Leaders Launch Water Policy Institute

A consortium of water leaders has announced the formation of the Water Policy Institute, which will address water-related issues and provide information to the public through its Web site.

Chaired by former EPA administrator and N.J. Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, the institute includes members that will develop white papers on current issues and provide thought leadership on legal and regulatory issues involving water and collaborate to propose sustainable solutions.

Kathy Robb, a partner in the Resources, Regulatory and Environmental Law practice at the law firm Hunton & Williams LLP, is the founder of the institute and will serve as its director.

The institute's advisory panel members are Leslie Carothers, president, Environmental Law Institute; Gabriel Eckstein, professor, Texas Tech School of Law; Paul Faeth, executive director, Global Water Challenge; David Freestone, senior adviser, World Bank; Craig Manson, professor, McGeorge School of Law; Tracy Mehan, principal, The Cadmus Group; Mark Van Putten, president, ConservationStrategy LLC; and Robert Stavins, professor, Harvard University.

Members are water leaders representing water districts, multi-national companies, and energy companies who will discuss and review global and local water issues including supply, quality, use, wildlife and agricultural concerns, and climate change. Members include BP, Central Arizona Project, and GE Water and Process Technologies.

"If you are going to address water issues, you have to start at the local level where people get their water but at the same time you must look at the global impact. Members of the institute, who cross industries and geographic boundaries, will provide thought leadership on these legal and regulatory issues and policies," said Robb.

"This is an important time for public policy affecting water supply, water demand, and water quality," said Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he directs the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. "The institute provides a key venue for industry leaders, NGO representatives, and others to participate in informed discussions, vital to arriving at workable and sustainable answers."

The institute is accessible to the public at www.waterpolicyinstitute.com, which provides information about water issues; a calendar of key water meetings and conferences; news, articles, legislative materials and speeches; and links to regulatory sites.

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