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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jenny Hoffner, Senior Director and Co-Lead, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers

Posted by Steve Anderson on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Jenny Hoffner, American RiversAmerican Rivers is a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s rivers and to fostering a river stewardship ethic.

Jenny Hoffner is Senior Director and Co-Lead of American Rivers’ Clean Water Supply program leading a national program to advance climate resilient, predictable, reliable clean water supply policies for communities and their rivers.  In 2012, she co-authored the report Money Pit: The High Cost and High Risk of Water Supply Reservoirs in the Southeast and in 2008 she published American Rivers’ report Hidden Reservoir: Why Water Efficiency is the Best Solution for the Southeast. Prior to joining American Rivers in 2007, Jenny organized an award-winning, multi-stakeholder effort to transform the Bronx River from dumping ground to healthy urban waterway and served as Director of Partnerships for Parks , a network of over 55,000 people and 4,000 park stewardship groups working with 28,000 acres of New York City parks.  Jenny received her Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Georgia.  She currently serves on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Study Municipal & Industrial Water Conservation and Reuse Work Group, Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’s Ocmulgee Basin Advisory Committee, the Georgia Water Wise Council Board of Directors and the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s WaterSense/Water Efficient Products Committee. She recently served on the State of Georgia’s Water Loss Technical Advisory Committee as well as the Water Conservation Technical Small Group.

Water Infrastructure Is Critical
…Our water infrastructure is vast, both in its grey and its green components, and all of that is a critical part of our economic health for our country…The recent estimates by EPA suggest that there is a gap of approximately $635 billion dollars between water infrastructure investment needs and the current funding levels. 

Frequent Failures Make Water Infra More Visible
When we’re starting to see drought in eastern states like Georgia, where historically water has sort of been a birthright, then water becomes a little bit more front-burner and starts to get some of the attention…But it is a slow burn; drought is not something that just suddenly happens. 

Innovative Solutions from Seattle and Philadelphia
I think we can point to particular examples of success in particular practices, or particular policies. I would say that the city of Seattle has a robust water efficiency program…I could point to Philadelphia, which just evaluated grey infrastructure options for addressing their localized flooding and combined sewer overflow problems.

American Rivers: Managing Our Finite Water Supplies
Water is life. We take it for granted in our country but it’s absolutely essential that we pay attention to this most precious and finite of resources…And we have increased demands across the board on our finite water supplies. 

Download full transcript (PDF): Jenny Hoffner on The Infra Blog

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