2020 Conference Program

Check back regularly for program and speaker updates.

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Thursday May 7 Friday May 8
Registration and breakfast
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Placeholder
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
CONFERENCE WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Bernadette Conant, CEO, Canadian Water Network
Lou Di Gironimo, General Manager, Toronto Water

DAY 2 WELCOME
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Carl Yates, Chair, Canadian Water Network

KEYNOTE
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Usha Rao-Monari, Senior Advisor, Blackstone Infrastructure Group

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

3A – Fine-Tuning Levels of Service in Response to Changing Needs

As utilities encounter future changes in climate, technology and customer expectations, levels of service that can meet these demands also need to fit within resource constraints. Who should be involved in making these decisions? How does equity factor into the discussion? What investments are most needed right now, and five years from now? Expert panelists will weigh in on how municipalities can prioritize and stretch their limited resources to meet water’s changing landscape.

Moderator: Susan Ancel, Director, One Water Planning, EPCOR Water Services Inc.

Christine Hill, Director, Water Facilities, Cole Engineering Group Ltd.
Monica Silva, Acting Manager, Engineering and Transportation Services, Corporate Asset and Project Management, City of Guelph

3B – Investing Upstream to Secure Future Dividends

Source protection or source control is included in many utilities’ lexicon, yet it’s a hard one to tackle due to the distributed nature of the sources of contaminants and the players involved. However, investing resources upstream can yield countless dividends, including public health protection and ecosystem improvements, deferred capital upgrades, better understanding across sectors and stronger relationships with stakeholders. Join our panel discussion, where water leaders will share their approaches and strategies for working together.

Moderator: Sandra Cooke, Director, Municipal Consortium, Canadian Water Network

Refreshment break
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
PLENARY PANEL
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Connecting the Dots: Achieving Multiple Benefits by Investing in Water

There are many routes to achieving vibrant, resilient and sustainable cities — and water management is central to the journey. Governments and other investors are seeing better dividends when their investments target shared cross-sector goals and priorities. Water, wastewater and stormwater projects have the potential to achieve multiple benefits, including better resiliency, energy efficiency and GHG reduction. Connecting the goals and drivers facing various groups is the key to integrated solutions. The Blue Cities 2020 opening plenary panel will share powerful insights from some of the major investors, regulators, partners and project managers who drive resiliency across Canada.

Moderator: Bev Yee, Deputy Minister, Alberta Environment and Parks

Kelly Gillis, Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Communities (Canada);
Cheryl Nelms, General Manager, Project Delivery, Metro Vancouver;
Craig Stewart, Vice President, Federal Affairs, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Refreshment break
10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

4A – Engaging with Customers in an Age of Open Data

Utilities are now collecting more data than ever before. Municipal transparency builds customer trust and prevents others within the community from filling the void. Working within the important confines of security and privacy, utilities are now grappling with what data to share with customers and when, and how to contextualize data for meaningful interpretation. Can data tell a story to facilitate customer engagement and action? In this fishbowl discussion, experts will discuss the inherent challenges and opportunities involved.

Moderator: Carl Yates, Chair, Canadian Water Network

Christine Boyle, Founder and CEO, Valor Water Analytics
Jim Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Utilities Kingston

4B – Using Effects-Based Monitoring to Support Proactive Actions

Standard monitoring focuses on detecting particular contaminants and their impact on water quality, but how do we monitor the things we don’t know to look for, and for which the risks are uncertain? Effects-based monitoring can be part of assessing complex chemical mixtures in wastewater discharges. What should proactive effects-based monitoring look like? What does the latest science indicate? Which jurisdictions are leading? This panel will focus on proactive implementation and where this is headed in Canada.

