Speakers from across the globe

Connecting Water Resources 2015 connected like-minded innovators and first-adopters – all motivated to be changemakers for water. The speakers at Connecting Water Resources 2015 were leading Canadian and international water experts, who focused on moving from knowledge to action in three areas:

• Blue Cities: Moving to the systems we need
• Resource Development and Agriculture: Securing our future
• Small and Aboriginal Communities: Solutions that fit

Click here for more details about the conference tracks.

Julie Abouchar

Partner
Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP

Julie Abouchar is a partner at Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP and certified as an Environmental Law Specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Julie has special expertise in water regulation and policy, including drinking water and source water protection. She is co-author of Ontario Water Law, published by Canada Law Book.

James Arnott

Wastewater Program, Environmental Stewardship Branch
Industrial Sectors Directorate, Environment Canada

James Arnott is a regulator with Environment Canada’s Environmental Stewardship Branch and is based in the National Capital Region. He manages the regulatory program at Environment Canada, which is responsible for the administration of the federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations. James also represents Environment Canada on federal-provincial-territorial committees related to wastewater management, including those under the auspices of the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment.

Jean-François-Barsoum is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Jean-François Barsoum

‎Senior Managing Consultant
Smarter Cities, Water and Transportation at IBM

After joining IBM’s Strategy Consulting practice in 1996, Jean-François Barsoum began developing technology business plans and strategies for businesses and diverse organizations, including financial institutions, higher education institutions, professional associations, pharmaceutical companies and telecommunications companies. His specific focus has been on developing business plans of new and disruptive technologies, for which he developed IBM's method. He subsequently trained several hundred IBM consultants in the use of that method.

“The masses of data we gather on ecosystems and infrastructure is unuseable unless we have informed research teasing out the lessons from the observations. Best-in-class research can use leading edge data collection and analysis to make sure we keep our ecosystems healthy, and our cities running how they should.”

Oliver M. Brandes

Co-Director, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law & School of Public Administration, University of Victoria

Oliver M. Brandes is an economist and lawyer by training and a trans-disciplinarian by design. He serves as Co-director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Global Studies and leads the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, where his work focuses on water sustainability, sound resource management, public policy development and ecologically-based legal and institutional reform.

Cecelia Brooks

Research Director and Indigenous Knowledge Specialist
Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in New Brunswick
Water Grandmother, Canadian Rivers Institute

Cecelia completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee and worked as an Organic Extractions Chemist/Laboratory Manager with a large environmental laboratory for several years before moving onto the management of municipal water and wastewater treatment laboratories.

“Successful water management for First Nations is entering a new era as we transition into the implementation phase of the new Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act. Knowledge translation and transfer to First Nations leadership and community water specialists is the first step toward water management within the new paradigm. This is an opportunity for researchers to meaningfully contribute input that leads to change for First Nations.”

Jim F. Brown

Band Councillor and Maintenance Manager
Lytton First Nation

Jim has been the Maintenance Manager at Lytton First Nation in British Columbia since 1982 and a Band Councillor for the past 19 years. Lytton First Nation has 2,000 band members, with 1,000 living on the reserve. There are nine Community Water Systems and two with the Village of Lytton under a Municipal Type Service Agreement for both water and wastewater.

“As a First Nation, water quality on the reserve depends on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and their policy and regulations. Budgets for new systems or upgrades must be cost effective. Engineers say that all water has different properties and that systems must be designed accordingly, but on my reserve, they are all designed the same. To think as we are today, there will be no change. We must create positive change, which includes research by universities.”

Darla Campbell

President, Amonavi Consulting Group Inc.
Executive Director, Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure

Darla Campbell, PEng, is a behaviour change specialist with experience in municipal and provincial infrastructure development from environmental assessment through design, construction and operation.

“Folks get into a routine with the same actions, without stepping back and asking themselves where there is room for improvement. How can I get better results from my actions? What questions help me become more self-aware of my impact on the system? “If I only knew how I was impacting the system, I would have changed my actions.” Ask better questions.”

Linda Carpenter

Water Treatment Plant Operator
Hamlet of Fort Resolution

Linda Carpenter is a certified Level 11 Water Treatment Plant Operator with the Hamlet of Fort Resolution in the Northwest Territories. She is the main operator and is in charge of treatment as well as overall operations at the water plant. Linda has held this position for over 15 years. Her work is very hands-on and can be challenging at times.

