30 AM (EST)  I  3:00 – 3:30 PM (CET)  I  Opening Session: What is COP and what does it mean for water?

  • Welcome and Reservoir Overview: Josh Mahan, Director Government and Industry Relations Regulatory Affairs, Xylem
  • Welcome and Overview of the Day: Austin Alexander, Vice President Sustainability, Xylem
  • Live from Sharm El-Sheik, Opening Remarks: Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior

Watch the opening remarks


9:30 – 10:30 AM (EST)  I  3:30 – 4:30 PM (CET)  I  EU Utility Panel – Climate mitigation and adaptation for Water Utilities: European Priorities for Future-Proof Services

Under recent extreme weather events across the EU and changes in regulatory frameworks, leading European Water Utilities have started to implement ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation plans to adapt their infrastructure and operation with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission and building resilience in their water services.  Commitments to carbon neutrality, elimination of sanitary overflows, and reduction of water losses are some of the additional objectives that stretch Water Utilities today, but that will secure sustainable water and wastewater services across the EU tomorrow.  Leaders across Europe collaborate daily to plan, validate, implement, and verify the endless legislative, financial, and technical opportunities to secure the path to success.

In this panel, Water Utility leaders, Policy Makers, and Solution Suppliers will share knowledge and experience to bring about faster implementation.

Moderator: Alexis de Kerchove, Senior Director Europe Client Sustainability, Xylem Europe


  • Hans Goossens, CEO, De Watergroep, Belgium; President, Water Europe
  • Ruben Fernandes, CEO, Águas e Energia do Porto, Portugal
  • Mads Leth, CEO, VCS Denmark
  • Norbert Jardin, CEO, Ruhrverband, Germany
  • Veronica Manfredi, Director for Zero Pollution and Green Cities, European Commission

Watch the EU utility panel conversation.


10:45 – 11:45 AM (EST)  I  4:45 – 5:45 PM (CET)  I  Quick Pitches & Live from Sharm El-Sheik

  • White Paper: Tallulah Lutkin, Utility Performance Editor, Global Water Intelligence
  • Climate Smart Utilities: Daniela Bemfica, Strategic Programmes & Engagement Director, International Water Association
  • Nature-Based Solutions for Rivers and Wetlands: Jeff Opperman, Global Freshwater Lead Scientist, World Wildlife Fund US
  • Claire Seaward, Global Campaigns, Water Aid

Watch the quick pitches


11:45 AM – 12:45 PM (EST)  I  5:45 – 6:45 PM (CET)  I  Innovative Technology for Utility Decarbonization Panel

Moderator: Austin Alexander, Vice President Sustainability, Xylem


  • Morgan Brown, Senior Program Manager, U.S. Water Alliance
  • Piers Clark, Chairman, Isle Group
  • Hardeep Anand, Director, One Water Strategy at Miami-Dade County 
  • Greg Fogel, Director of Government Affairs and Policy, WateReuse Association  

Watch the Innovative Technology for Utility Decarbonization session


12:45 – 1:00 PM (EST)  I  6:45 – 7:00 PM (CET)  I  Closing remarks

Live from Sharm El-Sheik: Dave Keating, Energy Monitor

Watch the closing comments

Event Speakers

Tanya Trujillo

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior

Tanya Trujillo is a water lawyer with more than 20 years of experience working on complex natural resources management issues and interstate and transboundary water agreements. She most recently worked as a project director with the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign. Before then, she served as the Executive Director of the Colorado River Board of California. She has served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at Interior. A native New Mexican, Tanya attended Stanford University and the University of Iowa College of Law.

Water Europe

Hans Goossens

De WatergroepCEO, De Watergroep, Belgium; President, Water Europe

Hans Goossens is CEO of De Watergroep since Jan 1, 2017. He is leading Belgium’s largest public water company through a major transformation. Before he has been working in the global fertilizer industry for almost 25 years, in different roles and countries. Throughout his professional journey, Hans became passionate about sustainable development of business and society, in particular in relation to the global water challenge. Hans serves as President of Water Europe, a membership based organization promoting water-related innovation in Europe, since June 2022.

Aguas de Porto

Ruben Fernandes

CEO, Águas e Energia do Porto, Portugal

As the CEO of Águas e Energia do Porto, Ruben Fernandes in charge of the areas of urban water cycle, energy, information systems, lab testing and strategic planning. He is also an Invited Lecturer at the School of Economics and Management of the University of Porto. His previous experience is weighted towards urban and regional development across private, government and higher education sectors. He got his master’s degree in Economics and his doctorate degree in Civil Engineering, both at the University of Porto.

VCS Denmark

Mads Leth

CEO, VCS Denmark

I’ve been the CEO of VCS Denmark since 2017 but has been with the company since 2008. I have more than 25 years of experience in management and leadership from both private industry and public utility.
VCS Denmark is a progressive frontrunner utility in water and wastewater focusing on sustainable operation and capital investments. Recently, the company developed a very ambitious strategy focusing on absolute sustainability incorporating UNs sustainable goals as a core part of the business strategy.

Prof. Norbert Jardin

CEO, Ruhrverband, Germany

Norbert Jardin graduated from Darmstadt University of Technology and received a Ph.D in Civil Engineering. Since 2007 he holds a honorary professorship and teaches wastewater engineering. After heading the planning department at Ruhrverband for nearly 20 years he was appointed as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2016 and 2019 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ruhrverband.

Veronica Manfredi

Director for Zero Pollution and Green Cities, European Commission

Veronica Manfredi is the Director for Zero Pollution (former Directorate Quality of Life) in DG Environment since February 2018.