Moderator: Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel. Canadian Environmental Law Association

Kevin Cash, Director General, Water Science & Technology Directorate, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Mark R. Servos, Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection, University of Waterloo

Lunch
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
LUNCH AND CLOSING PLENARY
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Connecting the Dots: Building on Nationwide Momentum

The previous two days involved a wealth of dialogue about water management as a gateway to advance progress on shared goals, sparking “aha moments” about where opportunities exist to accelerate success. Our culminating plenary will capture our insights, as well as thoughts on future actions through an interactive discussion. We’ll begin with observations from colleagues who are involved in momentum building in parallel spaces about the opportunities they see for the future. Then, in typical CWN fashion, the moderators will widen the discussion to include everyone in the room. Together, let’s embark on a process of discovery to explore new business opportunities that accelerate, advance and improve municipal water management.

Moderator: Jean-François Barsoum, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Canada

CONCURRENT SESSIONS
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

1A – Crossing Silos in Pursuit of Co-Benefits

Investment and operational decisions need to be made, despite the future uncertainty of climate change, emerging contaminants and other challenges. Creative approaches to water management that result in co-benefits are gaining momentum, but require the participation of multiple departments, sectors or organizations. Green infrastructure, for example, manages stormwater run-off while providing recreational urban spaces and reducing carbon in communities. This fishbowl discussion will feature co-benefits success stories, lessons learned and approaches to working across community silos.

Robert Newell, Professor, School of Environment & Sustainability, Royal Roads University
Jimmy Zammar, Director, Integrated Strategy and Utility Planning, City of Vancouver

1B – Empowering Actions on Private Property with Utility Support

Crossing the public-private divide has dominated the discussion on lead in drinking water, and will continue to influence conversations on Legionella, flood protection and stormwater management. Increasingly, utilities are looping private property owners and community partners (such as health authorities, realtors and contractors) into municipal water management, which brings both challenges and opportunities. In this panel discussion, experts will share case studies of where progress has been made, as well as strategies for the future.

Moderator: Andrew Grice, Director, Hamilton Water, Public Works Department, City of Hamilton

Cathy Bernardino Bailey, Director, Greater Cincinnati Water Works
Hervé Logé, Chef de division, Service de l\\\'eau, Ville de Montréal
Michèle Prévost, Professor, Civil, Geological & Mining Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal

Placeholder
2:30 PM - 11:00 PM
Refreshment break
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

2A – Incorporating Debt in a Balanced Financial Approach

Utilities are operating in a financial pressure cooker. Costs continue to increase while revenues fluctuate or decrease. Water investments are often for the long-term and debt financing can allow future users to contribute to repayment. How can debt financing support long-term financial sustainability? What are some tools or necessary conditions to maximize the benefits? Let’s engage in a fishbowl debate on the pros and cons of debt financing, its practical limitations, and the intersection with local governance.

Moderator: Cathie O’Toole, General Manager, Halifax Water

Michael Fenn, Senior Advisor, Strategy Corp
Sashen Guneratna, Managing Director of Investments, Canadian Infrastructure Bank

2B – Bringing New Competencies to an Evolving Utility Workplace

As public expectations and the role of water utilities continue to expand, and as new approaches and technologies are introduced, it’s clear that utilities will require a number of new competencies to operate. The future workforce of water may include specialists in communication, data management and analytics, land-use planning, watershed management, LID or something we haven’t yet envisioned. An expert panel will discuss opportunities for proactive change management, including how to source new talent from cross-sector partners.

Moderator: Indra Maharjan, Director, Innovation, Technology and Alternate Delivery, Ontario Clean Water Agency

Shannon Abbott, Water Utility Manager, City of Calgary
David Szeptycki, Director, Strategy and Innovation Environmental Services Department, York Region

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
Open to the water community – conference attendance not required.

Thursday May 7

  • Registration and breakfast
    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • CONFERENCE WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS
    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
  • KEYNOTE
    9:30 AM - 10:15 AM
  • Refreshment break
    10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
  • PLENARY PANEL
    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

Friday May 8

  • Placeholder
    8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • DAY 2 WELCOME
    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 AND CLOSING PLENARY
    12:30 PM - 2:30 PM
  • Placeholder
    2:30 PM - 11:00 PM
No events available!