“Proactive measures for monitoring impacts within our environment are very important. Water is the key to life and sustains all things – everything is inter-connected and all life forms can be exposed to the cumulative effects of contaminants or toxins. Steps must be taken to ensure water management is in place to safeguard our future.”

Heather Castleden

Associate Professor and CIHR New Investigator
Geography and Public Health Sciences, Queen’s University

Heather Castleden, PhD, is a health geographer and Associate Professor jointly appointed to Geography and Public Health Sciences at Queen's University, where she holds a prestigious New Investigator Award in Knowledge Translation from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

“Water-related issues disproportionately burden Indigenous communities in Canada. Despite action taken, water quality and accessibility remain significantly compromised in many of these communities. We need to change the ways in which we approach and understand water systems and management in Indigenous spaces. Engaging with Indigenous knowledge-holders and implementing Indigenous knowledge alongside innovations in western science in integrative ways has the potential to lead us to action that meets inherent Indigenous and Treaty rights, as well as basic human rights.”

Margaret Catley Carlson is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Margaret Catley-Carlson

Patron
Global Water Partnership

Margaret Catley-Carlson operates at the Board level in support of improved water resource management and the twin issues of agricultural productivity and rural development. She is Chair of the Foresight Advisory Committee for Group Suez Environment and the Crop Diversity Trust, and a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water, the IFDC (Fertilizer Council), World Food Prize and Syngenta Foundation Boards, the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Water, the Rosenberg Forum and the Canadian Water Network. She was President of CIDA from 1983-89; Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in New York from 1981-1983; President of the Population Council in New York from 1993-98; and Deputy Minister for the Department of Health and Welfare from 1989-92.

Margaret holds eleven honorary degrees and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

“Our researchers are skilled at creating knowledge, but on its own this rarely promotes action and change. New coalitions must be created that blend the skills of those who are involved in public policy, with those who create and refine knowledge. Knowledge providers must understand the goals and priorities of those they wish to influence, and adopt the language and issues to which they respond. Water opportunities often come with crises: droughts, floods, water shortages et al. We must mobilize knowledge, take bold steps towards actual recommendation-making and thus be prepared to use these crises.”

Bernadette Conant is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Bernadette Conant

Executive Director
Canadian Water Network

Bernadette Conant is the Executive Director of Canadian Water Network, where she has been working since 2003. Established in 2001 by Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence, Canadian Water Network plays a vital role in ensuring that Canada benefits from its investments in research to manage its water resources more effectively and becomes a world leader in water management.

Simon Courtenay is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Simon Courtenay

Scientific Director
Canadian Water Network

Simon Courtenay was appointed Scientific Director of Canadian Water Network in 2013. In this role, he leads the development of network initiatives focused on Canadian water management. He is also a Professor in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.

Nicola Crawhall

Deputy Director
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

Nicola Crawhall is the Deputy Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a coalition of over 110 Canadian and U.S. mayors representing 17 million citizens, who work together to advance the protection, restoration and promotion of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Basin.

Annie Daigle is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Annie Daigle

Provincial Water Resource Specialist
New Brunswick Environment and Local Government

Annie Daigle has been the Provincial Water Resource Specialist for the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government since 2002. She is a hydrogeologist by training and obtained a Master of Science in Geology and a Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.

Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Her Honour
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell is an energetic and highly regarded renaissance woman, an accomplished civil servant with wide-ranging interests, and is passionately devoted to the advancement of humanity. An intelligent, perceptive and compassionate woman, Ms. Dowdeswell has devoted herself to public service, where her talents and skills have contributed greatly to many important initiatives, most notably those that integrate environmental, economic, social, educational and cultural concerns.

Grahame Farquhar

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo

Grahame Farquhar currently holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering. His research and teaching focused on the management and control of water and wastewater, solid and hazardous wastes and environmental contamination. Grahame published more than one hundred documents, including books, scholarly papers and technical reports, and supervised more than sixty post-graduate students. From 1988 to 1992, he held the position of Chair of Civil Engineering.

Action to resolve future large-scale water issues can be expected to involve large numbers of decision-makers, stake-holders and activists. Their perceptions, motivations, resources, constraints and sense of urgency will be highly divergent. Sound knowledge must be the foundation for action, but the right knowledge effectively presented to the right people will be essential for success.

Graham Gagnon

NSERC/Halifax Water Industrial Research Chair
Professor, Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University

Graham Gagnon, PhD, PEng, is the NSERC/Halifax Water Industrial Research Chair and Professor in Civil and Resource Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also Director for the Centre for Water Resources Studies at Dalhousie University.

