Marquette Law School to Host Conference on Public Policy and Drinking Water

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Nationally renowned water corrosion and treatment expert Marc Edwards and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett are among the featured guests for an upcoming conference, “Public Policy and American Drinking Water,” to be held Wednesday, Sept. 7, at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee.

Amid great concern about the future of water quality and quantity, this conference will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the water-related legal, scientific, engineering and environmental issues that fill today’s news and touch all of our lives. Edwards, the Charles P. Lunsford professor of civil engineering at Virginia Tech University, and other leading figures from various disciplines will discuss the following topics:

  • Lead, drinking water and aging infrastructure
  • Groundwater supply issues
  • Water pricing and valuation
  • Lessons from Flint
  • Public-private partnerships and the privatization of drinking water delivery systems
  • Public perceptions of drinking water contamination

The lead organizer of the conference is David Strifling, director of Marquette University Law School’s Water Law and Policy Initiative. Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell will deliver opening remarks for the conference.

Several other members of Marquette’s faculty will be featured guests, including Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation and professor of chemistry; Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy; Charles Franklin, professor of law and public policy and director of the Marquette Law School Poll; Jill Birren, assistant professor, College of Education; Brooke Mayer, assistant professor, Opus College of Engineering; Andrew Meyer, assistant professor, College of Business Administration; and Robert Griffin, professor, Diederich College of Communication.

Other featured guests include:

  • Fred Royal, president, NAACP Milwaukee branch and member of the Freshwater for Life Action Coalition
  • Cathy Stepp, secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Dee Hall, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
  • George Kraft, professor and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Stevens Point
  • Chris Goemans, associate professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University
  • Christine Klein, Chesterfield Smith Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law
  • Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
  • Richard Little, Editor, Public Works Management and Policy
  • Kimberlee Wright, executive director, Midwest Environmental Advocates

The conference is at capacity; registration for a waiting list is available online. 

Through public programming such as the Marquette Law School Poll, debates featuring candidates in significant political races, Gousha’s “On the Issues” conversations with newsmakers, public lectures by leading scholars and conferences on significant issues of public importance, the Law School serves as the region’s leading venue for serious civil discourse about law and public policy matters.


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