Water and Planning Connect


Do you want to be at the forefront of land use planning and water resource management?

Come to Water and Planning Connect — an first-of-its-kind gathering of water and planning professionals from the public and private sectors.

Dive deep into the topics that matter most to you in morning and afternoon breakout sessions.


Tuesday, September 11

Welcome and Opening Plenary

8:30–10 a.m.

  • Paul R. Brown, AICP, President at Paul Redvers Brown Inc., will share lessons learned from over 40 years' experience in the planning and management of water utilities and environmental services. From 1975 to 2013, Brown worked for CDM Smith, most recently as Executive Vice President and member of the firm's Board of Directors. In addition, he was the Founding Technical Director of CDM Smith's Centre for Integrated Urban Solutions in Singapore. In 2013, he established his own firm in Southern California. Brown is co-author (with Vladimir Novotny and Jack Ahern) of the book Water Centric Sustainable Communities, published by John Wiley & Sons. A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Fellow in the International Water Association (IWA), he is a former chair of the IWA Cities of the Future program committee. Brown was a Visiting Professor at the University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability, where he also served as Director of Applied Research. He is currently providing program management support for the Regional Recycled Water Program being developed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. Other current clients include the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Breakout Sessions

10:15–11:45 a.m.

  • State Water Management Frameworks — This session will focus on innovative state water management frameworks and how they are addressing integrated water resource management. Highlights include examples from two eastern and two western states.
    • Speakers:
      • Daniel DeLisi, AICP, President at DeLisi, Inc.
      • Lori J. Mathieu, Public Health Section Chief, Drinking Water Section at Connecticut Department of Public Health
      • Anne Miller, AICP, Senior Planner at the Colorad Community Development Office
  • Building Skill Alignment Between Planners and Water Resource Professionals — This session will address the vocabulary and understanding needed to build skill alignment between planners and water resource professionals, in order to help facilitate collaborative efforts. It will draw on the Water Research Foundations work, "Integrating Land Use and Water Resources: Planning to Support Water Supply Diversification," which examines opportunities for collaboration between water utilities and the planning and development communities.
    • Speakers:
      • Vicki Elmer, author of Infrastructure Planning and Finance: A Smart and Sustainable Guide for Local Practitioners
      • Brett Gracely, PE, Practice Leader at Matrix Design Group, Inc.
      • Shelby Sommer, AICP, LEED AP, Planner at the Brendle Group
      • Amy Volckens, Senior Engineer at the Brendle Group
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources — This session will examine the impacts of climate change on water resources and the role planners and water resource professionals can play in addressing them.
    • Speakers:
      • Nancy Beller-Simms, PhD, Program Manager at NOAA Sectoral Applications Research Program
      • Dr. David R. Perkins, Assistant Professor at Missouri State University
      • Sharon Rooney, AICP, Chief Planner at Cape Cod Commission

Networking Luncheon

Noon–1:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions and Site Visits

1:15-5 p.m.

  • Site Visit: Lenexa (via bus) — Lenexa’s Rain to Recreation Program is the gold standard for integrated watershed management in the Kansas City region. They have several worthy places for site visits, including their new City Center development, and the Lake Lenexa, both of which are model projects. City Center is a mixed-use development including a new city hall with green infrastructure practices incorporated throughout. Lake Lenexa includes a multi-purpose regional detention facility with substantial investment in recreation, habitat restoration, and forest conservation. It is closely tied to adjacent developments. An artist helped design the dam, which has won numerous awards.

1:30–3 p.m.

  • Scenario Planning Workshop, Part 1 — This first part of the scenario planning workshop will focus on the value of scenario planning for addressing land use impacts on water resources.
    • Speakers:
      • Peter Pollock, FAICP, Manager of Western Programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
      • Jeremy Stapleton, Director of Climate Resilience at the Sonoran Institute
  • Policy Implications of One Water — This session will explore the policy implications of the One Water concept from different perspectives and consider how they are being addressed at the federal, state, and local levels.
    • Speakers:
      • Jason Jordan, Policy Director at the American Planning Association
      • Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
      • Kristina Surfus, Director of Legislative Affairs at the National Association of Clean Water Agencies
  • Regional Planning for Water Resources — This session will examine regional- and watershed-scale planning efforts, addressing their multiple co-benefits and impact on water resource protection
    • Speakers:
      • Erin Perry, Special Projects Manager at the Cape Cod Commission
      • James Wisker, District Administrator at the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District
  • Site Visit: Crossroads Arts District (walking tour) — The Crossroads Arts District is a vibrant neighborhood located on the south end of downtown and an APA Great Place in America. At the center of the Crossroads Arts District, 20th Street was recently retrofitted using green and complete street principles.

Networking Break

3–3:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions and Site Visits

3:30–5 p.m.

