Smarter Infrastructure Financing and Design
Climate change, urbanization, fluctuating demands due to economic swings and conservation… the only constant in a utility’s future is change, with a large measure of uncertainty. What infrastructure do we need? What’s achievable? And how do we pay for it?
Working Smarter with Customers
Customer intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing information on customer needs, attitudes and actions. How can we leverage this understanding and build effective partnerships with customers? Take away research insights, success stories and a few hard-won lessons.
Water as a Core Component of Smart City Design
How do we design cities with water in mind? Where are the opportunities to collaborate with other stakeholders and improve resiliency? Let’s look at the bigger picture and consider the integration of water into broader urban design.
Smarter Ways to Innovate
Get ready to think outside the pipe! This track will highlight the technologies, processes and management techniques that are transforming municipal water systems. Large or small, one-time or continuous – what can be implemented now or in the near future?
|Tuesday May 7||Wednesday May 8|
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
DAY 2 WELCOME
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Bernadette Conant, CEO, Canadian Water Network
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Jay Famiglietti, Executive Director, Global Institute for Water Security
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Asset management holds great potential to support utilities in adapting their systems to future risks. Improving outcomes through asset management does not require the collection of more data, but rather, better (or more creative) use of data. This session will dive into what better and creative could look like, with case studies that illustrate how these approaches could lead to a deeper understanding of your system and support more informed decisions.
Moderator: Andrew Farr, General Manager Water and Wastewater, Region of Peel
Gregory Baird, President, The Water Finance Research Foundation
Vanessa Chau, Head of Asset Management Canada, AMCL Ltd.
Daryush Emaili, Manager of Corporate Asset and Project Management, City of Guelph
The list of emerging contaminants in Canada’s waterways continues to grow. However, despite our ability to detect these chemicals, in many cases, the potential impacts to environmental and human health are not yet known. Robust monitoring strategies are needed to better assess impacts. Learn more about evolving approaches to monitoring, as well as methodologies being used to assess risks at local and watershed levels.
Moderator: Suzanne van Drunick, National Program Director of Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Program, EPA
Matthew McCandless, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area
Nancy Stalker, Manager of Water Quality Services. The City of Calgary
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Blue Cities is a conference for decision makers, and everyone in the room holds deep expertise. This year we are introducing a fishbowl format to draw upon this knowledge and advance a national conversation. The moderator will introduce the overall topic with a number of scenario questions and guest experts will begin the discussion. At any point, a member of the audience can move into an empty chair to join the fishbowl. As the discussion continues, multiple participants will enter and leave the fishbowl. Once the time runs out, the fishbowl is closed and the moderator summarizes the discussion.
Fishbowl Topic #1: Climate Change and Water Management
Discussion will focus on risk and vulnerability, flooding, source water concerns, emergency management and stakeholder roles.
Fishbowl Topic #2: Paving the Way for Innovation
Discussion will focus on the drivers and barriers to innovation, success stories and increasing collaboration among sectors.
Moderator: Carl Yates, General Manager, Halifax Water
Albert Cho, Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Infrastructure Analytics, Xylem
Michael D’Andrea, Chief Engineer & Executive Director, Engineering and Construction Services, City of Toronto
Erin Mahoney, Commissioner of Environmental Services, York Region
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Historically, our industry has focused on designing to standards, but past averages are no longer suitable predictors of future events. Given the uncertainty posed by climate change, how do municipal utilities adequately plan for future risks? Is it time to shift our thinking, anticipating that failures will be inevitable? Let’s examine this concept through the lens of day-to-day challenges, as well as higher-intensity events, and explore how this view may alter the way we plan and operate our systems.
Francois Bouchart, Manager, Infrastructure Planning, City of Calgary
Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia
Good decision-making is vital for long-term sustainability, yet current municipal and utility governance structures may limit or impede a utility’s adoption of the best options or decisions. What elements can best support good business decisions? How can utility governance models be adapted to incorporate these elements? Join municipal and industry leaders to discuss governance models that can adapt to evolving realities and learn from participants who have implemented these approaches.
Moderator: Carl Yates, General Manager, Halifax Water
Rodney Bouchard, General Manager, Union Water Supply System
Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager, Toronto Water
Mariëlle van der Zouwen, Manager, Knowledge Management Group, KWR
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
LUNCH & CLOSING KEYNOTE
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
The complex challenges that utilities face may require solutions that extend beyond the scope of their responsibility. Every challenge has multiple stakeholders — whether it’s residential or commercial customers, small businesses, NGOs or industry — and each can play a critical role in implementing solutions. Participate in our fast-paced “fishbowl” session and highlight strategies that have bridged the public/private/commercial divide to advance and accelerate progress.
Rob Renner, CEO, The Water Research Foundation
Join a lively debate on the potential for resource recovery in Canada, both now and in the years ahead. What are feasible opportunities, drivers and barriers for adoption? Are there small gains to be made, or does the potential exist for bigger impacts? Let’s talk about onsite and offsite resource recovery options (such as biosolids, energy, reuse and nutrient recovery) and how the costs/benefits of their application are being weighed by municipalities across Canada.
Moderator: Erin Mahoney, Commissioner of Environmental Services, York Region
Dean Shiskowski, Vice President, Water Resource Recovery, Associated Engineering
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 11:00 PM
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Climate change, urbanization and infrastructure challenges will demand substantial future investment. As user rates rise to address these issues, utilities may unintentionally burden low-income households. Finding novel approaches to utility finance is critical to addressing issues of affordability and equity, and also ensuring long-term sustainability. Join our dynamic “fishbowl” discussion, where we’ll explore financial solutions that are being implemented and considered by municipal utilities.
Fishbowl Topic #1: Financial instruments to support sustainability
Fishbowl Topic #2: Addressing customer equity and affordability
Andrew Burham, Vice President and Global Practice Leader of Financial Services, Stantec
Stephen Lidington, Director, PwC Canada
Sarah E Thomson, Vice President, Sustainable Finance, RBC Capital Markets
As global trends shift toward a low-carbon future, energy and GHG reduction drivers will become increasingly prominent in utility decision-making. Water and wastewater systems may be harnessed to meet a growing demand for local, renewable energy. Utilities may also look to implement novel strategies to achieve reduction. Leading utilities and researchers in this space will discuss how GHG regulations and carbon pricing will impact decision-making over the next 10 years and the opportunities that are emerging.
Indra Maharjan, Program Manager, Energy Conservation, Resource Recovery and Climate Change, Ontario Clean Water Agency
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
WELCOME RECEPTION & POSTER SHOWCASE
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sponsored by COLE Engineering
8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Co-hosted with Toronto Blue Drinks
Open to the water community – conference attendance not required.
Tuesday May 7
Placeholder7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Registration and breakfast8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
CONFERENCE WELCOME9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
OPENING KEYNOTE9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Refreshment break10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
PLENARY FISHBOWL10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Lunch12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Refreshment break3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Conference break5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
WELCOME RECEPTION & POSTER SHOWCASE6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
BLUE NETWORKING8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday May 8
Breakfast7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
DAY 2 WELCOME8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
CONFERENCE REMARKS9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Refreshment break10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
LUNCH & CLOSING KEYNOTE12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
CLOSING REMARKS1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
Placeholder2:00 PM - 11:00 PM