LAS VEGAS — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today concluded the BusinessH2O Summit, a conference bringing together business leaders, government officials, and water experts from the United States and Israel to discuss best practices in corporate water stewardship and public policies to address the growing demand for water. The U.S. Chamber also launched the U.S.-Israel Water Working Group to support ongoing efforts in advancing water sustainability. The Working Group will conduct a BusinessH2O mission to Israel next year.
“As a significant user of water, the business community has a critical role to play in driving solutions to water challenges through greater efficiencies and conservation” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Our private sector needs to partner with water-advanced countries like Israel to adopt new technologies and best practices in water management, which will help create jobs and grow our economy.”
The summit addressed issues such as improving water governance to promote economic growth, promoting investment in water technology, and strengthening U.S. collaboration with Israel on water policy and technology. High-level government leaders including Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona, and the Executive Director for the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development Steve Hill discussed the importance of public-private partnerships.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released its 2016 case-study report on corporate water stewardship at the summit, and the U.S. Chamber is producing a white paper on the summit’s key takeaways for the next administration.
The BusinessH2O Summit took place at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, an MGM Resorts International Green Building property.
“MGM International continues to invest in new solutions to help conserve our natural resources,” said Cindy Ortega, senior vice president and Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “Partnering with the U.S. Chamber on this summit will help educate business leaders about both the importance and ‘how to’ of water conservation.”
The conference concluded with a memorandum of understanding signing between Israel’s National Technological Innovation Authority and Nevada’s WaterStart, a public-private joint venture to coordinate expertise and infrastructure on water innovation.
The BusinessH2O Summit was organized in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry, led by Oded Distel, Director of Israel NewTech. A delegation of Israeli water technology start-ups, organized by the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce, travelled to Las Vegas for the Summit.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad. The U.S.-Israel Business Initiative (USIBI) is the premier vehicle advancing the bilateral commercial relationship between the United States and Israel.