Chief Innovation Officer

SteveA creative visionary with an unshakeable dedication to cultivating stewardship of earthly resources through innovation, Steve Cavanaugh has garnered vast engineering experience encompassing a wide range of both US and international solutions. Recently his firm won back to back National awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies – the most recent in April 2014 for the Training of 100 Water Utilities in Georgia on Non-Revenue Water Practices.

For almost three decades, Steve has worked with public and private sector clients to develop intelligent stewardship solutions to some of today’s most challenging issues. In addition to his agricultural expertise on waste-to-energy and biomass facilities, Steve is known in the industry as an expert in the field of Water Loss and Revenue Recovery.

His dedication to improve and protect the world’s water resources – through teaching utilities how to discover and embrace efficient business practices – has been acclaimed as refreshing in an industry plagued by a quick-fix mentality.

Winston-Salem, NC – Headquarters
Education: B.S. Civil Engineering, N.C. State University
Professional Registrations: NC, VA, SC
IWA North America Regional Water Loss Control Specialist

  • 2014 Chair – AWWA Outreach Subcommittee of the Water Loss Control Committee
  • Member of the Georgia Water Loss Technical Small Group, Co-author of the Georgia Water System Audits and Water Loss Control Manual
  • GA-Water Loss Control Committee Member
  • Member of the North Carolina Governor’s State Water Infrastructure Commission – 2006-2013
  • Workshops Instructor: WRRI/NCAWWA Water Audit Training, GAWP Water Audit Training, GRWA Water Audit Training, 2012-2013
  • National AWWA Water Loss Control Committee (WLCC) Member
  • NC Water Loss Control Committee Co-Founder & Member
  • NCWOA Operator Schools Presenter (Water Efficiency, Odor Control, Wetland Treatment)
  • Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman for Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership
  • Member of American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) International Committee Past President, ACEC/NC – 2000-2001
  • Chairman of the Engineers Political Action PAC of NC – 2008-2010
  • ACEC National Director, ACEC Fellow
  • Lead Principal in former NC Governor Mike Easley’s Swine Lagoon phase out through research and evaluation of Environmentally Superior Technology under contract with Smithfield Foods, 2000-2004
  • Provided American leak detection technology as named international representative on behalf of FCS to Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, and Bulgaria- provided specific workshops in region to Romania, Poland, and Moldova
  • Facilitated Innovative and Alternative Swine Waste Management Research in Romania and Moldova
  • Sponsored US Trade & Development Agency’s Environmental Conference in Hungary
  • Acquired four grants from USAID to perform leak detection in Romania, Poland and Moldova 1998-2002
  • Speaker at 2001 Building Better Cities, Bremen, Germany – Leak Detection and Abatement
  • ACEC National Recognition Award for Iasi, Romania USAID Leak Detection Best Practices, 2001
  • EFCA Delegate for American Council of Engineering Companies, Slovenia, 2000
  • ACEC National Recognition Engineering Excellence Award for Statewide Water Audit Training of over 100 Georgia Water Utilities, 2014
  • ACEC Grand Conceptor Award for Engineering Excellence: Loyd Ray Farms Bioenergy facility with Duke University, Duke Energy, and Google, 2013

Cavanaugh, M.S. Jr. Technical Paper. Slick Solutions – Innovation With Septage & Grease Receiving, 2011.

January 9-10: Utah Water Workshops, Kearns Improvement District, Kearns, UT. “Water Loss Control Best Practices”

February 6:  MWUA Meeting and Trade Show, Portland ME. “City of Asheville’s Non-Revenue Water Program: 10 years and Accounting.”

March 27:  Tribal Water Workshop, Phoenix, AZ.  “Water Loss Control Best Practices.”

April 25:  Rural Community Assistance Program’s National Conference, New Orleans, LA. “The Changing National Landscape of Water Loss Control.”

April 30:  NAWC Southeast Water Infrastructure Summit, New Orleans, LA. “Water Loss Industry Best Practices.”

May 9:  Water Conservation Advisory Council, Austin, Texas. “Critical Importance of Validation of Water Audits.”

May 10: PA AWWA Annual Conference, Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania. “Asheville’s Non-Revenue Water Program – 10 Years and Accounting.”

May 22:  Tribal Drinking Water Symposium, Reno, NV. “Water Loss Control Best Practices.”

May 30:  South Carolina State Water Plan Symposium, Columbia, SC.  “Sustainable Practices for Water Users – From a Municipal Perspective.”  

July 10:  KY/TN Water Professionals Conference, Nashville, TN.  “Asheville Water Loss Reductions Sustain 10 Years of City Growth.”  

September 18:  New England Water Works Association, Stowe, VT.  “If a Water Audit is Self-Reported, Is it Valid?”

September 19:  NYS TIFFT Water Works Symposium, West Harrison, NY.  “Asheville Non-Revenue Water Program: 10 Years and Accounting.”

October 3:  Water Smart Innovations, Las Vegas, NV. “State to State Domino Effect: World’s Largest Level 1 Validated Water Audit Data Set.”

