The Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) 9th Annual Symposium will focus on water themes in disaster response, a particularly relevant issue in light of the rising frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

The event will feature discussions and breakout sessions on the role of innovation and diplomacy in addressing water concerns in humanitarian emergencies. The Symposium will kick off with a keynote address by Martha Thompson on Puerto Rico’s disaster response, followed by two breakout sessions on topics that include the intersection of gender and water, infrastructure and investments, and forecasting waterborne disease outbreaks. Lunch will be followed by a panel discussion on the water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa. Experts include Dr. Kenneth Strzepek, professor of Water Management and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, Dr. Larry Susskind, Professor of Environmental and Urban Planning at MIT, and Dr. James Cullis, a native South African who runs a water consulting firm in Cape Town and is currently working on the crisis. Finally, the event will conclude with a tech session, featuring a TEDex style presentation of innovative, technology-driven water solutions.

The conference has a track record of bringing leading thinkers, policymakers, business executives, scientists and academics to discuss pressing water concerns. With previous speakers including CEO of Mammoth Trading Richael Young, Senior advisor USACE at the Institute for Water Resource Dr. Jerry Delli Priscolli, and Director at E-Water and MacArthur Fellow Dr. Kartik Chandran, this Symposium serves as a nexus for new ideas and thinking about water.

This conference is open to students, professionals and anyone interested in this growing issue. We hope to see you all there!

About WSSS

The WSSS graduate research and education program was established in 2004 by Tufts University to provide interdisciplinary perspectives and tools needed to manage water-related problems around the world. The program is supported by the Tufts Institute of the Environment, which provides resources and space to students and faculty involved in WSSS. Participating students are currently enrolled in Tufts University graduate programs, including the Graduate School of Engineering, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.