Policy & Governance


Over past few decades, day to day water management practices have become embedded in societal aspects of life, connecting the many stakeholders effected by land-use functions such as nature, recreation, agriculture, our urban spaces, supporting assets and industrial areas. At the same time, regulating policies related to land and water management have become significantly more intertwined. Both globally and nationally, the principles of integrated planning, which looks at how organizations plan across multiple functions, scales, and locations, have become adopted as a standard for optimization of processes.

Topics Discussed

· How to improve the level of integration and common understanding between different dimensions of the future of water system: planning (strategic-tactical and operational decision-making), stakeholders (consumers, utilities, regulators, and policy-makers), and value chains (water resources, agriculture, environment, and ecosystem).

· How to converge WATER and DATA sciences to allow for a critical transformation to occur: the transformation of hitherto separate natural, physical, and social systems into a more connected “Cyber-Natural-Physical-Social Infrastructure” domain, through the water system of systems approach, integration of data, multi-sector system dynamics modeling, and multicriteria decision-support system.

Key Findings

The proposed Smart One Water (SOW) Cyber-Physical-Social infrastructure NSF-ERC will transform the way people interact with water services; will advance measurement and decision support technologies for adaptive management of engineered and natural water systems driven by societal needs for resilience, sustainability, and social justice.

Policy & Governance Workshop Report - Click here to download

Key Presentations

Workshop Overview - Dr. Sunil K. Sinha

Dr. Sunil Sinha is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Center of Excellence at Virginia Tech. Dr. Sunil Sinha is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award recipient in the area of sustainable water infrastructure management systems. Dr. Sinha was seed behind “90-minutes” PBS documentary titled “Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure,” that throws light on a long-buried problem — America’s aging water system. He has given many NPR interviews and featured as a water infrastructure expert in a History Channel documentary titled “The Crumbling of America.”

Video Recording



Data & Value of Governance - Hardeep Anand

Deputy Director, Capital Improvement Program - Miami Dade Water & Sewer Department

Mr. Anand has over 20 years of professional civil and environmental engineering experience along with a combination of program management and leadership experience within the public and private sector.

He currently serves as the Deputy Director for Miami Dade Water & Sewer Department and oversees the implementation of the $13.5B Capital Improvement Program for the utility to deliver innovative projects with the objective to position Miami-Dade County as a Utility of the Future. He is engaged in incorporating effective utility management attributes, sustainability and resiliency measures as well as identifying and deploying specific technology applications to realize quality, efficiency and utility resilience.

Video Recording

01 Hardeep 2020-7-30-HA-presentation-for-Sunil.pdf


Data to Knowledge - James Rayes

Video Recording

2 James Rayes Aquatic Informatics Data to Knowledge Presentation.pdf


Smart Water for a Better World - Jaime Barba

Expert in digital transformation for the water industry with more than 18 years of experience in managerial roles.

Currently leading organizations and water utilities in their digitalization journey as CEO @Idrica. Passionate about technology and people.

Working to transform the water sector as Chief Disruptive and Digital Officer @Global Omnium, CEO @Nexus Integra and member of the Advisory Board @Adesal Telecom.

Specialties: Innovation, Big Data, Smart Water, Water Cycle Management.

Video Recording

3 Jaime Barba SoW_GoAigua.pdf


Resilience in Miami Dade - Nichole Hefty

Nichole oversees and manages Miami-Dade County's Office of Sustainability which includes two Sustainability Coordinators, an Energy Manager, and an Office Assistant. The Office is primarily responsible for coordinating and facilitating Miami-Dade County's community-wide sustainability plan, "GreenPrint - Our Design for a Sustainable Future" as well as coordinating the County's climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Video Recording

4 NSF-SOW-R305Presentation-July30_2020Hefty.pdf


Outcomes of Applying City Water Approach - Debbie Griner

Resilience Manager, Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department.

Debbie Griner leads the Resilience Program at the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department, formalizing and facilitating resilience throughout its programs and functions. Griner began her 20 years of public service with the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management working on environmental compliance, permitting, planning, and outreach initiatives. In 2009, her focus shifted to sustainability and climate change initiatives, including a role in the development of GreenPrint, the county’s first community-wide sustainability plan. The Resilience Program focuses on continuing the Water and Sewer Department’s successful water-efficiency and conservation efforts, expanding energy-efficiency and renewable-energy initiatives, reducing vulnerabilities, and increasing its ability to adapt more readily to acute shocks and longer-term stresses, with the goal of bouncing back better. Griner received her bachelor of science degree in environmental studies from Florida International University, with a minor in Biology.

Video Recording

5 SOW Governance Wrkshp GRINER.pptx


Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or related documents:

For more details related to workshop please write to us: swimcenter@vt.edu