Matthew Ries

Director, Sustainability and Watershed Management, DC Water

Matthew Ries serves DC Water as Director, Sustainability Watershed Management. He is responsible for providing strategic direction, technical information, and stakeholder engagement to develop DC Water’s sustainability program and catalyze related improvements to the watersheds serving the District of Columbia. He has a broad range of responsibilities from assurance of the performance of existing assets, water quality assessment, coordination of technical assistance, and the creation, implementation and coordination of work plans and strategies to enhance DC Water’s sustainability efforts and restore and protect watersheds. A member of DC Water’s Performance Management team, Dr. Ries is also working to develop, track, and report performance throughout the enterprise.

Dr. Ries has more than 22 years of professional experience in environmental engineering and management and joined the authority in 2017. Previously he worked for 12 years as Chief Technical Officer at the Water Environment Federation, a global, not-for-profit technical and educational organization. His work at the Federation included outreach and knowledge transfer within the water sector on issues of innovation, sustainability, stormwater, resilience, and nutrient management. He also worked as a consultant in the planning, design, construction, and startup of municipal and industrial water, wastewater, and stormwater facilities.

Dr. Ries recently served for five years on the Board of Directors of Alexandria Renew Enterprises, the water resource recovery utility in Alexandria, Virginia. He also served as a Director of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, a global network that promotes responsible use of freshwater that is socially and economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable.

Dr. Ries has a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University, a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of South Florida where he is also a courtesy professor at the Patel College of Global Sustainability. His dissertation focused on the development of an urban water sustainability index and the connection between urban water utility organizational attributes and sustainability.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Tuesday, October 1
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm • Resilience 3.0 – Strengthening Cities for a Sustainable Futurepressure cooker
In this friendly debate, listen in as practitioners and experts from around the world discuss the tools, policies and practices that have enabled their communities to prepare for and respond to extreme events.