International Water Technology Summit

The 4th Annual Water Technology Summit was held on at the Metropolitan Club in Target Field Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. A cool glass of water. It’s what some take for granted and others die for.  While dramatic, unfortunately true.  When those in the water industry get together, the opportunities for impact are many. Below are some of the key issues related to water resources and drivers of the agenda for this year’s summit:
  • Declining availability
  • Increasing demand
  • Declining water quality
  • Inadequate infrastructure
The water technology topics discussed ranged from water reuse, global water opportunities, and smart water technology. This agenda was developed by leaders in the industry including:  Ecolab, Dow Water and Process Solutions, Pentair, Tonak Water, Aeration Industries, Wenck, Faegre Baker Daniels, University of Minnesota, Greater MSP, The MN Trade Office, the U.S. Commercial Service, The Metropolitan Council, U.S. Water, Summit Envirosolutions, Cartwright Consulting and Lenz Consulting.
Keynote presentations were delivered by:
  • Ken Thompson, Global Practice Lead Smart Cities/Smart Sensors and President SWAN Council
  • John Stauch, CFO, Pentair
Specific panel topics included:
  • Water Reuse Panels:  Taking reuse mainstream:  state and industry perspectives
  • U.S Commercial Service:  Global opportunities in water
  • Smart Water Panel:  Intelligent business methodologies to modernize innovation in water
  • University of Minnesota student lightning rounds
Networking was also an important part of the event. I engaged in a variety of interesting conversations with attendees including several of the international presenters, the President of the Finnish American Chamber, a representative the UK Consul, and the President of Uponor North America. This growing network is focused on continuous learning and is driving to create solutions in this critical area.


8:30 am – 9:00 am: Registration & Networking
9:00 am – 10:30 am: Water Reuse Panels: Taking reuse mainstream: state and industry perspectives 
Everyone likes reuse, so how do we get more of it here? Our multi-agency panel shares the results of their 2+ year effort to find opportunities and barriers in Minnesota law and their next steps. Industry representatives have a great deal of experience in areas further along the learning curve and can help us understand the business case challenges their customers to consider and the solutions they’ve implemented to meet these challenges.
  • Steve Woods,Executive Director, Freshwater Society
  • Rebecca J. Flood, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Paul Allwood, Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Kelly Lange-Haider, Dow Water and Process Solutions
  • Blake Schomas,Director of Marketing – Total Plant Assessments
  • Nalco Water, an Ecolab company
11:00 am – 11:45 am: U.S. Commercial Service:  Global Opportunities in Water
  • Monica McFarlane Scott, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Minnesota
Presentations by:
  • China: Aimee Jia,Commercial Assistant U.S. Consulate Guangzhou
  • China: Shiqiao (Sophia) Chen,Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Shanghai
  • Philippines: Bebe Montesines,Commercial Specialist, U.S. Embassy Philippines
  • Singapore: Chan Yiu Kei,Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Embassy Singapore
  • India: Arup Mitra,Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Kolkata
  • New Zealand: Dhiraj Mani,Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Auckland
  • Saudi Arabia: Mohammed Shajaddin,Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Dhahran
  • South Africa: Mohammed Essay,Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Johannesburg
  • Brazil: Teresa Wagner,Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Sao Paulo
12:00 pm – 12:45 pm: Lunch Keynote
  • Ken Thompson, Global Practice Lead Smart Cities/Smart Sensors and President SWAN Council
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Smart Water Panel: Intelligent business methodologies to modernize innovation in water
As technology development in the water industry continues to advance at an ever faster pace, business innovation is often left behind, struggling to keep up, creating an innovation gap. Companies are feeling the disruptive pressure to adapt to this change in pace and are exploring new ways to develop business agility through creative investing, strategic partnerships and ecosystem alignment. In this panel session, 3M, Uponor, and Toro will share how they are bridging the innovation gap between technology and business through differentiated business models and methodologies.
  • Jen Nowlin, Principal, Accredent


  • Bill Gray, CEO, Uponor North America
  • Sunidh Jani, Manager, 3M Ventures
  • Dana Lonn, Managing Director, Center for Technology, The Toro Company
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm: University of Minnesota Student Lightning Rounds
  • Paige Novak: Joseph T. and Rose S. Ling Chair in Environmental Engineering, Co-Director, MnDRIVE: Environment
Student Speakers:
  • Xue Zhen
  • Michael Schwab
  • Jovan Popovic
  • David Goldfeld
  • Hanna Miller
2:30 pm – 3:15 pm: Afternoon Keynote
  • John Stauch, CFO, Pentair
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Networking Reception