Digital Technologies for
Healthy Watersheds

Sponsored by

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Supported by

April 14, 2022

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

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Public and private sector enterprises are focused on investing in healthy watersheds. Healthy watersheds consist of water of adequate quantity and quality to support economic development, business growth, social well-being, and ecosystem health. These stakeholders typically engage in collective action programs to promote water stewardship within watersheds. Historically these collective action programs have relied upon the manual or periodic collection of data which is inadequate to address the challenges of resource scarcity and the impacts of climate change. Analog systems to collect water quality and quantity data are no longer adequate to support public and private sector enterprises to manage sustainable, resilient, and healthy watersheds. In contrast digital technologies provide an opportunity to provide real time data, predictive analytics and quantify the impacts of investments in watershed health. Digital technologies now enable stakeholders to; understand real time conditions, the ability to develop predictive models and, quantify the impact of interventions for internal and external reporting (e.g., ESG reporting).


Individuals within these stakeholder groups include 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.

 These stakeholders increasingly need real time and predictive water quality and quantity to address stress on watersheds from the impacts of climate change, overallocation of water, aging infrastructure and dated public policies. Real time and predictive water quality data are essential for industrial intake water, utility intake water, consumers, and ecosystems.


  • 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

However, there is an opportunity to vastly increase the adoption of cost-effective digital water technologies to provide real time water quality and quantity data, improve agricultural, utility, and industrial productivity and asset performance. Digital data acquisition technologies such as; earth observation systems (e.g., satellite), aerial, drone and on the inexpensive on the ground sensors can provide real time data and analytics. These data acquisition technologies coupled with artificial intelligence and machine learning can contribute to increased monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of water fund performance, and improved investment decisions and human capital resource allocation. The pandemic has only increased the need for remote monitoring and asset management which will continue post pandemic.  

Program Sessions

  • 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

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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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Barbara Ryan

Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

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Under Barbara Ryan’s leadership, millions of satellite images have been made available to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners and policy makers to make better-informed decisions on environmental problems. Barbara’s career began in 1974 at the USGS. From 2008 to 2012, she was Director of the WMO Space Programme, and from 2012 to 2018, Ryan was the Secretariat Director of GEO in Geneva, Switzerland. In January 2021, Barbara became Executive Director of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), a global not-for-profit trade association of private-sector companies working in the geospatial and Earth observation ecosystem. 




Moderator's Welcome Remarks


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An introduction and overview of the day's proceedings.

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