Conservation Initiative Highlights Challenges, Innovation In Water Resource And Infrastructure Policy
The Conservation Leadership Partnership (CLP) recently convened leading experts to discuss new, local and market-based solutions to help cities and states fix crumbling water infrastructure for consumers andagriculture across the country, a challenge that could cost $1T for drinking water alone.
At a CLP roundtable at Augusta State University, Bob Young, former Mayor of Augusta, Ga., member of the Conservation Leadership Council, and President and Chief Executive Officer, Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, said, “Like Georgia and its Southeastern neighbors, many areas around the country are facing droughts and significant water infrastructure investment needs. We need innovative ideas and alternative solutions that activate private initiative and local knowledge to help meet our growing water challenges while at the same time growing our economy. The Conservation Leadership Partnership wants to elevate and support these important contributions to the conversation about our environmental challenges.
Kameran Onley, member of the Conservation Leadership Council, Director, U.S. Marine Policy at The Nature Conservancy, former Associate Director for Environmental Policy,White House Council on Environmental Quality, and former Acting Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, said, “As a longtime participant in water policy, I know private-public partnership solutions are one of the most important and effective tools to address our water challenges. The Conservation Leadership Partnership is presenting important and different solutions that can provide a new lens of entrepreneurship, fiscal responsibility and community support to meet our conservation goals.
The CLP roundtable discussion was bolstered by presentations from: Ron Littlefield, Mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn., on the need for stronger federal and local partnership to help meet the significant costs to maintain water infrastructure; David Reckford, Director, Flint River Basin Partnership, on public-private partnerships and technology that conserves water for farmers in Georgia’s Lower Flint River system; andMichael Curley, Executive Director and Founder of International Center for Environmental Finance, Ltd., and visiting professor at George Washington University School of Business, on ways to leverage the current federal investment in infrastructure in the private market.
The roundtable included a frank discussion about on-the-ground experiences with water policy with participants from municipal, state and federal government; agricultural interests; private companies in the water sector; conservation organizations and academia.
The event was the third in a series of regional roundtable discussions being sponsored by the CLP to engage local leaders and draw upon their on-the-ground efforts to explore and identify innovative conservation initiatives that promote new policy ideas through entrepreneurial approaches. The first took place in Denver, Colo., in July 2012, focusing on private stewardship and landowner engagement in conservation. The second was in Hilton Head, S.C., in September 2012, concentrating on habitat trading credits and other economical ways to conserve public lands.
The Conservation Leadership Partnership (CLP) is a new initiative designed to address conservation challenges through local action, public-private partnerships, limited government, entrepreneurship and bottom-up solutions. The initiative is guided by the Conservation Leadership Council, which is composed of former government officials, public policy experts, leaders in the agricultural community and the private sector. The initiative promotes policies and perspectives that can address America’s environment problems, while strengthening the economy, enhancing our national security, valuing our communities and building a better future for the next generation.
Conservation Leadership Council members include:
Lowell Baier: Attorney, author and President Emeritus of the Boone and Crockett Club
Jim Connaughton: Executive Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor, Exelon; former Chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality; and former Director, White House Office of Environmental Policy
Floyd DesChamps: Senior Vice President for Research and Policy, Alliance to Save Energy; former Senior Advisor to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and former U.S. Department of Energy staffer
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky: Adjunct Senior Fellow, Harvard University's JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC (2001-2008)
John Faraci: Chief Executive Officer, International Paper
Mary Gade: President, Gade Environmental Group LLC and former Region 5 EPA Administrator and former Director, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Coddy Johnson: Chief Operating Officer, Activision Studios; former Associate Director, White House Office of Political Affairs
Derek T. Kan: Economic Policy Advisor and Investor
Kevin Kolevar:Vice President, International Government Affairs and Public Policy, Dow Chemical andformer Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability,U.S. Department of Energy
Richard Natonski: Lieutenant General U.S. Marine Corps (Retired); former Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command; and former Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies and Operations
Gale Norton: President, Norton Regulatory Strategies; former U.S. Secretary of the Interior; and former Colorado Attorney General
Kameran Onley: Director, U.S. Marine Policy, The Nature Conservancy; former Associate Director for Environmental Policy, White House Council on Environmental Quality; and former Acting Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior
John Raidt: Public Administration and Public Policy Consultant, Nicholas Institute at Duke University; Advisor to the Chairman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Ed Schafer: Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture and former Governor of North Dakota
Lynne Sherrod: Rancher, Western Region, Land Trust Alliance; formerly with ColoradoCattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust
Jim Stone: Chairman, Board of Directors, Blackfoot Challenge
John Tomke: Chairman, Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council; Board of Directors, National Fish and Wildlife Association; former President, Ducks Unlimited; and former Vice President, Global operations, Dow AgroSciences
Bob Young: President and Chief Executive Officer, Southeastern Natural SciencesAcademy and former Mayor of Augusta, Georgia
SOURCE: Conservation Leadership Partnership