Her Directorate plays a pivotal role in leading Europe towards Zero-Pollution and securing an effective management of Water – it thus significantly contributes to tackle the Climate, Biodiversity and Circular Economy challenges. It is indeed responsible for EU policies on Clean and Well-Managed Water (including the protection all EU Freshwater and Marine environments, water reuse, prevention from Floods, compliance with high health standards for Drinking Water), Clean Air, Environmental Noise, control on Industrial Emissions and prevention of Industrial Accidents. It also steers on the sound implementation of the Green City Accord which, in synergy with the Smart Cities Mission, the Covenant of Mayors and other urban initiatives, aims at tangibly delivering on the European Green Deal goals at local level.

Internationally, her team leads the EU negotiations within the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury and the UN Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. It also provides steady support to the work of the four Regional Sea Conventions (notably the HELCOM – Baltic Sea, OSPAR – North Atlantic Sea, Barcelona – Mediterranean Sea, and the Bucharest Conventions – Black Sea) and the International Commissions for the Protection of the Rhine and Danube rivers. In particular, until December 2022, Veronica is the Chair of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine.

A lawyer by background, Veronica deepened her knowledge of International and EU law in Rome, Turin, Kiel, Brugges and Brussels.

Tallulah Lutkin

Utility Performance Editor, Global Water Intelligence  

International Water Association

Daniela Bemfica

Strategic Programmes & Engagement Director, International Water Association

Daniela Bemfica is a civil engineer and holds a master’s degree in Water Resources and Environmental Sanitation. She has worked for over 18 years at the Porto Alegre City Stormwater Department in Brazil, where she coordinated the city Urban Drainage Master Plan and served as Director-General. Daniela is currently the  Director of Strategic Programmes and Engagement at the International Water Association, overseeing the IWA’s Digital Water, Water and Sanitation Services, Cities of the Future, and Basins of the Future programmes.

Jeff Opperman

Global Freshwater Lead Scientist, World Wildlife Fund

As global lead scientist for freshwater, Jeff works across the WWF network and with external partners to direct research that can strengthen conservation strategies and to integrate science into freshwater programs and projects.

Jeff came to WWF from The Nature Conservancy where he served as the director and lead scientist of the Great Rivers Partnership.  His scientific and policy research has been published in journals such as Science, BioScience and Ecological Applications and he is the lead author of the book Floodplains: processes and management for ecosystem services, published in 2017

Jeff strives to communicate the challenges and opportunities of protecting fresh water through op-eds, articles and blog posts in such places as Outside, National Geographic, Grist, and The Guardian, including a 10-part series featured on the New York Times website about traveling with his family down the Mekong River in southeast Asia, exploring the people and conservation issues of that region.  He holds a Ph.D. in ecosystem science from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in biology from Duke University.


Claire Seaward

Global Campaigns, Water Aid

Claire Seaward is WaterAid’s Global Campaigns Director. She has been campaigning for over 20 years alongside disadvantaged and marginalised communities in order to realise human rights.  She has worked in development and humanitarian programmes across the fields of water and sanitation, healthcare and education, climate change, livelihoods, disability rights and refugee rights.  Claire has worked in countries across Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.  Claire began her career working with the UK Disability Rights Commission, then moved to Oxfam as a campaigner for a considerable amount of her career before moving to WaterAid in 2019.

US Water Alliance

Morgan Brown (invited)

Senior Program Manager, U.S. Water Alliance  

Isle Group

Dr. Piers Clark

Chairman, Isle Group

Piers Clark is the founder and chairman of Isle Utilities.

Piers was previously the Managing Director for the private equity fund Global Water Development Partners (GWDP), a Blackstone portfolio company. From 2010-14 he was the Commercial Director at Thames Water, the largest of the UK water companies. Prior to joining Thames Water, Piers was Managing Director for Mouchel, leading a team of 3,000 staff providing engineering consultancy and operational maintenance services in the water, energy, environment and rail sectors.

In 2006, Piers helped establish an innovative funding mechanism for technology companies, called TAG (Technology Approval Group). TAG bridges the gap between venture capital investors and the water company end-users and has resulted in over $1bn being invested in water-related cleantech companies. Piers is a board director for Modern Water plc and OzoInnovations.

Miami-Dade County

Hardeep Anand

Director, One Water Strategy at Miami-Dade County

Mr. Anand is recognized as a transformational executive and a thought leader in integrated water resources management. He has provided thought leadership for operationalizing water resilience in Miami-Dade County through his active engagement with the 100 Resilient Cities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and various other local, national, and international organizations.  He was recently appointed to the position of Director of One Water Strategy by Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. This role focuses on breaking down siloes in water management within County government and across jurisdictions, laying the foundation for a collaborative, integrated approach to water.


Greg Fogel

Director of Government Affairs and Policy, WateReuse Association

Greg Fogel joined the WateReuse Association in January 2019. As Director of Government Affairs and Policy, Greg leads the Association’s federal policy work, including its legislative and regulatory advocacy program. Before joining WateReuse, Greg worked for a decade on agriculture policy issues, including issues related to conservation, water quality, and water quantity. Greg is a native of California, completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Master of Science degree and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Energy Monitor

Dave Keating

Energy Monitor

Dave Keating is an American journalist and conference moderator covering European affairs from Brussels, with a focus on environment and energy. He has also worked for France24 and Forbes.


November 16, 2022
8:30 am - 2:00 pm EST


Reservoir Center
301 Water St SE
Washington, 20003 United States
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