Dr. Jim Gill, inaugural chairman of Water Australia and past CEO of the Water Corp. of Western Australia, will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Oct. 8 at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, to be held Oct. 7-9, 2009, in Las Vegas.

Presented by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense Program, WaterSmart Innovations is a non-profit event that serves to broaden knowledge of innovations in urban water efficiency and water conservation including products, programs and outreach. More information is available at www.WaterSmartInnovations.com.

In 2009, following 13 years as CEO, Gill was selected to chair Water Australia, a joint public-private organization created to disseminate Australian technology and expertise in water resource management.

As CEO of the Water Corporation, Gill was recognized for development of innovative programming to reduce water demand and diversify water resources in Western Australia, countering an enormous reduction in the yield of traditional surface water sources. The achievements of his tenure include a desalination plant that uses renewable energy, programs to enhance water supplies through agricultural irrigation efficiency and a system for aquifer storage and recovery of treated wastewater. Gill’s agency also achieved an annual system-wide water use reduction of 45 gigaliters (approximately12 billion gallons).

In 2008, Gill received the International Water Association’s prestigious Grand Award for mastering the implications of climate change in Australia, and this year he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia, one of the nation’s highest honors. He was named Australian Civil Engineer of the Year for 2006.

Over the course of his distinguished 35-year career, Dr. Gill has served as Western Australia’s Commissioner of Railways, chairman of the Water Services Association of Australia, president of the Western Australia Division of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and chairman of the WA Division of Engineers Australia.

Dr. Gill holds degrees from the University of Western Australia, University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

Other organizations collaborating with the SNWA and the EPA on WaterSmart Innovations include the American Water Works Association, Alliance for Water Efficiency, GreenPlumbers USA, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, International Center for Water Technology, Audubon International, Irrigation Association and California Urban Water Conservation Council. The partnering organizations have a combined 72,000 members.

Major commercial conference sponsors to date include Caroma, Rain Bird Corp., Parsons, Ewing Irrigation, AECOM Inc., Black & Veatch, Water Management, Inc. and Hunter Industries, Inc.