Nancy Griffin is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Nancy Griffin

Co-Chair, Water Dialogue
International Women's Forum‎, Canada

Nancy Griffin, Certified Financial Planner, is Co-Chair of Water Dialogue, International Women's Forum‎, Canada. She is also CEO and Founder of Passionate Legacy Inc., a private client wealth advisory company involved in legacy planning for companies and individuals. Nancy is a proud recipient of the Canada 125 award for outstanding community service, having served on several boards in various communities.

“Canada, as a significant water rich nation, has an important leadership role to play in ensuring this resource is healthy and available to all humans globally. Throughout the world, water issues have a considerable impact on women and their children. Solutions to the competing interests for this limited resource will be found by women working together.”

Danny Higashitani

Senior Water Treatment Engineer
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Danny Higashitani, PEng, is a Senior Engineer who has worked with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) for the past 15 years on infrastructure projects. He has provided strategic advice to senior management on water supply, treatment and distribution, as well as on federal government policies. His current role allows him to focus on empowering First Nations in the proper day-to-day function of their infrastructure, particularly around health and safety, by providing them with tools to develop appropriate maintenance and asset management programs.

Karen Kidd

Canada Research Chair, Chemical Contamination of Food Webs
Professor, Biology, University of New Brunswick
Science Director, Canadian Rivers Institute

Karen Kidd is a Professor in Biology at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. Her passion is to understand how diverse human activities affect the health of aquatic ecosystems.

Karen is an ecotoxicologist and spends her summers on lakes, rivers and coastal areas in populated and remote areas of Canada and abroad. She has led or been involved in several whole ecosystem experiments to understand the effects of synthetic estrogen, aquaculture and pesticides on lakes and wetlands. She studies the accumulation of mercury, pesticides and industrial chemicals through stream and lake food webs in temperate through arctic regions, and examines how industrial, aquacultural and agricultural runoff and forest condition affects the health of fish and invertebrates and the structure of aquatic food webs.

Nancy Kodousek

Director of Water Services
Region of Waterloo

Nancy Kodousek, P.Eng, has more than 30 years of senior management experience with both municipal and private sector water and wastewater systems. Prior to her current position as Director of Water Services at the Region of Waterloo, she held similar management-level positions at AWS Engineers & Planners (formerly Azurix) and the Region of Ottawa-Carleton.

His Excellence Cees Kole

Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada

His Excellence Cees Kole joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1984. During the next ten years, he held postings at the Netherlands Embassy in Warsaw, the Queen’s Cabinet and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague. From 1995 to 1998, His Excellence held positions as the Deputy Director of Protocol and as a Project Leader in Human Resources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) at The Hague. He was also a Policy Officer and spokesperson at the Netherlands Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. In 2002, His Excellence became Director of Information and Communication at MFA, and in 2006, he assumed the position of Deputy Head of Mission and Minister Plenipotentiary for the Netherlands Embassy in Paris.

Bu Lam

Director
Community Infrastructure, Government of Nunavut

Bu Lam is the Director of Community Infrastructure with the Government of Nunavut, where he administers municipal infrastructure projects for Nunavut's 24 non-tax-based communities. These projects are wide-ranging and include community halls, recreational facilities, municipal offices, and water and wastewater systems.

Bu obtained his doctorate in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Toronto and has lived in Iqaluit, Nunavut for over six years.

“A firm knowledge base is essential for decision-makers to effect impactful action. This is particularly true in the context of small and remote communities where targeted research can ensure appropriate systems are in place to meet unique geographical, environmental and cultural challenges. This knowledge-driven approach has guided Nunavut’s study of northern wastewater treatment, which will ultimately allow Nunavut to participate in developing appropriate wastewater regulations for the Far North as part of the Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.”

Andrew Leach

Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy
Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta

Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is the Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. He has a PhD in Economics from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Sciences) and Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of Guelph.

“In translating knowledge to policy responses, the temptation is to apply general results to specific situations. For example, we know that pricing water will lead to efficient use, but that doesn’t mean that water pricing is always a better environmental policy. For me, the case of the oil sands is illustrative – if you were to price water and/or effluent, and/or make water rights tradeable, you’d almost certainly have more water use and/or pollution than you have today.”

Irving Leblanc

Special Advisor
Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Management
Assembly of First Nations

Irving is the Special Advisor for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Management - Safe, Secure and Sustainable Communities. His responsibility is to represent the AFN on initiatives and committees related to water and sanitation, source water protection, housing, infrastructure and emergency management issues affecting First Nations.

