NY Blue Tech, New York’s first international and interdisciplinary water sector network, operates on the mission to help meet the challenges for the water sector in New York through knowledge-sharing.
The annual global World Water Day serves as an excellent occasion to leverage the multi-stakeholder scope of the NY Blue Tech network by convening experts, stakeholders and public decision makers for a day of discussing water sector challenges and opportunities in New York. This year, we decided to center the discussions around how to meet the water challenges through P3s and cross-disciplinary collaboration. A successful water event in Westchester earlier this year teed up the importance of rethinking P3 collaboration within the water sector. Hence, World Water Day symposium provided a unique platform to continue this discussion in a wider New York State setting “New York can benefit greatly from international collaboration on how to manage and implement cross-disciplinary collaboration. As two global frontrunners, Denmark and the Netherlands have successfully innovated the water sector through public-private partnerships. Being able to convene the entire New York water sector to discuss key issues like this is exactly why we co-founded NY Blue Tech in 2017”, said Klaus Lehn Christensen, Director, Danish Cleantech Hub and Co-founder of NY Blue Tech Network.
The first section of the half-day symposium took form as panel debates, where more than 18 speakers where given the opportunity to enlighten the attendees on how they actively focus on improving New York’s water sector by considering P3 collaboration and by applying an integrated water management approach, which recognizes the connection between upstream and downstream water assets. Among the high-level speakers where Josh Mendes, Technical Advisor, DHI Group, a Danish company that serves the US market with innovative technology for asset management and modelling within the water sector: “It is essential that we view the water cycle through a holistic lense. As we strive to future-proof our cities in the face of climate change and increasing density, we have to recognize that energy net-neutrality at our waste water resource plants is connected to how we manage for example stormwater further upstream”, said Josh Mendes, Technical Advisor, DHI Group.
The following break-out sessions proved the immense engagement from New Yorker stakeholders in discussing how we accommodate for future water challenges, and lot least how we finance implementation of long-term solutions.
NY Blue Tech’s 2019 World Water day symposium shed light on the complexity of the public-private partnerships needed to finance the badly needed water infrastructure upgrades in New York, and the US in general. And specifically, it brought together a diverse group of stakeholders together, who collectively identified existing technology and financial tools which are ready for deployment, if stakeholders are willing to take on risk and act.
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