December 22, 2022

Looking Back at 2022: The H2O Women Conference

Four women of WestWater Research attended the California H2O Women Conference, held at the stunning Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara in September. WestWater was the proud Diamond sponsor of the Brownstein event, which was attended by 170 female professionals working in water across the Western United States. Participants and speakers represented a variety of water-related sectors, including state agencies, irrigation districts, lobbying groups, engineering firms, investment companies, and private consulting groups. The event was an unforgettable opportunity to meet and engage with outstanding women, all working toward the common goal of sustaining a resource essential to life on earth. WestWater employees from California, Colorado, and Arizona were delighted to unite for this special occasion.

Participants of the H2O Women Conference gathered to share a wealth of knowledge and ideas about water supply management. Speakers led insightful discussions and created a foundation for participants to explore different facets of the professional water world, of which there are many. The prominent tone of urgency and call for action inspired participants to push forward in their efforts and collaborate across our newfound network.

Our key takeaways take from this event:

  • Regional Strategies: Water challenges are inherently intersectional, multi-dimensional, and transboundary. Structured, basin-wide collaboration and regional management are needed to allow for better water management in the West.
  • Innovative Finance: The price tag associated with water solutions can be daunting. New opportunities should be explored and established in terms of government funding and innovative, private-sector funding alternatives.
  • Data and Technology: Improved data (you can’t manage what you don’t measure) is critical to informing science, policy, and management strategies. Likewise, emerging technologies will be a critical component of solutions in demand management and water conservation. Promising data and technology solutions discussed at the conference include improved ET modeling, in-home greywater reuse systems, and leak detection for targeted pipeline replacement.
  • Solution Timelines: The criticality of addressing immediate challenges (current declining reservoir levels and impending water cuts) while simultaneously building long-term, durable solutions.
  • Investment Opportunities: Investing in the diversification of the West’s water resources.
  • Women in Water: The increasingly important role of women in water-related sectors, and the value of the H2O Women Conference and similar spaces for women to share experiences, develop networks, and discuss challenges and opportunities.

Women in the water industry are deeply cognizant of the mounting challenges that we face in managing this precious, irreplaceable resource. This meeting of the minds reinforced that woman are also some of the most well-equipped professionals to examine tradeoffs and weigh solutions for the benefit of future generations. We greatly appreciate Brownstein’s efforts to bring H2O Women together and facilitate critical discussions around the most pressing issues in water today.

Jessica Fox, WestWater Research Southwest Regional Director

Audrey Arnao, WestWater Research Associate

Cassidy White, WestWater Research Associate

Brooke Shaw, WestWater Research Associate