October 11:  AWWA Intermountain, Midway, UT. “Utah Water Loss Program Tracks Measurable and Meaningful Impacts of Water Audits.”

October 24:  ASDWA, Des Moines, Iowa. (Presenting with Steve Marsh) “Iowa Water Loss Pilot Program – Propelling the National Water Loss Movement.”

October 30:  AWWA Water Infrastructure Conference, Atlanta, GA. “State to State Domino Effect – The Water Loss Movement.”

November 8: KY-TN AWWA Non-Revenue Water Workshop, Frankfort, Kentucky. “State of the Non-Revenue Water Pilot Testing Programs.”

November 14: WI AWWA M36 Non-Revenue Water Seminar, Madison, Wisconsin.

December 3:  PENC Raleigh Seminars, Raleigh, NC.  “Optima KV: Aggregation of Multiple Farms Optimizes Waste Management Treatment.“

February 7: Maine Water Utilities Association Conference, Portland, Maine. “Water Loss Management.”

February 9: AWWA Utility Management Conference, Tampa, Fla.  “Non-Revenue Water in Effective Utility Management.”

February 22:  Gulf Coast Water Conservation Symposium, Houston, TX. “Water Loss Training.”

March 2: Wisconsin Section AWWA IT & Security Conference, Oshkosh, WI.  “Next Generation Water Loss Control Tools.”

Mar 7:  Flint Water Infrastructure Summit, Flint, MI.  “Industry Drivers for Water Loss Management,” and “Water Loss Control Case Studies Part 1 & 2.”

March 21:  WATERCON, Springfield, IL. “Water Audit Data Validation Workshop,” and “A Non- Revenue Tale of 5 Cities.”

June 1:  WI AWWA Reducing Non Revenue Water Seminar, Oshkosh, WI.  “Launching M36 Non-Revenue Water for Smart Conservation.” 

June 13:  AWWA ACE 2017, Philadelphia, PA. “Water Loss Programs at State and Utility Level.”

July 18:  IWA Efficient 2017:  Bath, UK.  “California Launches Largest Water Loss TAP in Existence,”  “Self-Sustaining Validation,” and “Water Loss Training Across the U.S.”

October 11:  AWWA Intermountain Section Annual Conference, Sun Valley, ID. “National Landscape for Water Loss and Strategic Conservation, How Different States are Tackling the Issue.”

October 17:  Association of California Water Agencies Regulatory Summit 2017, Sacramento, CA. “Water Loss Technical Assistance Program (TAP): Update and Lessons Learned.”

October 19:  Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, Norfolk, VA. “Attacking Water Loss Across the States.”

November 14:  Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities’ Annual Water and Wastewater Operator’s Training Workshop, Des Moines, IA.  Pre-Conference Water Audit Seminar.

December 4:  North American Water Loss Conference, NAWL 2017, San Diego, CA.  “Pioneering Water Loss Control – Several States Advance with Technical Assistance Programs.”

January 21:  New England AWWA, Nashua, NH. “The Changing Landscape of Water Loss Control.”

February 17:  AWWA Online Webinar, “Water Loss Control: Regulations, Resources and Tools for Managing Non-Revenue Water.”

March 2:  AWWA Online Webinar, “Standing Out – What Professional Certification Means to You.”

March 10:  AWWA Sustainable Water Management, Providence, RI. “State of the States:  Emerging Water Loss Regulations in the U.S.,”  “NRW Roadmap: Plotting the Course for Long Term Success in Water Loss Management.” 

March 15:  Utah Water Users Workshop, St. George, UT.

March 21 – 22:  CIFA, Washington DC.  Two Water Providers Workshops: “Turning the Tables by Uncovering Hidden Water Loss” and “Getting Ahead of Regulatory Mandates: Refining Techniques to Secure Your Utility from Water Loss.”

April 7:  NC State Treasurers Sustainability Conference Panel Discussion

April 12:  CMUA Conference, San Francisco, CA.  New Water Technologies Panel Discussion

May 4:  Wisconsin Regulatory Panel, Madison, WI.  CUWCC 

May 9 – 11: Circuit #4 – New Mexico Statewide Water Loss Control Training Program in the cities of Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Espanola.

June 20-21:  AWWA ACE16:  “Piloting Statewide Training:  A comparison of Water Loss Training Programs, ” and “Benchmarking Water Loss Performance: The Death of Unaccounted for Water.”

August 21-26California Urban Water Annual Conference    Workshop: California Urban Water TAP – Technical Assistance Program – Wave 1

September 15-16:  Intermountain Conference, St. George, Utah.  “Non-Revenue Water in Effective Utility Management,” and “Audit to Action: Creating a Water Loss Control Program.”

October 16-22: ASDWA, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI. “Water Loss Drivers and the Regulatory Landscape.”

October 26-29CA-NV Fall Conference, San Diego, CA.  “Statewide Water Loss Control Strategies: The #WaterLoss Movement,” and “Non-Revenue Water in Effective Utility Management.”

