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Monday, May 18 | 8:30 am

Opening Plenary

Honorable Minister Sri Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao

KT Rama RaoSri Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao is the Minister of Municipal Administration, Urban Development, Industries, IT and Commererce for the Government of Telangana, Hyderabad. Under his leadership, the Government of Telangana completed the ambitious $6 billion Telangana Water Grid Project, also known as Mission Bhaghiratha, to provide drinking water to about 30 million people in the state. The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project in Telangana, which opened in June 2019, is the world’s largest multi-purpose lift irrigation project.

Mr. KT Rama Rao holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology and has two post-graduate degrees, M.Sc in Biotechnology from University of Pune and MBA in Marketing & E-commerce from Baruch College, City University of New York. After completing his MBA, before joining full-time in politics in India, Mr. KT Rama Rao worked in the US IT industry from 2001-2006. He has won many industry accolades for dynamism, vision, and making Telangana one of the most investor-friendly states of India. He has been awarded "Most Inspirational Icon of the Year 2015" by CNN-IBN and Ritz Magazine and is one of the most sought out political leaders of India.

Learn more about Telangana's engineering marvels.


Mission Bhagiratha

Monday, May 18 | 12:15 pm

Welcome & Awards Luncheon

Dave Johnson - Deputy General Manager, Engineering and Operations, Las Vegas Valley Water District / Southern Nevada Water Authority

David Johnson David L. Johnson is the Deputy General Manager of Engineering and Operations for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority. He has been with the agency since 2004. Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and has more than 20 years of management experience in chemical manufacturing, water treatment and water quality.

He serves as Chairman of the Board for Nevada’s WaterStart and participates on other boards and committees, including the Silver State Energy Association.

Darren Lytle, Ph.D. - Senior Research Environmental Engineer for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

Darren LytleDr. Darren A. Lytle is a Senior Research Environmental Engineer for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Lytle is a leader in applying engineering solutions developed in the laboratory to the real world to help serve EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. With over twenty-eight years’ experience in drinking water treatment, distribution systems and premise plumbing, his research has covered nearly every aspect of water system sustainability. As a leader of the Agency’s technical support to small drinking water systems, Dr. Lytle has helped hundreds of communities reduce the risks of lead, copper, arsenic, pathogens, and other contaminants in water. He was a key Agency expert providing support to Flint MI, Newark NJ and other communities experiencing elevated concentrations of lead in drinking water.

Dr. Lytle has a doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois, a masters’ degree from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Akron. He has been given numerous awards from the water sector and was most recently recognized with a GovExec Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Award.   He has over ninety peer-reviewed manuscripts and three patented technologies in the water field.

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