Recorded Webinar: Pacific Institute and CWEA Discuss ‘Brave Blue World’, CA Wastewater Innovation

Watch the Documentary on NETFLIX, then Join the Live Panel Discussion March 29th
Technology and Innovation

The new documentary film Brave Blue World examines how new technologies and innovations can create a more sustainable water future. It’s important to convey a sense of hope and spirit of optimism for water. The film includes interviews with a variety of water experts, as well as high-profile advocates Matt Damon and Jaden Smith.

By showing a path to a sustainable water future, Brave Blue World will inspire us to improve our stewardship of California’s most precious resource – water.


The Pacific Institute and CWEA have assembled a panel of experts to take a closer look at what we can do in California and beyond.

Wastewater systems are facing an era of unprecedented and growing uncertainty due to climate change – from rising seas to increasingly severe flooding and droughts.

Because of their location and large, complex treatment systems, these facilities are vulnerable as our climate changes.

Wastewater holds tremendous promise for advancing water resilience. Water reuse, for example, can make communities more resilient to climate change and other stressors by diversifying water supplies and providing greater flexibility to the water system.

Likewise, municipal wastewater contains five to 10 times more energy than is required to treat it, highlighting opportunities for recovering energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There’s nothing to waste in wastewater. Learn more by watching Brave Blue World on Netflix and joining our fun, virtual discussion on March 29th.

Thank you event sponsors


About the Panel

Heather Cooley is the Director of Research for Pacific Institute, overseeing research on an array of water issues, such as sustainable water use and management, connections between water and energy, and the impacts of climate change on water resources. She serves on the Urban Stakeholder Committee and the California Urban Water Conservation Council’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Christopher Hyun is a Senior Environmental Scientist at the State Water Resources Control Board, where he serves as staff lead on supporting and implementing climate-related directives across the Board’s divisions and offices. Chris has a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources and Development Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Michelle Hummel is an Assistant Professor of Water Resources in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. She specializes in the development of numerical models to simulate flood hazards driven by extreme events and long-term sea-level rise. Michelle is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Brynne Weeks is an environmental engineer at Carollo Engineers where she specializes in potable and non-potable water reuse projects. Her work seeks to enhance California’s water resources through the development of local, sustainable water supplies. She has experience in planning, permitting, and pilot testing of water reuse systems for Morro Bay, Ventura, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Jennifer West is Managing Director of WateReuse California, which is the leading organization in California promoting the safe, practical and beneficial use of recycled water. Since becoming Managing Director, Jennifer has spearheaded numerous successful regulatory and legislative initiatives to promote reuse in California. Some of these efforts include the passage of AB 574 (Quirk), requiring the development of Raw Water Augmentation regulations, the passage of AB 1180 in 2019 requiring the update of non-potable recycled water regulations and most recently, the development of the California WateReuse Action Plan. From 2010 to 2014 she served as the Director for Water for the California Municipal Utilities Association and before that worked for 15 years as a contract legislative advocate.

Eileen M. White is currently the Director of Wastewater for the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, which supplies water to approximately 1.4 million people and wastewater services to about 670,000 people. Eileen has more than 20 years of engineering experience in the wastewater, water, and power industries. As the Director of Wastewater, she is responsible for leading the Wastewater Department which includes planning, organizing, and leading the engineering, operations, and maintenance of the wastewater system to ensure efficient operations that meet all regulations.

About the Pacific Institute and CWEA


About the Pacific Institute: Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. Our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.

About CWEA: We are an association of over 10,000 wastewater professionals who protect California’s most critical resource. Our focus is on education, certification and advocating for clean water.