Lake Michigan is Chicago’s pride and joy. Chicago and the region have a long relationship with our lakefront and the Chicago River.

Our water has driven our economy, made us a destination for visitors, and ensured we have an adequate water supply. From reversing the Chicago River to building the deep tunnel, managing water has been a driver for Chicago to innovate and reinvent our world.

The world is increasingly recognizing that our relationship with water is changing. This is driven by urbanization, climate change, use of energy, intensification of agriculture, and aging infrastructure. As the West is suffering from severe droughts, Chicago has experienced increased flooding.

Using science, technology, public policy, social networks, and investment, we can develop solutions that both improve our quality of life and enhance our economy. In the future, we will reuse water. This will create opportunities to attract industry that requires a reliable water supply. This is a job creator. We will develop new technologies to support water-intensive industries. This will help us create new companies from our great research institutions. We will improve our environment by recovery value from what is perceived as waste stream, and by decreasing discharges.

This panel discussion, presented by Chicago Council on Science and Technology, will feature three speakers from the region with distinct areas of expertise:

Debra Shore is a Commissioner on the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Debra has been a strong advocate for cleaning up the Chicago waterways and for resource recovery, including the reuse of treated water and the generation and use of biogas. Shore serves on the board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund, was the founding editor of Chicago Wilderness Magazine, is an active volunteer restoring prairies and oak woods in the forest preserves, and was a founding board member of Friends of the Forest Preserves. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD with a degree in Philosophy & Visual Arts, and earned Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Columbia College (Chicago).

Aaron Packman is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Northwestern University. His research focuses on water resources and the interaction of water, sediments, and microorganisms. Important applications of his work include nutrient and carbon dynamics, water quality and contamination, ecosystem degradation and restoration, and waterborne disease transmission. Dr. Packman has received several major awards for his work, including Career awards from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, the Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair award for research and teaching at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

Seth Snyder is the leader of a new water initiative at Argonne National Laboratory. He has developed and worked on leading technology and engineering in renewable energy, water, and energy efficiency. Snyder has published over 50 papers and 17 patents, and has received three R&D100 awards and an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He has adjunct and fellow appointments at Northwestern University and University of Chicago.

Discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at a discounted rate.

Hughes auditorium is easily accessible via public transportation.

Cost: Free

Areas of Focus: Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.