Adam Lovell

Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia

Adam Lovell is the Executive Director at the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). WSAA is the peak body for the urban water industry and its members provide urban water services to over 80% of the Australia’s population. WSAA was formed in 1995 and provides a forum for debate on issues important to the urban water industry.

Erin Mahoney

Commissioner of Environmental Services
The Regional Municipality of York

Erin Mahoney is Commissioner of Environmental Services for The Regional Municipality of York. Responsible for managing over 300 staff and a $2 billion ten-year capital infrastructure budget, she oversees corporate energy services, along with the delivery of waste management, forestry, water and wastewater services for over 1.1 million residents and 28,000 businesses in York Region. Erin proactively manages the Environmental Services portfolio by negotiating current priorities with an acute awareness of the future needs of the Region. She has over 25 years of experience on projects involving water and wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental legislation, approvals requirements and public engagement.

“Partnerships between municipalities, academia and the private sector founded on evidence based decision-making are the key to unlocking the next technology revolution in water management.”

David Marshall

Executive Director
Fraser Basin Council

David Marshall is a professional engineer and the founding Executive Director of the Fraser Basin Council. In May 1998, he received the National River Conservation Award of Merit for his outstanding contribution to river conservation in Canada by The Canadian Heritage Rivers System. In September 2001, he was appointed as the Chair of the Drinking Water Review Panel by the Government of British Columbia to review the effectiveness of the Drinking Water Protection Act.

Lynda McCarthy

Professor, Chemistry and Biology
Ryerson University

Lynda McCarthy has been a Professor at Ryerson University since 1997. Previously, she worked at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters on Lake Ontario for over sixteen years with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada.

Barb McMurray

Lead, Showcasing Water Innovation
Ontario Ministry of the Environment

As the lead for the government of Ontario’s Showcasing Water Innovation program, Barb collaborates with colleagues across Ontario to help build on the province’s commitment to protect water in Ontario communities through innovative technologies and approaches.

Madjid Mohseni is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Madjid Mohseni

Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia
Scientific Director, RES’EAU-WaterNET

Madjid Mohseni is a Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His research focuses on drinking water quality and treatment with particular emphasis on novel and chemical-free processes. He is the co-author of over 100 refereed publications and a number of industrial reports and book chapters.

Emily Moore

Managing Director
Water and Tailings Management, Hatch Ltd.

Emily Moore is the Managing Director of Water and Tailings Management at Hatch Ltd., an international engineering company serving the mining, energy and infrastructure sectors. She manages a diverse team of over 200 specialists in Australia, South Africa, North and South Americas, which support Hatch clients from conceptual studies through plant engineering, construction and commissioning.

Pat Mulroy is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Pat Mulroy

Program Lead, Water Resources and Technology
Desert Research Institute

Patricia Mulroy serves as the Program Lead for Water Resources and Technology at the Desert Research Institute, where she holds the Maki Distinguished Faculty Associate. She is also a Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy at UNLV’s Brookings Mountain West and with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, D.C.

“In 2002 Las Vegas was faced with a rapidly deepening drought on the Colorado River that wiped out all the resources we had spent the previous decade negotiating. We had to head down a completely different path, transforming urban water conservation into reality. It took significant effort to overcome the inertia and resistance that conservation always evokes. We put together a community planning committee that mapped out goals and targets, got the Water Board to adopt the plan, and then took the pieces to the various governmental organizations for implementation. Today Las Vegas is one of the most water efficient desert cities in the country.”

Dhesigen Naidoo is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Dhesigen Naidoo

Chief Executive Officer
Water Research Commission, South Africa

Dhesigen Naidoo is the CEO of the Water Research Commission, South Africa’s dedicated national water research and development agency. Previous to this, Dhesigen was Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Pretoria. He also served as an official in the South African government between 1996 and 2007. During this period he worked inter alia for the Ministries of Water Affairs and Forestry, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and Science and Technology, where he served as Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources. He was also a member of the hosting team for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Between 1990 and 1996 Dhesigen was a medical natural scientist at the University of Cape Town and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

“Moving from knowledge to action is a cornerstone of the social compact between academia and society.  21st century Earth is challenged by increasingly water-intensive individual and corporate lifestyles, compounded by a mounting global water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change. A rapid translation of laboratory solutions to on-the-ground implementation is the only viable pathway to global water security.”

