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Digital Technologies for
Healthy Watersheds

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Use cases and examples of satellite, aerial, ground, AI and VR/AR innovations and digital technologies for healthy watersheds

Sponsored by

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Isle Utilities spkr logo.png
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Supported by


Media Partner

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Public and private sector enterprises are investing in healthy watersheds that consist of water with adequate quantity and quality to support economic development, business growth, social well-being, and ecosystem health. Historically, collective action programs relied upon the manual or periodic collection of data. However, these analog systems no longer support public and private sector enterprises that need to manage sustainable, resilient, and healthy watersheds. In contrast, digital technologies can provide real time data, predictive analytics, and quantify the impacts of investments in watershed health.

Stakeholders increasingly need real time and predictive data regarding water quality and quantity to address watershed stress from the impacts of climate change, over-allocation of water, aging infrastructure and dated public policies.

With digital technologies, stakeholders can:

• understand real time conditions

• develop predictive models

• quantify the impact of interventions for internal and external reporting (e.g., ESG reporting)

The pandemic has only increased the need for remote monitoring and asset management, which will continue post-pandemic.


  • Corporate water and sustainability officers

  • Water utility demand managers

  • Public sector agencies such as water boards and land use planners

  • Hydrologists and engineers working for public and private sector enterprises, and non-governmental organizations

  • Scientists and engineers

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Investors

  • NGOs


This event may qualify for GIS Certification Institute continuing education credits.

To submit for GISP Points, visit to self-submit the event curriculum for approval

Key Takeaways

  • The Value of Healthy Watersheds

    • Cities and Homes

    • Recreation

    • Agriculture

    • Manufacturing

    • Ecosystems


  • Innovation and Digital Technologies

    • Satellite

    • Aerial

    • On the ground sensors

    • AI, VR/AR

  • Use Cases and Project Examples

    • Water Funds

    • Ecosystems and biodiversity

    • Business continuity and resiliency

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Roundtable Discussions

Enjoy sharing insights with colleagues on a more informal basis? Curated virtual roundtables will give you and other members of the audience a chance to:

  • Connect on common industry challenges and successes

  • Build a sense of community and new connections

  • Evolve through benchmarking and peer learning


Thursday, May 26, 2022
All times in US Mountain time


9:25 am 

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Tom Freyberg, Founder & Director, Atlantean Media
Will Sarni, Founder & CEO, Water Foundry & Future of Water Fund

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9:30 am

Panel Discussion: Healthy Watershed Strategies

Moderator: Will Sarni, Founder & CEO, Water Foundry & Future of Water Fund

  • David Grant, Global Sustainability Director, PepsiCo

  • Angela Ortigara, Water Stewardship Manager, WWF

  • Andre Fourie, Global VP Sustainability, ABInBev

How can healthy watersheds unite the public and private sectors? What role can multinationals play in helping to spur the innovation needed to get there?

Hear from leading multinationals and non-governmental organizations who will discuss what healthy watersheds mean to them. From the strategies to build and maintain healthy watersheds, to the sustainable and climate-resilient supply chains and communities. 

Join this lively discussion to hear to find out more about some of the developments, including
innovative partnerships, investments and technology innovations.

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10:00 am

Roundtable: Digital Technology

Moderator: Tom Freyberg, Founder & Director, Atlantean Media

  • Newsha Ajami, Chief Development Officer for Research, Berkeley Lab Earth & Environmental Sciences

  • Steven Ward, Senior Manager, Climate Data Science, Deloitte

How will digital technologies help organizations build and maintain a healthy watershed? Is real-time information really required, as part of the democratization of data?

Join this discussion uniting leading digital companies to provide private and public sector use cases that support healthy watersheds. Categories will include satellite data acquisition and analytics, remote sensing, artificial intelligence applications, and IoT/Edge computing technologies.

Find out where the next digital innovation will come from, and the investment trends that are following.

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10:30 am

Technology Showcase

Moderator: Erik Driessen, Managing Director Northern Europe, Isle Utilities

  • Kimberly Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, True Elements

  • Ivan Lalovic, Founder & CEO, Gybe

  • Justin Proctor, Business Development, Ecopia AI

  • Nick Thompson, Partner, WATR

  • Brian Moloney, CEO, StormHarvester Ltd

With multiple digital technology companies making big claims, who is making progress on the ground? Which companies are helping to equip the public and private sectors with the necessary digital toolkit to make actionable changes?

Kickstarting with an overview and case study from Ecopia, the showcase will feature a roundtable discussion of innovative digital technology companies addressing water scarcity, water quality, and the impacts of climate change.  Participating companies will discuss various solutions for the private and public sectors in addressing water and climate challenges at the watershed scale. 


11:30am - Close

Brown Bag Lunch and Virtual Networking



Bring your own lunch and join us after the educational sessions for virtual networking in a unique proximity-audio/video-based networking lounge.  You have to experience this - the most fun you'll have in a virtual event!

