Ethan Brown has seen that when community members and experts put their heads together they can find solutions to local water issues as aspirational as they are pragmatic. From native wetlands to neighborhood rain gardens, drinking water to stormwater, he has collaborated with cities and neighborhoods along the Great Lakes to keep the water in their rivers as clean as the water from their taps. As the InfrastructureNext Partner, Ethan leads Willamette Partnership’s sustainable water infrastructure planning by supporting communities through facilitation, project management, strategic planning, and policy development.
Past experience coordinating a statewide financial counseling coalition shaped his equity-centered approach to sustainable water planning by partnering with local groups and residents with the most at stake. He has a Masters in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“How we use and treat the water that falls on and flows through our communities defines whether or not our rivers are safe to play in or our tap water is safe to drink, whether too much rain causes a flood or too little leaves none for our fish or crops. As we see our normal rain and snow patterns disrupted by climate change, it’s more critical than ever that communities take a holistic planning approach to ensure there’s enough safe and clean water.”