2021 Agenda

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our 2021 Canadian Water Summit event. Here is a summary of the content covered over the course of our 3-day event:

Opening Remarks featuring Robert Haller (CWWA), Corinne Lynds (Water Canada/Actual Media), Banu Ormeci (Carleton University, Event Chair).


Plenary Session: Developing the Canada Water Agency featuring Richard Farthing-Nichol, Michael Goffin, Amy Winchester, Lara Ellis, Melissa Hotain.

The Government of Canada is ‘establishing the Canada Water Agency to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean, and well managed.’ What role should the Canada Water Agency lay in addressing water issues? How should the Canada Water Agency interact/work with provincial governments and Indigenous governments? What role can the public and private sectors play to support the Canada Water Agency’s priorities?


National Issues for Canada in a Changing Climate featuring Daniel Filippi, Hiran Sandanayake, Hayley Carlson, Alain Pietroniro.

This session will focus on climate change impacts and adaptation issues that are of national importance or that would benefit from an integrated, cross-Canada perspective. The National Issues for Canada in a Changing Climate National Knowledge Assessment Report will provide decision-makers with a national picture of climate change impacts on our society, natural environment, and economy, as well as the adaptation actions being taken to address these impacts.


Protecting our Drinking Water: Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future featuring Robert Pitcher, Ian Mcllwham, Carl Masse.

Public Safety leads a discussion on recent events impacting the water sector followed by an introduction of new initiatives to improve cyber resiliency in Canada.


Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater featuring Alan Shapiro, Banu Ormeci, Anna Sotnykova.

The list of contaminants in our water is getting longer. This session will help build an appreciation of the newest threats to the Canadian water supply and the role the government should play to reduce the threats that emerging contaminants pose.


Keynote Address: Charles Fishman.

Charles Fishman, the author of the most influential water book in a generation, The Big Thirst, has circled the globe to find the people tackling and solving water problems—from the sheep farms of Australia to the slums of Delhi, to the high-tech factories of the United States. Here, he delivers a talk that is at once energizing and reassuring: every water problem that exists has been solved, says Fishman. The key to tackling these issues, no matter what you’re facing, is seeing the problem clearly. The hardest part? Surprisingly, it isn’t money, or technology, or even water itself—it’s people. We will need to dramatically reconsider the impact of water on how we live—rain and snow; flooding, sea-level rise, and drought; and how our utilities, our companies, and our farms, ports, and highways work.


Prioritizing Drinking Water Projects featuring Michele Grenier, William Fernandes, Valerie Williams, Heather Zarski.

Drinking water utilities often need to make decisions in the face of financial restraints and competing priorities. This session will discuss how utilities are currently prioritizing projects and what their priorities will be for the next five years.


Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program featuring Ciara Backwell, John Cuddihy, Carl Bodimeade, Katie Hogan, Anne-Marie Jobin.

This session will explore the programs available to the water sector through Infrastructure Canada and the Green Municipal Fund.


Reconciling a Path Towards Water Equality in Canada featuring Kerry Black.

Kerry Black, Canada Research Chair and advisor on the water for many First Nations organizations draw attention to the key challenges facing Canada in achieving equality for all and delivering on the promise to safe, clean drinking water. Highlighting examples of activities at the regional and national scale, Dr. Black explores historical and current realities. The key to tackling the problem? Understanding our collective role in reconciliation and decolonization vis-à-vis water. This includes building an inclusive environment, advancing the Calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, creating space, and making a change in our approach to research, and design is the ways in which we endeavor to create lasting impact and change.


Updates on Drinking Water Programs featuring Anne Vezina, Stephen Craik, Stephanie McFayen.

This session will focus on current and upcoming drinking water programs and updates on Health Canada’s research activities pertaining to drinking water.


Where Technology Meets Stormwater featuring Steve Braun, Hassaan Basit, Eric Meliton, Melina Scholefield.

Emerging technologies are being used at the local level to manage stormwater. This session will explore the technologies that are being used, what examples of leadership currently exist, and the positive impacts communities are seeing.


Closing Remarks featuring Corinne Lynds, Banu Ormeci.