Historically, governments have sought to shield people from the harsh reality of the natural environment, building whatever infrastructure is necessary to create the fiction of plentiful water. This approach is no longer sustainable, but what is the way ahead?
Robert Simonds, Chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's Blue Ribbon Committee As a successful film producer and relative newcomer to the water sector, Bob Simonds brings a clear-eyed business viewpoint to the complex politics of water. Water is an especially contentious issue in thirsty Southern California, where many interests vie for their share of a scarce commodity. With the costly infrastructure that has sustained life in the desert becoming ever more precarious, what new ways of thinking will have to be brought to the table?
George Tchobanoglous, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of California at Davis Most Americans are used to paying little for water and using it profligately, even in water-short areas. As the value of water becomes more apparent, prices are starting to rise. A more realistic price structure should support opportunities for more efficient water use and re-use, but is this really happening yet? What issues do we still face in attitudes towards water, and what are the technology developments that will get us to a more efficient future?
Tim Loftus, Head of Water Supply Planning at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning North East Illinois has not historically had to worry about water conservation, but it is now firmly on the agenda. How can a region which is new to scarcity move away from a world in which water is essentially abundant and free to one in which competing uses of water must be measured against each other without resort to accelerated expenditure on infrastructure?
Tim Loftus is an environmental geographer having earned his doctorate degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In 2005, Dr. Loftus joined the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (now the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning). Tim directed the 11-county regional water supply planning process that concluded with approval of Water 2050: Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply/Demand Plan. As a Principal, Tim leads CMAP's Environment and Natural Resources planning group.
Effective May 17, 2010, the Board of Directors unanimously confirmed the appointment of Mr. Simonds as a Class I director, and also appointed him to serve on the Audit Committee. Mr. Simonds is a long time advocate for water rights and policy issues. His family owns and controls water rights in Arizona, and he is a former member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California, the world?s largest water wholesaler, where he represented the city of Los Angeles from 2004 to 2006. Today, he is Chairman of MWD?s blue ribbon committee that makes recommendations for new business models and strategies to position Metropolitan to meet the region?s water-related needs for the future. Mr. Simonds is the Chairman of the Robert Simonds Company and a seasoned producer of over 30 major motion pictures that have generated in excess of $3.5 billion in worldwide revenue. Titles in his repertoire include Cheaper by the Dozen, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Just Married, The Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and The Pink Panther franchise. Mr. Simonds graduated summa cum laude from Yale University. He serves on the boards of the Yale School of Management and the California Chamber of Commerce as well as the advisory board for RAND Corporation?s Center for Global Risk and Security. He is a governor of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. On October 7, 2010, the Company appointed Robert D. Simonds, Jr. to the office of Vice Chairman of the Company. Mr. Simonds has served as a Director of the Company since May 17, 2010.
For over 35 years, George Tchobanoglous taught courses on water and wastewater treatment and solid waste management at the University of California, Davis, where he is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Tchobanoglousâ€™ research interests are in the areas of wastewater treatment and reuse, wastewater filtration, UV disinfection, aquatic wastewater management systems, wastewater management for small and decentralized wastewater management systems, and solid waste management. He has authored or coauthored over 375 publications, including 14 textbooks and five engineering reference books. Tchobanoglous has been past President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science. Among his honors, he received the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize from NWRI in 2003. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Service Award for Research and Education in Integrated Waste Management from the Waste-To-Energy Research and Technology Council. In 2004, he was also inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. In 2005, he received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines. In 2006, he was the Distinguished Lecturer, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX. In 2007, he received the Frederick George Pohland Medal awarded by AAEE and AEESP. Tchobanoglous received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of the Pacific, an M.S. in Sanitary Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.