New B&V water president calls for New Deal

14 February 2012

Cindy Wallis-Lage took the presidency of Black & Veatch’s global water business last month. Wallis-Lage moved from her previous position as executive managing director of technical solutions for Black & Veatch.

Wallis-Lage, who called for a new focus and investment in the water industry, said: “We will see increased investment in water and electric infrastructure throughout the world. This will have a rippling effect in the water industry on supply and demand, quality and reliability and flood control. It will also impact environmental and security issues.

“We know that investment in infrastructure creates jobs and boosts the economy. In the US, the New Deal in the 1930s and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 shared a goal of increasing jobs and improving the economy through public works spending on construction. Today, the world needs a New Deal type of approach for aging infrastructure.”

A US Environmental Protection Agency report found that capital investment required for US drinking water was USD 91bn in 2010 while only USD 36bn was put forward. The World Bank has estimated that an annual investment of USD 180bn will be needed globally for water infrastructure until 2030.

Wallis-Lage brought 25 years of industry experience to the role. She is a licensed professional engineer with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University and a master’s in environmental health engineering from the University of Kansas. She has served on committees for the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association.