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Brittany Cline
Conference Sales Coordinator
E: bcline@benjaminmedia.com
P: 330-467-7588
F: 330-468-2289

Washington, D.C.

August 21st-22nd, 2019

2019 Agenda

Registration & Continental Breakfast

Registration opens and a continental breakfast is provided

08:15 - 08:30
Opening Remarks — Bernie Krzys, Publisher, Water Finance & Management & Chris Hornback, Deputy CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (main event sponsor)
08:30 - 09:00
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Sonny Popowsky, Chair | City of Philadelphia Water, Sewer & Storm Water Rate Board
Session 1 — The Financial Case for Investment in Digital Technologies
09:00 - 09:30
Transforming the Economics and Reliability of Civil Water Infrastructure — Dave Lewis, Sr. Account Manager | Wachs Water Services, a Xylem brand

Attendees in this session will gain valuable insight into the processes and functionality of emerging technologies and data analytics-enabled services. They will explore: the intrinsic linkage between the reliability of infrastructure and the economics of waste. They will learn how technologies have rapidly evolved to pinpoint efficiencies and waste and they will see how analytics impact processes and events from an economical and operational standpoint.

09:30 - 10:00
The Financing Fix to Scale Water Innovation — Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director | WaterNow Alliance

Green and on-site infrastructure programs can safeguard water supply and quality, manage urban runoff, and provide both environmental and community benefits more cost-effectively than massive upgrades to centralized infrastructure. But until recently, utilities had to dip into operating cash, instead of capital, to fund these types of programs.

In May 2018, Cynthia Koehler and a team of experts rectified this situation by advocating for and winning a policy clarification from the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The clarification establishes that public spending on distributed water programs, including specifically consumer rebates, can qualify for capital treatment. The victory opens new funding channels for utilities to deploy localized infrastructure and enhance water resiliency in their communities at scale—like high-efficiency appliances, on-site reuse, permeable pavements, green roofs, and turf change outs—whether on public or private properties.

Using practical project examples, Koehler will explore the new funding opportunities available with this policy clarification, outlining multiple methods for municipalities and water utilities to access municipal bond financing or other debt to scale innovative water programs, like localized infrastructure.

10:00 - 10:30
Multi-Year Financial Planning: Strategies and Execution — Melina Matafias, Solutions Consultant | PFM Solutions LLC

This presentation will discuss the best practices for building out a multi-year plan. This presentation will provide details on how to:

  • Model key assumptions
  • Perform sensitivity analyses
  • Use a financial model to drive decision making

Whitebirch multi-year planning for water and wastewater utilities is a comprehensive strategic planning forecasting solution designed to help CFOs, finance teams, and their boards take control of the financial trajectory of their organization. This cloud-based platform has built-in capabilities to perform sensitivity testing and what-if analysis around rates, funding sources, debt and capital, and labor and staffing.

Whitebirch provides powerful dashboards, scenario managers, and real-time displays designed to support decision-making. Ideas and analysis can be evaluated using dynamic slide decks that are far superior and more engaging than traditional presentations. Stakeholders can change key assumptions in real-time to see and share the effects of alternative policy choices and scenarios. Audit and drill‐down functionality ensure results are understood and trusted. Whitebirch also instantly displays the impact of all proposed changes to your credit rating.

Click on speaker below for full bio.


10:30 - 10:45
10:45 - 12:00
Panel Discussion: Water Infrastructure Due Diligence & Quantifying Financial Risk (click for panelists)
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Greg Baird (Moderator)
President | Water Finance Research Foundation
Jay Bernas
CFO/Director of Finance | Hampton Roads Sanitation District
Annie Vanrenterghem Raven
Managing Director | infraPLAN LLC
Albert Cho
Vice President & General Manager, Advanced Infrastructure Analytics | Xylem
Doug Hatler
Environmental Engineer & Chief Revenue Officer | Fracta
Megan Glover
Co-Founder & CEO | 120WaterAudit
12:00 - 13:00
Session 2 — Consolidation, Innovations & Partnerships
13:00 - 13:30
Financial Considerations for Consolidation of Water Services — Scott Berry, Director of Policy & Government Affairs | US Water Alliance & Erin Riggs, Project Director | Environmental Finance Center, UNC School of Government
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Scott Berry
Director of Policy & Government Affairs | US Water Alliance
13:30 - 14:00
Case Studies: Increase Efficiency and Governance for Budget Planning, Analysis and Forecasting — Kristy Neckowicz, President | InVizion LLC
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Kristy Neckowicz
President | InVizion LLC
14:00 - 14:30
Leveraging the Intended Cash Flow Benefits of Tax Reform to Fund Infrastructure — Vadim Lantukh, CEO | Lucasys

Water and wastewater utilities can use their existing rate-making mechanisms in the context of recent tax reform in order to effect positive cash flow impacts. Many utilities have begun to amortize excess deferred income taxes related to the change in the federal income tax rate. Due to the complexity of the underlying calculations and the limitations of existing technology solutions, the existing and proposed amortizations of excess deferred income taxes are often more accelerated than that which is required by IRS rules and public utility commission mandates.

