Stakeholder Engagement


Workforce development has always been a challenge for water-related utilities. The added challenges of moving from traditional siloes to a Smart One Water management philosophy adds an additional layer of complexity, but also creates incredible opportunity to increase collaborative efforts and attract previously untapped resources and people. As an industry, it is essential that we develop an understanding of future workforce needs driven by integrated one water governance and management, digital and AI-driven advancements and that our internal and external workforce initiative evolve accordingly.

Topics Discussed


Why Engagement is Important?

Many technologies and sectors are involved in the proposed work as a result a lot of information and opinions need to be gathered (Figure 2):

· Expertise and knowledge reside in a broad spectrum of individuals and groups

· Different individuals and groups are involved in the use of technologies and they are affected by them

Harvest the wealth of information and perspectives by engaging stakeholders

Who are the stakeholders?

A stakeholder is anyone who can influence or is affected by a change (or things they are).

People/institutions that are:

· Connected with the different technologies

· Using the proposed solution

· Planning and legislating

· Connected to those affected by the proposed solution

When should stakeholders be engaged?

There are different times during a project when stakeholders need to be engaged.

Early and regular engagement of the stakeholders is key to the success of a project

How should stakeholders by engaged?

There are many ways to engage stakeholders, like:

· Questionnaires and surveys

· Field observations

· Focus groups

· Public forum

· Interviews

· Workshops

· Brainstorming

Questions in the breakout sessions:

1. What are the pressing barriers to innovation in your space?

2. How do you envision new technologies to help you interact with other organizations, customers, and policy makers, and break down current silos?

3. What strategies or technologies is your organization considering to support new infrastructure?

4. What have you tried and what have you learned from your past efforts?

5. What new industries do you foresee burgeoning as a result of a need for SOW technologies by water sector industry?

6. What are some new growth opportunities related to smart water infrastructure?

7. What are some policies and jurisdiction barriers to these opportunities?

8. What challenges and opportunities do you see in enabling SOW infrastructure for smaller communities?

9. What else should we consider / what are we not thinking about?

10. Who else should be involved in this discussion?


The white paper will be used as a guiding document in the development of the NSF ERC Smart One Water and also by other entities.

Water Sector Stakeholders

Stakeholder Engagement Workshop Report - Click here to download

Key Presentations

Smart One Water Stakeholder Vision - 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



The Role of Digital Twins - Gigi Karmous - Edwards

Gigi's passion is helping organizations solve global challenges relating to Water-Energy-Food nexus through advanced digital technological solutions, including IoT, cloud/fog computing, data analytics, machine learning, robotics, and communications with sustainability as a primary goal. Gigi worked with global leaders of water utilities and technology companies to help accelerate the Digital Transformation of the water sector. Provide thought leadership in the Water sector via several international publications (see below) and invited speaking engagements, including Global Water Summit, World Water Tech, Asset Management Conference, SWAN NA.

As the Digital-Lead Director for Amane Advisors, Gigi provided business advisory to water technology companies and utilities regarding digital transformation, digital strategy, growth strategy, technology partnerships, M&A, and market segmentation and analysis. Conducted original research and business intelligence via surveys and interviews on digital adoption in the water sector and led the effort to initiate a Digital Utility Group concept. Before joining Amane Advisors, Gigi served as Vice President at Fathom Water Management Inc. Gigi helped define and led the development of the first eCommerce ecosystem for the water sector. Prior to Fathom, She was the Director of Technology at Sensus, a smart grid and clean tech technology company where she focused on building the technology roadmap for Smart Grid for Water.

Authored and co-authored over 23 peer-reviewed publications including a Wiley Book on Grid Networks.

Video Recording

Karmous-EdwardsNSF ERC SOW .pdf


Intelligent Water Systems - Walter Graf

Program Director - Strategic Asset Management and Intelligent Water Systems - Water Research Foundation (WRF)

Directs Strategic Asset Management (SAM) and Intelligent Water Systems (IWS) Research at the Alexandria office, directed the recently completed USEPA Aging Water Infrastructure cooperative agreement with cumulative budgets of $10+ million.

Video Recording

Graf IWS NSF-ERC workshop December 9 2019.pdf


Workshop Summary - Jon Greene

Associate Director, Strategic Planning and Development

Jon is responsible for strategic planning and leading strategic initiatives for the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Jon leads business development efforts, institute metrics, benchmarking and communications.


Video Recording



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