October 30 – Nov. 2:  AWWA Water Infrastructure Conference, Phoenix, AZ.  “Comparison of States’ Water Loss Training Programs,” and Water Loss Drivers and the Regulatory Landscape Panel.


February 9: Indiana AWWA Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN
“NRW Roadmap: Plotting the Course for Long Term Success in Water Loss Management,” and “New Tools for Water Loss Control.”

February 17: Utility Management Conference, Austin, TX
“State of the States.”

March 14: South Carolina Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
Widespread BMP Implementation”,  “Own the Zone: A Case Study of Water Loss Control”, and “Money to Burn: How to Capitalize on BioCNG at Your Wastewater Plant”

March 18: Water Resources Research Institute, Raleigh, NC
“New Release Water Audit Software Workshop”

April 15: New York State AWWA Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
A Model for the Nation: Georgia Statewide Program.”

April 20: Efficient 2015: Water Efficiency & Performance Assessment, Cincinnati, OH
Farms of the Future.”

June 10: AWWA ACE15, Anaheim, CA
Measuring Water Loss Performance: The Death of Unaccounted for Water.”

July 26:  KY/TN Water Professionals Conference, Covington, KY.  “A Model for the Nation:  Georgia’s Statewide Water Loss Program,”  “Spreading the Word:  How AWWA’s Largest Committee is Changing the Conversation Across the Nation for Water Loss Control,”  “Benchmarking Water Loss Performance:  The Death of Unaccounted for Water.”

August 17:  Michigan AWWA Sault Sainte Marie, MI.  “Next Generation Water Loss Tools – AWWA’s new and Improving Tools and Publications for Water Loss Control.”

October 22:  Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, Fort Worth, TX.  “National Water Loss Policy Changes and Case Study:  Leveraging Georgia’s Statewide Program.”

October 26:  CA-NV AWWA, Las Vegas, NV. “Validating Water Audit for Water Loss Control.”

November 1:  CIFA, Tampa, FL.  “Using DWSRF Set-aside Funds for Statewide Water Loss Initiatives.”


March 1: SCEC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
“Georgia’s Innovation Continuum: Statewide Water Loss Management Gets Creative to Leverage Long-Term Improvements.”

March 12: Central Florida Water Utilities’ Workshop, Orlando, FL

“Water Audits & Loss Control: A Water Efficiency Training Event for Water Utilities.”

March 18: SciWorks Café, Winston-Salem, NC
“Growing Our Energy – Exploration of Renewable Waste to Energy in a Swine Operation.”

March 30: International Water Association’s Water Loss 2014, Vienna, Austria
Presented by Cross Border cooperation – an International Initiative for Water Stewardship.
“Widespread Implementation of Best Management Practices for Water Efficiency.”

June 11: AWWA’s ACE 14, Boston, MA
“Georgia’s Innovation Continuum: Statewide Water Loss Management Gets Creative to Leverage Long-term Improvements.”
“State of the States – Emerging Water Loss Regulations in the U.S.”

June 19:  Water Summit 2014, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, “Attacking Water Loss: Georgia’s New Water Mindset.”

July 22:  KY-TN Water Professionals Conference, Chattanooga, TN, “Water Loss Insanity.”

July 22:  KY-TN Water Professionals Conference, Chattanooga, TN, “Georgia’s Innovation Continuum: Statewide Water Loss Management Gets Creative to Leverage Long-term Improvements.

August 20:  Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Columbus, OH, “Economic Level of Leakage, ILI and Why % of System Input Volume is a Poor Indicator.”

September 21-25: IWA Specialists Conference, Lisbon, Portugal – Participated in the International Water Association’s Water Loss Specialists Group Meeting.

March 10: SCEC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
“Embracing Water Efficiency Practices: What Really Compels a Utility to Change Entrenched Business Practices.”

March 29: NC AWWA WEA’s Water ReUse Seminar, Zebulon, NC
“Remote Telemetry: Managing Remote ReUse Sites.”

April 10: Environmental Virginia Symposium, Lexington, VA
“Embracing Water Efficiency Practices – What Really Compels a Utility to Change”

April 14: GAWP’s 2013 Annual Spring Conference, Columbus, GA

June 11: AWWA’s ACE13 Conference, Denver, CO
“You Can’t Learn to Fly a Plane, by Playing a Video Game – Reducing Non-Revenue Water Takes Practice.”

July 16: KY/TN Water Professional’s Conference, Louisville, KY
“State of the States: Emerging Water Loss Regulations in the United States”
“You Can’t Learn to Fly a Plane, by Playing a Video Game – Reducing Non-Revenue Water Takes Practice.”

September 10: Virginia Water Jam, Richmond, VA
“State of the States: Emerging Water Loss Regulations in the United States”

October 23: International Water Association’s Efficient 2013: Water Efficient Strategies for Difficult Times, Paris, France
“Widespread BMP Implementation: Results of the Georgia Statewide Water Audits and Efficiency Training.”