Moving from knowledge to action within three conference tracks

The conference theme – From Knowledge to Action – was threaded through each of the three conference tracks. At Connecting Water Resources 2015, participants engaged in discussion on how and where knowledge could leverage change. Participants heard from international water leaders, as well as Canadian colleagues from multidisciplinary sectors, and were able to optimize their networking through strategic conversations.

Blue Cities: Moving to the systems we need - Conference Track

Blue Cities: Moving to the systems we need

As issues of sustainability, resiliency and liveability come into focus for planning and policy-making in Canada, ensuring the sustainability of municipal water systems is emerging as a central element. This stems from water’s vital importance to maintaining healthy communities that can meet the diverse demands of a growing and increasingly urbanized population; one which is facing change and uncertainty on many fronts, including the impacts of a changing climate.

Our discussions in this conference track focused on what drives the uptake of innovations in municipal water management, encompassing wastewater, drinking water and stormwater. We explored the knowledge and actions needed to get there and key opportunities to move toward “Blue Cities.”

Resource Development and Agriculture: Securing our Future - Conference Track

Resource Development and Agriculture: Securing our future

Resource development and the agri-food sector represent key pillars of our economy and water is critical to their success. Ensuring sustainable development is vital not only to ensuring responsible stewardship, but also to maintaining a global competitive advantage that secures our ability to meet growing global needs.

This conference track examined the growing awareness of water risks facing the resource development sector (particularly in oil and gas, and mining), as well as in agriculture. Discussions focused on strategies for serving public and private interests through the intervention of innovations and options that will prepare us well for the future.

Small and Aboriginal Communities: Solutions that fit - Conference Track

Small and Aboriginal Communities: Solutions that fit

Addressing the water management needs of smaller and aboriginal communities represents both a priority need and a major stumbling block for Canada and many other countries. Using conventional management solutions to support aboriginal, small and remote communities often does not fit and results in failure. Conventional solutions (technical, financial, governance) have been developed for larger centres in different cultural and geographic settings and their relevance to aboriginal, small and remote communities is questionable.

This conference track explored ways to catalyze progress via relevant innovations, recent initiatives and the potential for better application and results through ensuring an improved “fit” with community needs, cultures and the realities of local priorities.