Sandra Odendahl

Director, Corporate Sustainability and Social Finance
Royal Bank of Canada

As the Director of Corporate Sustainability & Social Finance at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Sandra Odendahl leads a team responsible for global strategy and leadership in the areas of environmental and social credit risk management, environmental products and services, bank-wide environmental programs and external relations related to corporate sustainability issues. In 2012, Sandra was appointed to head RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, a $20 million program to catalyse the use of private money and financial markets to solve environmental and social issues.

Terry O'Reilly is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Terry O'Reilly

Writer/Director
Pirate Toronto

Before Pirate Radio & Television, Terry O'Reilly spent 10 years as an award-winning copywriter at several of the most creative advertising agencies in Canada. In 1990, he co-founded Pirate Radio & Television, specializing in audio production for radio and television commercials. Pirate has grown to include 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City.

Brent Paterson

Owner
Paterson Earth and Water Consulting

Brent Paterson is the owner of Paterson Earth and Water Consulting, specializing in water management, irrigation and water quality issues related to agriculture and rural development in Canada and developing countries. He has international experience related to water management with the Canadian International Development Agency, United Nations Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Brent was formerly the Executive Director of the Irrigation and Farm Water Division with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

“In the 21st century, access to sufficient quantities of good quality water will define world agriculture – more than at any other time in history. Our continuing challenge will be to effectively integrate and translate the masses of often conflicting research information into realistic actions with measurable results.”

Bob Rae is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Bob Rae

Senior partner
Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP

Bob Rae is a Senior Partner at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. He works with First Nations across Canada as legal counsel, advisor, negotiator and arbitrator.

Bob brings decades of experience as a lawyer and public leader at the highest levels of government. He also has a strong background in negotiations, strategic planning and community and economic development. Bob's legal practice focuses on First Nations, Aboriginal and Governance issues.

Robert Renner

Executive Director, Water Research Foundation
Chair, Global Water Research Coalition

Robert Renner is Executive Director of the Water Research Foundation (WRF). WRF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that sponsors research that supports the water community in cooperatively managing water from all sources to meet social, environmental, and economic needs. With close to 1,000 subscriber members in the U.S. and abroad, the Foundation has funded and managed more than 1,400 research projects valued at more than $500 million.

Hand Schreier is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Hans Schreier

Professor Emeritus
Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia

Hans Schreier is a Professor in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on watershed management, land-water interactions, soil and water pollution, stormwater management and virtual water issues.

“Water resources management is facing new uncertainties as a result of increased climatic variability, globalization and consumptions. The main challenge is how to translate innovative ideas into actions that are effective, economically viable and environmentally sound. This requires an adaptive approach that is knowledge based, but requires constant reassessment, adjustment and modifications.

Harry Seah is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Harry Seah

Chief Technology Officer
Public Utilities Board, Singapore

Harry Seah is currently Chief Technology Officer of the Technology Department for Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s national water agency. The Technology Department coordinates the research and development initiatives in PUB, and supports PUB’s mission through technology, innovation, industry partnership, expertise development and the introduction of best practices.

“Knowledge in water management has given us the means to clean, safe water. Our water industry is conservative and rightfully so – but this can make it difficult for emerging technologies and concepts to be adopted in good time. We need internationally accepted protocols to validate and share promising new solutions. Water reuse is one example; extensive research, monitoring and testing have made water reuse safe, yet it is still not widely practised today.”

Christa Seaman

Manager of Regulatory Policy and Advocacy
Shell Canada

Christa Seaman was born and raised in Southern Alberta. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Alberta in 1999. Following graduation, she researched alternative pulping fibers for the Alberta Research Council and aluminum electroplating for the Westaim Corporation’s coinage division. She then began working at Environment Canada on criteria air emission regulations.

Keith Smith

Senior Program Officer
Population Health and Primary Care Directorate
First Nations and Inuit Branch, Health Canada

Keith Smith is Anishinaabeg from Sagkeeng, Manitoba (Fort Alexander) and belongs to the Bear Clan. He is a Certified Public Health Inspector with twenty years of experience in the environmental public health field. Keith has contributed his expertise and passion toward improving the environment and public health of First Nations communities as an Environmental Health Officer, Regional Environmental Health Manager, Senior Program Advisor and Program Manager for a variety of organisations, including Touchwood File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Health Canada and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Frans van de Ven

Team Leader, Deltares Urban Land & Water Management, Netherlands
Associate Professor, Urban Water Management, Delft University of Technology

With his colleagues at Deltares, Frans is working on flood and climate resilient, subsidence-free cities, while aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of urban systems. This includes research into improved concepts for resilient urban water management, better methods for engineering urban water systems and for controlling water quantity, water quality, demands and supply and urban planning and design support tools to implement these improved concepts and methods.

