About the conference 

Water: Access, Supply, Sustainability is an online, multidisciplinary conference exploring complex water-related topics and connecting water management issues of vital importance to Kansas City, the Midwest, and, indeed, the world. Through online resources and live sessions, participants examine creative ways diverse communities are working to provide access to clean water, explore the engineering and economics behind management of our waterways, and learn innovative yet practical approaches for sustaining our freshwater resources.

Moderated by world-renowned oceanographer, Dr. David Gallo, a distinguished lineup of speakers, including community leaders, scientists, engineers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs, discover an interdisciplinary lens through which the future of water can be examined.

Welcome to the Linda Hall Library’s 2020 Science Conference, Water: Access, Supply, Sustainability. Join us as we embark on a global-to-local exploration of the science, technology, and engineering behind water issues that connect communities and disciplines, illuminating the opportunities that emerge at each intersection.

Conference Moderator

David GalloFor nearly 40 years David Gallo has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in and being witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of planet earth. He has been described by TED Conferences as “an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.” With nearly 13 million views, his TED presentation “Underwater Astonishments” has been among the all-time top TED Talks. Dr. Gallo is currently Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives and Programs at RMS Titanic Inc. Previously, he was Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Climate and Life of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Prior to that he was Director of Special Projects for 28 years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a preeminent, globally recognized scientific laboratory.

Conference Sessions

Each conference session page features videos and resources to explore at your own pace, including mini-talks from guest speakers, recommended resources from the Linda Hall Library reference staff, and links for further learning. Scheduled live sessions with guest speakers and audience Q&A will take place via Zoom. Registration for the conference includes access to all site content and each Zoom session.  Learn more about each session below.

From Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water crisis and the lack of running water in Native American households to preserving the dwindling Ogallala Aquifer and efforts to deliver clean water to a global population, four expert panelists will highlight obstacles to equitable water access and how  communities are working to address them.

Management of natural waterways such as the Missouri River has often been a struggle, as engineers, policy makers, and citizens seek to balance commerce, public health, and conservation of natural resources. Join four panelists tackling this intricate work to learn how water management has shaped our past and what the future holds for a river at the heart of the Heartland. 

A leading authority and prolific author on international water issues, Sandra Postel has been hailed for her “inspiring, innovative and practical approach” to promoting the preservation and sustainable use of freshwater. Join us for a keynote address that considers our role in water stewardship and how we can sustain our precious freshwater resources for future generations.

With Special Thanks to the Conference Planning Committee

Molly Davies

Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri- Kansas City

Rosemary Gudelj

Senior Advisor, Public Affairs, Water.org

Lara Isch

Sustainability Manager, City of Kansas City, Missouri

Tom Jacobs

Environmental Services Director, Mid-America Regional Council

Eric Schumate

Matthew Hughes

Executive Director, International Relations Council of Kansas City

Adam McLane

Executive Director, Missouri Nature Conservancy

Continue the Conversation

Dive deep into the world of water by connecting to the organizations working on water issues everyday. With resources to compliment the 2020 Science Conference focus on water issues, opportunities to get involved, and links to continued learning, there’s something for everyone to keep the conversation going. Click below to explore the virtual exhibit hall.