Iowa's Drinking Water: Could Flint Happen Here?

June 17, 2016
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Iowa Events Center - Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (Vets Auditorium), Des Moines, IA

The Public Policy Center's June symposium, "Iowa's Drinking Water: Could Flint Happen Here?" explored the current state of Iowa’s drinking water and the future challenges confronting water providers in the state to reliably deliver safe drinking water to Iowans.  Co-organized by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center and the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC), this all day event included panels of water experts from academia, industry and the public sector, including the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

In light of recent, high profile incidents of public health crises arising from drinking water contamination around the United States, a special focus was placed on whether drinking water supplies in Iowa are susceptible to similar vulnerabilities experienced elsewhere. This included a presentation by Joyce Zhu, a member of the Flint Water Study, who shared first-hand experiences and lessons learned from the public health crisis in Flint, Michigan. Beyond Flint, panel topics addressed other potential threats to the sustainability of Iowa’s drinking water supplies.

The Symposium was accredited for 0.6 CEUs for the renewal of Iowa water treatment and distribution operator licenses.

*Partial support for this symposium has been provided by the Iowa NSF EPSCoR project; this project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number EPS-1101284. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed during this event are those of the participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


June 17, 2016

Coffee & Registration
Welcome Remarks
Director Public Policy Center
UI Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC)
Executive Vice President and Provost University of Iowa
Morning Keynote
UI Civil & Environmental Engineering
Pacific Institute
Lessons from Flint
Central Iowa Water Association
Virginia Tech / Flint Water Study
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Association of Water Agencies
Cedar Rapids Water
Water Solutions Unlimited
Lunch and Lunch Keynote
Assistant Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Research Engineer IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering University of Iowa
US Environmental Protection Agency
Influence of Agriculture on Iowa's Drinking Water Sources
Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa
Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics College of Engineering, University of Iowa
Director IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, University of Iowa
Director of Midwest Outreach Environmental Working Group
Director of Environmental Programs & Services Iowa Soybean Association
Drake University Law
Afternoon Break
Beyond Nitrate: Current and Emerging Challenges for Iowa Drinking Water Resources
Program Coordinator Research Geologist, IOWATER
US Geological Survey
State Geological and Water Survey
Iowa Department of Agriculture
Iowa Rural Water Association
Late Afternoon Break
Policy Approaches for Protecting Iowa's Drinking Water
Clinical Professor Occupational and Environmental Health University of Iowa
Director Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Division of Water Wetlands and Pesticides US Environmental Protection Agency
State Representative House District 1
Iowa Senator District 18
Wrap Up
UI Civil & Environmental Engineering


A sincere thank you to our co-sponsors:







And our in-kind sponsors:






The Forkenbrock Series provides a forum for dialogue about policy areas from applied, academic, and interdisciplinary perspectives. The series was established in honor of David Forkenbrock, a nationally recognized transportation researcher. Dr. Forkenbrock established the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa in 1987 and directed the Center until 2007. His vision was to enable public and private sector decision makers to work with faculty, staff, and student researchers to explore solutions to complex problems related to the public interest.
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