Birmingham, Alabama:  September 12, 2011 — The International Water Forum at the United Nations announced the line-up of panelists and presentations that will headline the daylong event addressing the need for building a global awareness and education campaign aimed at the impending global water crisis.

Set for September 16th, 2011, and scheduled to coincide with the opening of the 66th United Nations General Assembly, the International Water Forum will feature in-depth discussions with expert panels on potential solutions to the myriad water issues facing developed and developing countries alike, and feature presentations by notable leaders from a variety of sectors.

Organized by the Energy and Water Institute of New York and The Chronicles Group in cooperation with The World Water Organization (WWO), WaterAid America and the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), the forum will convene global water experts, academics, world leaders and representatives from both non-governmental organizations and the private sector in order to come to a consensus on bringing global awareness to the water crisis.

Ms. Yvonne Lodico, Head of UNITAR, will open the forum, with welcoming remarks from Jim Thebaut, President of the Chronicles Group, and Harold H.S. Oh, President of the Energy and Water Institute of New York. The keynote address will be given by Patricia Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and will be introduced by Dr. William Cooper professor at the Urban Water Research Center at the University of California.

Following the keynote, actress/activist Jane Seymour will present a short film addressing the crippling effects of the world’s water crisis. Author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of WaterCharles Fishman will give a special address as the luncheon speaker, introduced by G. Ruffner Page, Jr., President of McWane Inc. Mr. Page will also make some remarks about the economic and health benefits of water infrastructure projects.

The forum will be conducted in three sessions with expert panels throughout the day. The first session, Water Issues in North America — A Focus on the United States, presided by Dr. Erik K. Webb, senior manager of Sandia National Laboratories with introductions by Las Vegas, NM, Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, Jr. will feature the following panelists:

The second session, Global Water Issues, will feature:

  • Dr. Upmanu Lall, Director and Professor, Columbia Water Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University

The third session, Developing and Implementing a Public Education and Branding Strategy, presided by president of The Pollack PR Marketing Group, Stefan Pollack, will feature:

"When the United Nations General Assembly opens its 66th session this September in New York, water scarcity and its interrelated issues of climate change and drought, global security and sustainable development will be one of the top priorities," saidJim Thebaut, president of The Chronicles Group. “The overall objective of the forum is to establish water as a critical focus of the UN delegates’ attention while educating the general public about the severity of water shortages, climate change, drought and their connection to energy, public health, poverty, hunger, groundwater and aquifer depletion, agriculture, food supply, population growth and ultimately international security. This is a global crisis that will require the attention of the world community if a solution is to be found.”

The International Water Forum is made possible in part through the generous support of Rain Bird Corporation, Southern Nevada Water Authority, United Water/Suez Environment, McWane Inc. and Wallace Genetic Foundation.

This event is free and open to the public. Event registration as well as a complete schedule of events is available by visiting

About McWane Inc.

McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the United States and the world.  At the McWane Family of Companies, we cast ductile iron products--including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, and plumbing products--manufacture fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, steel pressure vessels, and build network switches and monitoring equipment.  We are the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally-friendly manufacturing of our products.  With more than 6,000 team members McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where we live and work.