  • Scenario Planning Workshop, Part 2 — This second part of the scenario planning workshop will provide a demonstration of exploratory scenario planning.
    • Speakers:
      • Peter Pollock, FAICP, Manager of Western Programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
      • Jeremy Stapleton, Director of Climate Resilience at the Sonoran Institute
  • Addressing Water Equity Challenges — This session will provide a framework for understanding and addressing water equity challenges, built on the pillars of water equity established in the U.S. Water Alliance's briefing paper, "An Equitable Water Future." It will highlight community-level efforts, including reducing the inequitable impacts of flooding and water access.
    • Speakers:
      • Claudette Fernandez, Chief Innovation Officer, USDA Rural Development
      • Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Deputy Director, PUSH Buffalo
      • Zoe Roller, Program Manager, U.S. Water Alliance
  • Plans, Codes, and Water — This session will lay out an integrated approach to the protection, provision, and management of water resources and infrastructure by local jurisdictions, from long-range planning to plan implementation through effective codes and ordinances.
    • Speaker:
      • Mary Ann Dickinson, President and CEO at the Alliance for Water Efficiency
      • Daniel Van Abs, AICP, PhD, Associate Professor of Practice for Water, Society & Environment at Rutgers University, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Department of Human Ecology
      • Mark White, AICP, Esq., Partner at White & Smith, LLC
  • Site Visit: Crossroads Arts District (walking tour) — The Crossroads Arts District is a vibrant neighborhood located on the south end of downtown and an APA Great Place in America. At the center of the Crossroads Arts District, 20th Street was recently retrofitted using green and complete street principles.

Networking Reception

6–7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, September 12

Morning Plenary

8:30–9:30 a.m.

  • Doug Farr, FAIA, LEED AP, President and Founding Principal at Farr Associates, the 2012 AIA Chicago Firm of the Year. He is a national leader in designing sustainable neighborhoods and buildings, being elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2014. Under his leadership, Farr Associates has designed and certified a total of seven LEED Platinum buildings, two of which also achieve net-zero energy, and four LEED-ND Developments. Doug was the founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND Core Committee and is currently serving as the Chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism Executive Board.

Breakout Sessions and Site Visit

9:30–12:30 p.m.

  • Site Visit: Marlborough Neighborhood (via bus) — The City of Kansas City, Missouri has invested approximately $50 million on a 100-acre green infrastructure demonstration project in the combined sewer area in the distressed Marlborough Neighborhood, located in the southeast part of the city. These investments have leveraged substantial community reinvestment and revitalization, in part due to substantial community engagement. The Conservation Fund has supported work to turn one of these BMPs into a community park.

9:45–11 a.m.

  • Green Infrastructure — This session will review green infrastructure as it pertains to the One Water framework. Focusing on case studies from Philadelphia and the Kansas City region, it will address both primary benefits of green infrastructure on the water system — including stormwater management, CSO control, and groundwater recharge —as well as secondary co-benefits for communities, including economic development, walkability, public health, and social equity.
    • Speakers:
      • Bill Cesanek, AICP, Vice President at CDM Smith
      • Tom Jacobs, Director, Environmental Programs at Mid-America Regional Council
      • Scott Turner, AICP, Vice President and Director of Planning at Nitsch Engineering
  • Practices for Water Reuse — Building on the Worthen Foundation's Water Reuse Practice Guide, this session will examine best practices at the building and district scales.
    • Speakers:
      • Ed Clerico, CEO Emeritus, Natural Systems Utilities
      • Gary L. Hunter, Midwest Water Reuse Specialist at Black & Veatch
  • Water Finance Workshop — This workshop will address the basics of financing water infrastructure.
    • Speakers:
      • April Joy Méndez, Vice-President of Programs and Co-Founder at Fresh Coast Capital
      • Omar Carrillo Tinajero, Fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Center for Community Investment

Networking Break

11:15–11:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

  • Innovative One Water Case Studies — This session will highlight innovative work being done by communities around the country to advance One Water practices.
    • Speaker:
      • Nadya Nilina, Ramboll Livable Cities Lab
  • Engaging the Community Around Water — This session will focus on tools and techniques that water utilities have used to conduct outreach and community engagement in water projects.
    • Speakers:
      • Kimberley Marshall, Director of Client Services at Blue Drop
      • Hailey Stern, Outreach Specialist at the Philadelphia Water Department
  • Water Decision Support Tools — This session will provide an overview of water-related decision-support tools for planners and water resource professionals. It will build understanding of which tools to use to address local or regional water issues and challenges.
    • Speakers:
      • Peter Colohan, Director of Service Innovation and Partnership Division at NOAA's National Weather Service
      • Doug Kluck, Central Region Climate Services Director at NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information
      • Nicholas (Miki) Schmidt, Chief of the Science and Geospatial Division for NOAA's Office for Coastal Management
      • Colin Stief, Senior Application Designer at the Chesapeake Conservancy

Closing Plenary Panel

12:45–1:45 p.m.

  • This panel will explore new directions in planning for water, drawing on themes and lessons learned at the conference. (Lunch will be provided.)
    • Speakers:
      • Armando Carbonell, FAICP, Senior Fellow and Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
      • Bill Cesanek, AICP, Vice President, CDM Smith
      • David Rouse, FAICP, Managing Director of Research and Advisory Services, American Planning Association