WaterSmart Conference stresses the effects water has on everyone

Departments - L&L Insider

December 5, 2012
Lawn & Landscape Staff
From left: Richard Restuccia, Martha Golea, Colleen Donnelly and Alan Harris of ValleyCrest.

LAS VEGAS –The WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition conference covered everything from greywater to social media and included a keynote speech by J. Carl Ganter.

More than 900 participants from 33 states and the District of Columbia and seven foreign nations participated in the conference, which took place in late October in Las Vegas.

“It’s critical that we accelerate adoption of water efficiency concepts in urban environments,” said Program Chairman Doug Bennett.

“As a peer-to-peer conference, our attendees have the opportunity to get the most current information on what’s working.”

Ganter, director and founder of Circle of Blue, told several water stories and the profound effects of water scarcity.

  • In Mexico economies and industries have literally dried up resulting in more immigration to the United States.
  • In India young girls spend several hours each day helping to haul water to the house instead of getting an education.
  • In China the water hungry coal industry combined with drought has led to grasslands so parched that dust storms starting in Inner Mongolia blow all the way to Beijing.
  • In the U.S. tar sands require an enormous amount of water for processing after which the water has to be extensively treated.

While these stories may be a little gloomy, they are real stories about real people dealing with a real crisis with real consequences stretching across regions and borders.

“The need and the ability to solve these problems are greater today than ever before in mankind’s existence,” said Alan Harris, southeast regional sales leader for ValleyCrest.

“Listen closely for the stories about water and share them often so they are heard above “shouting” of the entertainment infatuated media”

For those who utilize social media, the conference was a great place to make valuable LinkedIn connections, exchange Facebook page info, and meet Twitter followers in person.

These tools serve as a pre-conference ice breaker and a way to keep in touch afterward, strengthening relationships on both sides.

Social media is one way to continue sharing ideas and resources about a sustainable water future long after the conference is over and to keep the excitement level high year-round.

Many of the sessions were tweeted live. Those tweets can be viewed on Twitter when you search #WSI2012. 

In addition, technical tours to Hoover Dam, the Springs Preserve and The Venetian Resort highlighted Southern Nevada’s water-efficiency practices and water resources, while an expo hall provided 60 exhibitors with an opportunity to share their water-efficient products and services.

The sixth WSI conference and expo is slated for Oct. 2-4, 2013, at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas. More information will soon be available at WaterSmartInnovations.com.

Across the Industry

PLANET names first female Trailblazer

LAKE CITY, Pa. – Affiliated Grounds Maintenance Group announced that the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) named CEO Crystal Arlington to the status of Trailblazer.

Trailblazers are a select group of individuals nominated by their peers for being dedicated professionals who have made significant and long-term contributions to the green industry.

Arlington is one of 118 Trailblazers who has earned this designation and she is the first female to receive the honor in the category of Landscape Management.

“The PLANET Trailblazer mentoring program has provided assistance to so many companies and individuals,” said AGMG CEO Crystal Arlington.

“I am proud to join this group of dedicated green industry professionals and I look forward to helping others achieve success in the exterior maintenance industry.” This year, she became ASCA Certified with the Accredited Snow Contractors Association.

Affiliated Grounds Maintenance Group, headquartered in Lake City, Pa., has grown to encompass work in 39 states with more than 5,000 Affiliated Partner Contractors.

The company provides exterior maintenance services including landscape maintenance, snow and ice management, lot sweeping and power washing to some of the country’s largest companies and property management firms. Learn more at landcarenetwork.org.