2019 Conference Program

Conference Tracks

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?

Check back regularly for program and speaker updates.

Printable Program
Tuesday May 7 Wednesday May 8
Placeholder
7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
Breakfast & Optional Session
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
From ideas to uptake: The Dutch experience of launching promising technologies in challenging markets

Getting innovative ideas and technologies to market can be challenging. Learn how innovation ecosystems like the WaterCampus in the Netherlands can help fast-track ideas, and hear about the experiences of two Dutch companies, DeSaH and Aquacare, who have successfully brought their ideas to domestic and international markets.

Moderator: Allen Lucas, Manager, Research & Projects, Utilities Kingston
Koos J. Baas, Founder and CEO, Aquacare
Brendo Meulman, Technical Director, DeSaH BV
Jantienne van der Meij-Kranendonk, Liaison, WaterCampus Leeuwarden

Learn more
(Breakfast will be served on both floors.)
Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
DAY 2 WELCOME
8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Don Pearson, Chair, Canadian Water Network

CONFERENCE WELCOME
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Bernadette Conant, CEO, Canadian Water Network

CONFERENCE REMARKS
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia; Chair, Global Water Research Coalition
OPENING KEYNOTE
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Jay Famiglietti, Executive Director, Global Institute for Water Security

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

3A – Getting More from Asset Management Data

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: Mark Bainbridge, Director, Water & Wastewater Planning & Capital, Hamilton Water
Gregory Baird, President, The Water Finance Research Foundation (U.S.)
Vanessa Chau, Head of Asset Management Canada, AMCL Ltd.
Daryush Emaili, Manager of Corporate Asset & Project Management, City of Guelph

3B – Monitoring Emerging Contaminants and their Impacts

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 & Sustainable Water Resources Research Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Matthew McCandless, Executive Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area
Nancy Stalker, Manager of Water Quality Services, City of Calgary
Viviane Yargeau, Professor & Chair of Chemical Engineering, McGill University
Refreshment break
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
PLENARY FISHBOWL
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.

Moderator: Carl Yates, General Manager, Halifax Water
Michael D’Andrea, Chief Engineer & Executive Director, Engineering & Construction Services, City of Toronto
Kathy Bardswick, CEO, Canadian Climate & Clean Growth Institute
Karen Rouse, CEO, Water Research Australia

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 & General Manager, Advanced Infrastructure Analytics, Xylem
Erin Mahoney, Commissioner of Environmental Services, York Region
Sudhir Murthy, CEO, NEWHub; Vice President, International Water Association
Refreshment break
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

4A – Safe-to-Fail: A Changing Paradigm for Resiliency

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.

Moderator: Don Pearson, Chair, Canadian Water Network
Francois Bouchart, Director, Water Resources – Planning, City of Calgary
Maryam Golnaraghi, Director of Extreme Events & Climate Risk, The Geneva Association (Switzerland)
Adam Lovell, Executive Director, Water Services Association of Australia

4B – Good Governance for Today’s Utility Needs

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 (Netherlands)
Lunch
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
LUNCH & CLOSING KEYNOTE
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, International Water Association
CONCURRENT SESSIONS
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

1A – Bridging the Public/Private/Commercial Divide

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.

Moderator: Bev Yee, Deputy Minister, Alberta Environment and Parks
Reid Campbell, Director of Water Services, Halifax Water
Rob Renner, former CEO (retired), The Water Research Foundation (U.S.)
Anton Tabuns, Senior Advisor, Mantle314

1B – Making the Case for Resource Recovery in Canada

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
Jantienne van der Meij, Liaison Officer, WaterCampus Leeuwarden (Netherlands)
Chee Meng Pang, Director of Industry Development, PUB (Singapore)
Dean Shiskowski, Vice President, Water Resource Recovery, Associated Engineering
CLOSING REMARKS
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
Placeholder
2:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Refreshment break
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

2A – Affordability, Equity and Financial Sustainability

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
Moderator: Bu Lam, Manager of the Municipal Consortium, Canadian Water Network
Stephen Lidington, Director, PwC Canada
Sarah Thompson, Vice President, Sustainable Finance, RBC Capital Markets
Patricia Wilson, Director of Water, Waste & Environmental Services, City of Regina

Fishbowl Topic #2: Addressing customer equity and affordability
Moderator: Bu Lam, Manager of the Municipal Consortium, Canadian Water Network
Janice Beecher, Director, Institute of Public Utilities, Michigan State University
Andrew Burnham, Vice President and Global Practice Leader of Financial Services, Stantec
Steve Kaye, CEO, UK Water Industry Research

2B – Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems in a Low Carbon Economy

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.

Moderator: Sandra Odendahl, President and CEO, CMC Research Institutes
Derek Hollman, Senior Manager, Project Development (Sustainable Energy), EPCOR
Indra Maharjan, Program Manager, Energy Conservation, Resource Recovery & Climate Change, Ontario Clean Water Agency
Dianne Saxe, President, Saxe Facts
Conference break
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
WELCOME RECEPTION & POSTER SHOWCASE
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Sponsored by COLE Engineering

BLUE DRINKS NETWORKING
8:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Co-hosted with Toronto Blue Drinks
Kelly\'s Landing, 123 Front St W, Toronto
Open to the water community – conference attendance not required.

Tuesday May 7

  • Placeholder
    7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Registration and breakfast
    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • CONFERENCE WELCOME
    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
  • OPENING KEYNOTE
    9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
  • Refreshment break
    10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
  • PLENARY FISHBOWL
    10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Lunch
    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Refreshment break
    3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Conference break
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • WELCOME RECEPTION & POSTER SHOWCASE
    6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • BLUE DRINKS NETWORKING
    8:30 PM - 11:00 PM

Wednesday May 8

  • Breakfast & Optional Session
    7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
  • DAY 2 WELCOME
    8:45 AM - 9:00 AM
  • CONFERENCE REMARKS
    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
  • CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
  • Refreshment break
    10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
  • CONCURRENT SESSIONS
    11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
  • LUNCH & CLOSING KEYNOTE
    12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
  • CLOSING REMARKS
    1:45 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Placeholder
    2:00 PM - 11:00 PM
No events available!