Click here to join the Networking Space

The first time you join ConnectMii inSpace, you will need to Sign Up (not Log In) for a free account with your

email address (or login with Google/Microsoft account if authorized by your company)
Required browser: Chrome
If creating a free account with an email address, you will be sent a verification email;

check Spam if you do not see the email
TIP: when you login, rename yourself as you'd like to be identified in the meeting (eg. Name, Company)

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Network with Speakers, Sponsors and other Attendees.

Click the Networking space to enter (Chrome browser recommended)

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Newsha K. Ajami

Chief Development Officer for Research,
Berkeley Lab Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Newsha K. Ajami is the Chief Development Officer for Research at EESA. A leading expert in sustainable water resource management, smart cities, and the water-energy-food nexus, she uses data science principles to study the human and policy dimensions of urban water and hydrologic systems. In her role at LBL, she is focused on developing interdisciplinary and impact focused research initiatives across various domain within EESA. Dr. Ajami served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board for two terms and is currently a mayoral appointee to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She is a member of the National Academies Water Science and Technology Board and serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. Dr. Ajami also serves on a number of state-level and national advisory boards. Before joining LBL, she served as the founding director of the Stanford Urban Water Policy program and a senior research scholar at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Earlier in her career, she also served as a Science and Technology fellow at the California State Senate's Natural Resources and Water Committee where she worked on various water and energy related legislation. She has published many highly cited peer-reviewed articles, coauthored two books, and contributed opinion pieces to The New York Times, San Jose Mercury, and the Sacramento Bee. Dr. Ajami received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Irvine, and M.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Amir Kabir University of Technology in Tehran.


Erik Driessen

Managing Director Northern Europe, Isle Utilities

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Erik Driessen is Managing Director Northern Europe with Isle Utilities.  After getting his BSc (Hons) degree in Chemical Engineering Erik started working in the water business and continued doing so for the last 17 years. With a passion for water, technology and innovation he is driven to spot opportunities with mutual benefits. Erik has worked for two innovative water technology start-ups and a globally operating consultancy, always focusing on industrial water and new business development (B2B). Before he joined Isle Utilities Erik was Innovation Manager at Vitens, the largest water utility in The Netherlands where he boosted the ambition and development of the Smart Water Grid philosophy. Within Isle Utilities Erik is responsible for the Industrial water TAG and consultancy in Europe.

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Tom Freyberg

Founder and Director, Atlantean Media

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Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.

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Andre Fourie

Global VP Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch InBev

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Andre Fourie is Global Director, Water Sustainability at Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer. He leads the company’s work on water stewardship such as investing in watershed protection in high-stress areas. ABI’s portfolio comprises over 500 beer brands includes global brands Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois, and numerous multi-country brands.

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David Grant

Global Sustainability Director, PepsiCo

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David Grant is the director of Global Water Stewardship at PepsiCo. Prior to joining PepsiCo, David spent three years with AB InBev, where he was the head of sustainable development for the Africa sector, and prior to that, he was with SABMiller. In total, he has been in the beverage industry for a good part of 20 years.  At PepsiCo, David's role is to oversee PepsiCo’s water stewardship agenda and support the company in moving forward in delivering its global water strategy. That includes covering both internal water use efficiency, which is basically making sure that the company extracts the most value out of every drop that comes into its facilities, and also the programs implemented to support broader conservation of the watersheds where water is sourced from.

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Ivan Lalovic

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gybe

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Ivan Lalovic is the founder and chief executive officer at Gybe, a start-up focused on changing how water quality and pollution challenges are tracked, understood, and solved. Before Gybe, Ivan worked with microelectronics manufacturers like HP, Intel, AMD, and Samsung to enable high performance computing and sensing. Ivan's entrepreneurial journey was inspired by an extended sabbatical, sailing close to 10,000 miles on the Atlantic Ocean with his spouse and two young kids. He is driven by his passions, to develop cloud-based technology solutions that transform how we monitor, understand, and manage water issues. Ivan holds a Physics degree from Whitman College, a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Washington, and is an author of more than 50 papers and 24 US patents.

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Brian Moloney

Chief Executive Officer, StormHarvester Ltd

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Brian Moloney is the Chief Executive Officer of StormHarvester Ltd. He is a civil engineer specializing in drainage and flood prevention with over 10 years’ experience running an engineering consultancy operating in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Due to his inherent enthusiasm for civil engineering and StormHarvester’s products, Brian still remains very ‘hands on’ with customers and projects, as well as driving the business’s strategy and growth.

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Kimberly Nelson

Chief Operating Officer, True Elements

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Kimberly Nelson joined True Elements in Januarly 2022 as Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Public Sector. Previously, she was Senior Director of Microsoft's U.S. Public Sector's State and Local Government Solutions business. Her focus for over 16 years was to work with Microsoft's partner ecosystem to develop repeatable online solutions that reduced cost, risk, and time for public sector clients in key sectors such as Critical Infrastructure and Health. Prior to Microsoft, Kimberly had a 22-year career in public service in both state and federal government. She served as the Assistant Administrator and Chief Information Officer for the Office of Environmental Information at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she was responsible for environmental information policy. This was a Presidential Appointment confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At the state level, she served as Executive Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with responsibility for Policy, Communications, and Operations. Kimberly has a bachelor's degree in Political Science (Shippensburg University) and a master's degree in Public Administration (University of Pennsylvania).