With a careful review of commission requirements, existing fixed asset data, and the componentization of accumulated deferred income taxes, water utilities can take advantage of the intent of Congress allow utilities to utilize the timing of accelerated income tax benefits to fund additional investments in infrastructure. This discussion will summarize the evaluation and implementation process for water utilities to quantify the potential cash flow benefits as well as the practical steps to take to realize those benefits.

14:30 - 15:30
Essentials of Water Finance Workshop (click for description)

The Essentials of Water Finance Workshop is a 1-hour networking break at the Water Finance Conference, beginning this year at 2:30 pm ET. The workshop will be held in a separate, nearby meeting space at the Washington Court Hotel and will feature roundtable discussions led by experts in various facets of water utility finance, some of whom are conference speakers and panelists. Roundtable “facilitators” will lead discussions at each roundtable and attendees are free to move around to join various discussions throughout the hour. Topics to be covered will include:


“Innovations in Water Financing”
Facilitator: Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director, WaterNow Alliance


“Federal Drinking Water Infrastructure Priorities”


“Federal Clean Water Infrastructure Priorities”


“Rate Setting Best Practices”


“Environmental Impact Bonds”


“Value for Money Analysis & Alternative Delivery Services”


“The Nexus of Asset Management and Financial Planning”


“Applying Software to Financial Planning”

15:30 - 16:00
The Role of P3s in Addressing U.S. Water Infrastructure Challenges — Tracy Mehan, Executive Director of Government Affairs | AWWA & Stephen Auton-Smith, Managing Director | Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors

This presentation will detail a growing effort by AWWA and other key stakeholders in the U.S. water sector to add clarity and objectivity to the debate on the role of alternative delivery models in meeting the infrastructure investment challenge.

Click on speaker below for full bio.
16:00 - 17:15
Panel Discussion: Regulatory Panel (click for panelists)
Erica Brown (Moderator)
Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer | Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies
Karen Pallansch
CEO | Alexandria Renew Enterprises
Tracy Mehan
Executive Director of Government Affairs | AWWA
Michael Deane
Fmr. NAWC Executive Director & Fmr. EPA Associate Assistant Administrator for Water
17:30 - 19:00
Evening Reception
Registration Open

Registration opens and a continental breakfast is provided

Session 3 — How You Can Balance Rate Increases and Affordability
08:00 - 08:30
Innovative Rate Structuring to Solve Affordability Challenges — Joe Crea, Senior Manager | Raftelis
Click on speaker below for full bio.
08:30 - 09:00
Multi-Year Planning for Customer Affordability Programs – Crystal Knight-Lee, Director of Customer Service | Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Click on speaker below for full bio.
09:00 - 09:30
Customer Affordability: The Rating Agency Perspective — Erin Boeke Burke, Associate Director, Municipal and Cooperative Utilities | S&P Global Ratings
Click on speaker below for full bio.
09:30 - 10:00
Creating a Federal Customer Assistance Program for Water/Sewer — Kristina Surfus, Director of Legislative Affairs | National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Click on speaker below for full bio.
10:00 - 10:30
Networking Break
10:30 - 11:45
Panel Discussion: How Should the U.S. Water Sector Define Affordability? (click for panelists)
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Chris Hornback (Moderator)
Deputy Chief Executive Officer | National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Joseph F. Beach, Deputy General Manager for Administration | Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Robert Ryall, Associate Vice President & Financial Services Practice Lead | Arcadis U.S.
11:45 - 13:00
Session 4 — Strategic Utility Planning Meets Finance
13:00 - 13:30
Reverse Engineering an Asset Management Approach to Your Traditional Capital Improvement Program — Jeffrey Harmon, Assistant Director, Water and Sewer Services Department | City of Johnson City, Tennessee


Click on speaker below for full bio.
13:30 - 14:00
Financing Stormwater Infrastructure — Sonia Brubaker, Director, Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center | U.S. EPA
14:00 - 15:00
Panel Discussion: The Economic Outlook for Water (click for panelists)
Click on speaker below for full bio.
Greg Baird (Moderator)
President | Water Finance Research Foundation
Bill Malarkey
Managing Partner | Amane Advisors
Jorianne Jernberg
Director, WIFIA Program | U.S. EPA
Michael Curley, Esq.
Visiting Scholar | Environmental Law Institute
Debra Coy
Partner | XPV Water Partners
15:00 - 15:15
Closing Remarks
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