Peter Vanrolleghem

Canada Research Chair on Water Quality Modelling
Professor, Civil and Water Engineering, Université Laval

Peter Vanrolleghem obtained his Master of Science in Bio-Engineering and PhD in Environmental Technologies from Ghent University in Belgium. As an Associate Professor at Ghent University from 1997 to 2006, he initiated the BIOMATH research team that focused on bioprocess modelling in a wide range of application areas, including food, agriculture and wastewater treatment.

Charles Vorosmarty is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Charles Vörösmarty

Professor of Civil Engineering
Director, CUNY Environmental CrossRoads Initiative
Distinguished Scientist, NOAA-CREST

Charles Vörösmarty's research centers on human-environment interactions. He has led several teams that have executed interdisciplinary studies using earth system models depicting the Northeastern U.S., developed and analyzed  databases of reservoir construction worldwide and how they generate downstream coastal zone risks, and assessed global threats to human water security and aquatic biodiversity. In addition to his dedication to mentoring CUNY students, Dr. Vörösmarty routinely provides scientific guidance to a variety of U.S. and international water consortia.

“Time and again we can show that the seeds of our 21st century water crisis have favored mismanagement over sound stewardship. Modern remedies emphasize hard path engineering solutions, expensive in both financial terms and in destroying our ecosystems. Articulating a new “value proposition” and business model for water, stressing the cost-effectiveness of prevention over remediation is, in my view, the critical step forward.”

Carl Weatherell

Executive Director and CEO
Canada Mining Innovation Council

Carl Weatherell joined the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) on March 1, 2013.

Carl is a change agent known for challenging the status quo, discovering new ways of doing things and taking ideas to execution. He is a natural connector, often bringing together disparate and seemingly unrelated people, groups and organizations to create new partnerships. Carl has been described as a rebel and a heretic.

Elder Gordon Williams

Peguis First Nation

Elder Gordon Williams is a member of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. He received his university education at the University of Manitoba and two degrees in Psychology from Presbyterian College in Montreal, which was associated with McGill University.

Carl Yates is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Carl D. Yates

General Manager
Halifax Water

Carl Yates has extensive experience in the water utility profession, having served as Project Engineer, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Halifax Water Commission from 1988 to 1996. In 1996, he was appointed General Manager of the Halifax Regional Water Commission, which assumed a regional mandate after the municipal amalgamation of the greater Halifax area in 1996. In 2007, Mr. Yates oversaw the formation of the first regulated water, wastewater and stormwater utility in Canada with the transfer of wastewater and stormwater assets from the Halifax Regional Municipality. Halifax Water is a body corporate municipal utility, generating approximately $130 million in annual revenue, with assets of over $2 Billion.

“Utilities are always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective. By adopting international best practices, Halifax Water reduced system leakage by 40 million litres per day. The utility also conducted research on advanced pressure management within District Metered Areas, which are the heart and soul of a successful water loss control program. In addition, an inline turbine was installed recently to control pressure and generate electricity at the same time. We believe knowledge is meant to be shared; through its sharing, more knowledge is gained.”

Beverly Yee is one of Connecting Water Resources 2015 Speakers

Beverly Yee

Assistant Deputy Minister
Municipal Assessment and Grants Division, Alberta Municipal Affairs

Beverly Yee is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Municipal Assessment and Grants Division for Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs. In this role, she is responsible for administering the Municipal Sustainability Initiative and grant programs for Alberta municipalities to strengthen their capacity and viability. The Division also administers the assessment and property tax system for the province.

Daniel Yeon

Vice-President, Operations
Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute

Daniel Yeon has been involved with the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) since its creation in 2004, and joined the Institute on a full-time basis in 2007. As Vice President of Operations, Daniel oversees all of the finance, governance and administrative activities of CAPI. He is also responsible for a variety of research activities that CAPI undertakes.

Janice Zinck

Manager, Green Mining Research
Natural Resources Canada

Janice Zinck has over twenty years experience in the leadership and delivery of multidisciplinary programs to address mineral resource development-related environmental and processing challenges. She has been involved in many national and international initiatives involving industry, other governments and universities, where she has developed strategic priorities, partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaborations.

Thursday March 12

Tuesday March 10

Wednesday March 11