Angela Ortigara

Water Stewardship Manager, WWF

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Dr. Angela Ortigara is from Brazil, and holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering with a focus on Water and Wastewater Management.  After four years at the UN working with SDG 6 monitoring and reporting, she then joined WWF to work on water stewardship projects in China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam. She is currently involved in supporting WWF offices working with cotton production in India, Pakistan, and Turkey. She is also increasingly involved in monitoring impacts at the river basin level with the use of conventional and digital technologies.

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Justin Proctor

Business Development, Ecopia AI

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Justin Proctor supports North American public sector markets for Ecopia AI. A geospatial data company that leverages groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence to convert high-resolution imagery of our earth into HD Vector Maps. These datasets are embedded into critical applications around the world, providing foundational information for critical decision-making, improving the welfare of societies, efficiency of economies, and health of environments. After graduating with a degree in Political Science from The University of Western Ontario, he has spent his time working in Tech with a focus on governments.

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Will Sarni

Founder and CEO, Water Foundry​

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Will is an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation. He has authored numerous books and articles and presented on: the value of water, innovations in digital water technology, the circular economy, and the energy-water-food nexus. He has been a water strategy advisor to private and public-sector enterprises and NGOs for his entire career.

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Nick Thompson

Partner, WATR

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Nick Thompson is a Partner at WATR. WATR has been designed to improve water quality around the world by providing an easy, accurate and a reliable way of monitoring water conditions, so that action can be immediately initiated with an option to integrate with current APIs. The unit can be adjusted to suit the needs of the user with probe versatility and the ability to take samples at different depths, WATR is suitable for a large breadth of environments.  Nick is also a Partner at Solder Creative, where he helps clients use new and emerging technologies to realize the potential of the connected world.

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Steven Ward

Senior Manager, Climate Data Science, Deloitte

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Dr. Steven Ward is a Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Audit & Assurance group. He joined the Sustainability & ESG Services team in November 2021 with over 20 years of experience in the Geospatial Technology and Sciences Industry. ​He supports the ESG team and customers with assessment, analysis and communications related to scientific methods, data analysis and applied research. Throughout his career he has led dozens of sustainability and environmental research projects/programs for private industry and government customers across the US. His expertise in this space is technology focused with an emphasis on GISciences, remote sensing, scaled computation and AI/ML methods. Steven received his Ph.D., Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Management, Chemistry, Agronomy and Hazards Geography from Louisiana State University



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Atlantean is a global network of like-minded, creative individuals with a single purpose: to deliver premium, deep and detailed content focused on innovation in water. Forget dreary, mass-produced press releases destined for the trash. Instead think targeted business content with personality.  Engaging. Entertaining. Provoking. Results driven. That’s Atlantean.  Led by award-winning environmental journalist Tom Freyberg, the global media company has over a decade of experience, spanning the world and bringing engineering-based content to life across the water, energy, renewables, recycling and waste management fields. From feature-length content and analysis, to video case studies and interviews, conference organisation and public speaking, not to mention social media, the company’s proven track record can help to put businesses on the map, get noticed and grow.

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Isle is a globally present consultancy with specialized expertise in water technology and strategy. Isle’s vision is to be the leading catalyst in water industry transformation through exceptional business insight, technology, and innovative solutions. Isle offers a unique synergy between business and technology consulting; our capabilities span visioning and strategy development through to implementation of business structure, operating model, processes, systems, technology, and innovation.

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The World Geospatial Industry Council is an association of companies representing the entire ecosystem of geospatial industry. WGIC endeavors to enhance the role of the geospatial industry and strengthen its contribution in global economy and society. We facilitate exchange of knowledge within the geospatial industry and co-creation of larger business opportunities for the geospatial industry. We represent business interest, share perspectives of the geospatial industry and undertake policy advocacy and dialogue with public authorities, multilateral agencies and other relevant bodies.

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Ecopia's mission is to digitize the world using AI. We provide foundational information for critical decision-making, improve the welfare of societies, efficiency of economies, and health of environments. Ecopia specializes in extracting insight from geospatial big data. Our intelligent systems leverage groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence to convert high-resolution imagery of our earth into HD Vector Maps, which are embedded into critical applications around the world.

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Water Foundry is a trusted advisor to select global clients in the public and private sector and technology providers in solving water related challenges. The firm provides; business strategy, technology and investment...learn more about our advisors. ​Water Foundry provides water data analytics and visualization tools to better understand supply demand scenarios and potential interventions to “close the gap.” These tools are designed to inform public policy decisions...learn more about our analytics.

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