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About the Event
As Texas faced record-low temperatures this February and snow and ice topped roads and rooftops, millions were left without power and lost access to clean water. This and other recent extreme weather events have further revealed our water systems’ vulnerability. Extreme weather — in some cases directly linked to climate change — impacts water access across the US for days, months, or even years. And yet, the long-term impacts of disasters on water systems often get less attention than the initial disaster. As climate change increases the threat of extreme weather, it’s clear our infrastructure systems need to be able to withstand new pressures. And there’s a lot to learn from Texas’s latest water crisis to avoid the next disaster. Yvonne Forrest, the director of Houston Water, will share her recovery plan and lessons learned after the devastating winter storm in Texas and discuss the way forward in climate change preparation.
About the Speaker
As director of Houston Water, Ms. Forrest is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the City of Houston’s regional water and wastewater utility systems. She also oversees Regulatory Compliance, Infrastructure Planning and Operations/Program Support. She leads a staff of over 1600 with an annual capital and operations and maintenance budget of over $657 million. Before her career in public service, Ms. Forrest spent 15 years, as an Engineer, in the private sector developing processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations, permits and corporate standards. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. Ms. Forrest also serves on the Board of Directors for both Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), US Water Alliance and Water Research Foundation.