Thu, Sep. 14, 2017
8 am - 11:30 am
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall

Please note: the content of this program was updated to take into account the city's response to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Extreme flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has severely impacted wastewater treatment infrastructure in the greater Houston area. Bayou and sewer overflows — combined with runoff from lawns, parking lots and industrial sites — present treatment challenges that must be overcome to deliver potable water to residents.

In addition, the volume of water required to meet municipal demand has increased significantly over the last decade for Houston and other cities with high population growth. Many of these cities are becoming more reliant on nontraditional water sources — such as recycled, brackish, desalinated, and waste and process water — to meet that demand. To be fit for its intended use, water from these sources often requires specialized treatments that draw additional power from the electricity grid. In addition, the logistics of collecting and delivering these multiple smaller water streams is more complex.

This workshop examined the effects of Hurricane Harvey and raised awareness of water treatment techniques that can be used in response to extreme storm events, as well as potentially increase the general use of nontraditional water sources while reducing their cost and environmental impact. Speakers offered perspectives from their respective areas of expertise, providing participants with multidisciplinary views on the issues associated with this water-energy nexus. They examined the challenges and opportunities presented by the decentralized collection, treatment and distribution of water from nontraditional sources that takes place in cities like Houston. The discussion also increased public awareness of the need for municipal water treatment engineers, and of the challenges they face in installing more resilient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly water treatment processes.

This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies,  the City of Houston and Headworks International. Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #BakerEnergy.





8:00 am



Continental breakfast

8:30 am




Linda Capuano, Ph.D.
Fellow in Energy Technology, Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies

Michele LaNoue
CEO and Co-founder, Headworks International

8:45 am    

Panel — Houston and Hurricane Harvey

Discussion of flooding and infrastructure response

Moderator: Linda Capuano, Ph.D.Fellow in Energy Technology, Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies

Jason A. Iken
Senior Assistant Director, Wastewater Operations, City of Houston Public Works and Engineering  

Jeff Lindner
Meteorologist, Harris County Flood Control District

The Honorable Gene Wu
Texas State Representative, District 137

10:00 am




10:15 am



Panel — Technologies with Potential to Address Water Treatment Challenges

Opportunities in identifying, matching and implementing current and innovative technology to meet user needs

Moderator: Gerald Seidl, Co-founder and Senior Vice President, Headworks International

Desmond Lawler, Ph.D.
Professor and Nassir I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Julie Nahrgang
Executive Director, Water Environment Association of Texas

Tom Pankratz
Consultant and Editor, Water Desalination Report, Global Water Intelligence

Lauren Stadler, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

Eva Steinle-Darling, Ph.D.
Vice President, WateReuse, and Principal Technologist, Carollo Engineers, Inc.

11:25 am



Closing Remarks

Linda Capuano, Ph.D.
Fellow in Energy Technology, Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies

11:30 am






Thu, Sep. 14, 2017
8 am - 11:30 am
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall