Michigan’s Municipal Water Infrastructure: Policy Choices and Issues Conference

Date: March 22, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. - Noon
Location: Lansing Convention Center, 333 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48933
Contact: Associate Director Mary Schulz, schulzm2@anr.msu.edu or 517-355-2160

The “Michigan’s Municipal Water Infrastructure: Policy Choices and Issues” conference is being sponsored by a consortium of universities across the state, with the hope of bringing a voice of academic research and analysis to the topic of municipal water policy in the state (particularly relevant in the face of the crisis in Flint). Faculty will present on a range of issues: from water supply engineering issues to municipal funding needs to public trust to health and environmental impacts to state and federal regulation.


  8:30 – 9:00 AM         Registration with Coffee & Pastries

  9:00 – 9:05 AM         Welcome

Water Infrastructure Engineering, Economics, and Regulation Panel

  9:05 – 9:35 AM         Moderator: Debra Horner

Panelists: Dr. Jan Beecher, Dr. Carol Miller & Dr. Krista Wigginton

  9:35 – 10:05 AM       Q & A

10:05 – 10:20 AM       Break with Coffee & Pastries

Policy and Investment Aspects of Municipal Infrastructure Panel

10:20 – 10:50 AM       Moderator: Dr. Dale Thomson

Panelists: Dr. Jacob Lederman, Dr. Eric Scorsone & Dr. Joe Hamm

10:50 – 11:15 AM       Q & A

Consequences of Infrastructure Failure

11:15 – 11:45 AM       Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD

11:45 – Noon               Q & A

Noon                            Wrap-up Comments

Conference is co-hosted by: Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Oakland University, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Dearborn, University of Michigan Flint, and Wayne State University.


Dr. Janice Beecher is the Director of the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University and Editor of the journal Utilities Policy. The Institute supports informed, effective, and efficient regulation of utility industries through interdisciplinary applied research and educational programs. She is a political scientist with particular expertise in the economics, structure, and regulation of the water industry, including privatization and pricing. 

Dr. Joe Hamm is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Environmental Studies at Michigan State University and part of the university’s Global Water Initiative. A psychologist by training, Dr. Hamm’s work lies at the nexus of institutions and the public where he investigates trust and especially, how best to appropriately measure it and the role that it plays in facilitating a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between government and the public it serves.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center. Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s research exposed elevated blood lead levels in Flint’s children that corresponded to the city’s switch to using the Flint River without corrosion controls as its drinking water source.  She has been named a member of Governor Rick Snyder’s Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee charged with setting in place long-term solutions to Flint’s water system.

Dr. Jacob Lederman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan-Flint. His research explores how urban redevelopment models are diffused between cities and the process by which urban officials and elites translate and adapt these paradigms to local conditions. Central to his research has been an examination of the new forms of urban stratification that emerge as cities adopt “best practices” from other contexts.

Dr. Carol Miller is Chair and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Wayne State University. Dr. Miller’s water research areas include sustainable and green energy technologies, hydraulic modeling, and water supplies.

Dr. Eric Scorsone is Associate Professor and founding Director of the Michigan State University Extension Center for State and Local Government Policy. Dr. Scorsone’s research areas include local government finances and administration, local government financial emergencies, local government budgeting, state-local policy and intergovernmental consolidation.

Dr. Dale Thomson is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he teaches courses in public policy, public administration, and urban studies.  His research focuses on the policies and politics of urban revitalization, nonprofit and local government management, and the role of philanthropy in revitalization.

Dr. Krista Rule Wigginton is Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Wigginton’s research focuses on applications of environmental biotechnology in drinking water and wastewater treatment. In particular, her research group develops new methods to detect and analyze the fate of emerging pollutants in the environment.

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