Building Resilience for Water Extremes


Duration:60 minutes


ENR talks with utilities in drought-ridden, flood-prone and coastal communities to learn how they are preparing for these water extremes through improved infrastructure, optimized operations, and public and stakeholder outreach.

During this webinar, attendees will learn:

  • How engineers and operators have managed and demonstrated system resilience through water extremes
  • The first steps that communities should take to prepare themselves for such water extremes

The content of this webinar is produced and directed by ENR's editorial team.

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Laura Munafo

Deputy Director, New York Rising Community Reconstruction – Long Island & Deputy Director, Infrastructure
New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery
Program Manager, Rebuild by Design: Living with the Bay

Ms. Munafo has been with the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) since 2013. As Deputy Director of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program – Long Island and Deputy Director for Infrastructure, Laura manages over 100 infrastructure projects throughout New York State as a result of Sandy. In 2016, Laura joined as Program Manager for Living with the Bay, where she oversees multiple stakeholders, assists in project development and project implementation.

Prior to joining GOSR, Laura served in the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management as a Community Service Representative. She developed and oversaw FEMA’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power Program for Nassau County following Sandy. She also served as a liaison on behalf of the County with FEMA, New York State, and localities during and following the storm.

Yvonne Forrest

Deputy Director, Houston Water
Department of Houston Public Works

As Deputy Director of the Department of Houston Public Works, Ms. Forrest is responsible for the operation and maintenance of City of Houston’s regional water and wastewater utility systems. She also oversees the Infrastructure planning and Business Services. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and City’s public water and wastewater system is one of the largest utilities within the United States. She manages a staff of 1,522 with an annual capital and operations and maintenance budget of over $657 million.

The Drinking Water Operations branch is responsible for three surface water purification plants, 100 groundwater pumping stations, over 7,000 miles of water mains, 59,000 fire hydrants and 159,000 valves. The Wastewater Operations branch is responsible for 39 waste treatment plants, over 370 lift stations, 127,000 manholes and 6,100 miles of gravity and force mains.

Ms. Forrest represents the City of Houston on AWWA Water Utility Council and act as a liaison to other City of Houston departments, customers, regulating agencies and elected officials.

Prior to her career in public service, Ms. Forrest spent 15 years, as an Engineer, in the private sector developing processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations, permits and corporate standards. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina.

E.J. Caldwell, Esq.

Manager of Water Policy and Resources Development
West Basin Municipal Water District

E.J. Caldwell joined West Basin Municipal Water District in 2006, and currently serves as the Manager of Water Policy and Resources Development. Mr. Caldwell began his career in the California State Capitol where he served in the Office of Assembly Speaker Herb J. Wesson Jr., and continued under Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, as a Policy Advisor on legislative and policy issues related to housing and community development, insurance and structural reform to the California State Budget.

After leaving the Capitol, Mr. Caldwell practiced law in Southern California, representing school districts, special districts and municipalities, concentrating on legislative and regulatory matters.

A member of the California State Bar Association, E.J. graduated from Willamette University College of Law with a Juris Doctor (2002); and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Arizona (1997).

Pam Russell

News Editor



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Building Resilience for Water Extremes
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