Indiana Water Summit

Managing regional and local water supplies and insuring a sustainable and resilient future for Indiana depend upon the cooperation of dozens of stakeholder organizations, public officials and state policy makers, as well as individual citizens.

The Indiana Water Summit is an opportunity to increase our collective understanding of statewide water resources, learn from national experts and other communities, and find the best ways to protect our water assets.

The Summit

The Indiana Water Summit is an apolitical and inclusive annual forum developed to examine the complex interests and issues that face our water supply. The Summit’s subject matter seeks to remain consistent with and build upon current legislative actions in order to provide a broad planning perspective, weaving together diverse topics that together demonstrate the interdependency of water issues and the science behind the state of the waters

The overarching goal of the Summit is to lay the framework for state- and regional-level water planning. Topics are selected to align with relevant university research, as well as the current water needs and challenges facing all sectors of water users (agriculture, industry, utility, community quality of life, etc.). The format of the Summit includes a combination of national and international speakers; a review of best practices, case studies, and lessons learned; interactive elements; and an influential keynote address.

Summit Content Water Topics Invest

Schedule – August 12 & 13

Kick-off Event
Sunday, August 12 from 5-8 p.m.
Indiana State Museum
650 W. Washington St. Indianapolis

This inspirational event will help kick-off the Water Summit. The event will feature keynote speakers discussing relevant water issues, specific challenges facing Indiana’s water resources, and what individual citizens can do to engage in water planning and protection efforts. Guests will receive exclusive after-hours access to the Museum’s natural history exhibits and enjoy a book signing with keynote speaker Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst.” Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Content is best for ages 14 and above. Space at this event is limited, registration is required. Cost is $5.

Action Forum
Monday, August 13 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
JW Marriott
10 S. West St. Indianapolis

This day-long, action-driven forum is aimed at building widespread understanding about competing water needs, the status of Indiana’s water resources, and the best-practice planning strategies needed to guide Indiana’s water future. Interactive sessions, speakers and panels will feature national, state and regional experts across the full spectrum of water users, researchers and policy makers. Leaders from all industry and agricultural sectors, utility managers, public officials, agency staff, water professionals, researchers, and grassroots community leaders are encouraged to participate. Space at this event is limited, registration is required. An optional networking happy-hour event will follow from 5-6 pm. Cost for the forum varies between $90-$135.

A block of room has been placed on hold at the JW Marriott for those interested in staying overnight Sunday evening.

A range of ancillary and/or future events are under consideration, including:

  • River tours
  • Post-Summit follow-up regional meetings
  • Early action planning at the state and regional level


Early Bird Registration ENDS JULY 27th

Early Bird Student $50
Early Bird Government and Non-Profit $90
Early Bird Business $110
Regular Student $70
Regular Government and Non-Profit $115
Regular Business $135

Keynote Speaker

In the last four years, Charles Fishman has become one of the most forceful, challenging and inspiring public voices on water issues, speaking everywhere from MIT and UCLA, to The Hershey Company and the US State Department.

Fishman’s book, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life & Turbulent Future of Water, has become the bestselling water book in a generation, and is changing how people think about water, and how they manage it. The Big Thirst does something few water books do — it restores a sense of wonder about water, along with a sense of urgency.

Fishman’s message is both blunt and optimistic. The next decade will see a revolution in water akin to the revolution we’ve seen in computing, in medicine, in communication, in the last 10 years. Around the world, how people use water, how they get it, what they pay for it, and how they think about it — all will change. Because it must change.

Fishman is a former reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman’s work has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism. Fishman is the author of two other New York Times bestsellers, The Wal-Mart Effect, about Wal-Mart’s impact on how we live; and the #1 NYT bestseller, A Curious Mind, about the power of curiosity, with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer.

Fishman grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from Harvard. After a stint in Mexico City, he now lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, also a journalist, their two children, and their two Labradors. A two-foot wide creek runs through his backyard.


How is Water Summit being funded and organized?

The first few years of the Indiana Water Summit have been made possible by generous support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust as well as potential Summit sponsors known as Water Investors (see below for more information on how to get involved).

A Program Steering Committee made up of high-level state and local leadership (state legislators, local public officials, agency heads, etc.) as well as key social and technical organizations (large utilities, agriculture, industry, professional organizations, universities, philanthropic CEOs, non-profit directors, etc.) are helping to guide the vision and insure diverse and relevant topics are addressed.

A Working Committee made up of a broader group of partners (chambers of commerce, aggregate neighborhood associations, development community representatives, etc.) and technical staff from cities/towns, consulting firms, researchers, agency staff, and other related professionals, as well as the staff from the White River Alliance who provide backbone support, are working on agenda development, guest speakers, and other related tasks.

How can I support the Indiana Water Summit?

The Summit is an inclusive event that does not boast typical sponsorships. Rather, its long-term future is dependent upon the support of many individuals and organizations… much like protecting our water future is dependent on such cooperation. Everyone has a role to play. You can help us insure the Water Summit’s success and affordability by becoming part of our Water Investors group. No donation is too small or too large to be an Investor. All Water Investors will be equally recognized and appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible and will be utilized specifically for the Summit and its related efforts. Please consider giving to Indiana’s water future here.