Monday May 5th
From flat to fabulous: how to create dynamic maps that tell the story of transboundary waters
Facilitated by: Korice Moir (Confluvium) and Penny Beames (Executive Director of Confluvium)
Gone are the days of flat, static maps. We yearn to engage and interact with data. The next generation of open data and open source platforms provides the water community with an opportunity to create powerful, dynamic maps that peel back the layers of a river’s story. Join us as we discuss the role maps can play in facilitating better transboundary water sharing. We will explore mapping tools, trends and challenges, using an illustrative example, and share tips on how you might get started in your own research. This session seeks out ways to connect more deeply with our watersheds by creating and interacting with fabulous maps.
Note: Delegates are recommended to bring a laptop to this session.
Perform at your peak! Success for today and success for the future.
Facilitated by: Ryan Stoness (Manager of Fit to Lead Program at the School of Business, Queen's)
Ryan Stoness, High Performance Coach with Queen’s School of Businesses Fit to Lead Program will take you through an interactive workshop assessing and discussing individual high performance strategies. Using health and wellness practices such as movement, nutrition and mental skills individuals will learn ways to make small adjustments in day-to-day living which have be shown to impact performance measures such as time, energy, focus and productivity. Concepts such Energy Management, Priority Setting and Using your Stress will be discussed.
Science, so what? Engaging the public and mobilizing your research.
Facilitated by: Rachel Phan (Managing Editor of Water Canada) and Terry Rees (Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario's Cottagers Association).
This workshop will address both why and how students should engage the public with their research. By the end of the session, students will have learned the importance of reaching out to the general public to garner understanding, cooperation, and support for important water issues. Students will also take away valuable lessons on how to approach media outlets, how to write for an audience that doesn’t have a science background, and how to identify the aspects of their research that will be the most appealing to the general public.
Water and hope: hydro-climatic change and our future
Facilitated by: Robert Sandford, EPCOR Chair for the UN Water Decade for Life
Beyond population growth and its unanticipated effects, the greatest threat humanity presently faces is a changing planetary climate. With rising mean global temperatures our planet’s atmosphere holds more water vapour and becomes more turbulent. Extreme weather events are becoming more common everywhere. Droughts are becoming longer and deeper and more frequent and intense rainfalls are causing extraordinary damage and great human suffering around the world. People everywhere want to know whether we can turn these problems around while they are still more or less linear and incremental; before the world begins to change all at once. Many don’t believe it is possible to rescue our political systems from the influence of vested economic and ideological interests and the self-referential focus of party politics in time to prevent collapse of important elements of the Earth system. Others worry about hope for their children and the generations to come. Participants in this interactive discussion will explore how science can inform hope. Each participant will be challenged to collectively answer three questions: What can we be hopeful about? What can give us further hope? How do we inspire hope in others?
Freshwater Legal Toolkit: Stories of Change
Facilitated by: Nancy Goucher (Water Program Manager, Environmental Defence) and Dr. Anastasia Lintner (Economist and Lawyer, Ecojustice).
When it comes to environmental policy, Canada consistently ranks near the bottom among developed nations. The Conference Board of Canada gave Canada a “C” on our environmental performance and ranked us 15th out of 17 peer countries. In a world where environmental performance is increasingly recognized as an indicator of future competitiveness, Canadians will need to figure out how to improve our environmental policy. The question is how.
In many ways freshwater policymaking is both an art and a science.
This workshop will take you through the “science” of freshwater policymaking by providing an overview of the Canadian policy framework, including policy creation within the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. We’ll also dive into the “art” of policymaking through real stories based on the experiences and observations of the workshop hosts.
Participants will have an opportunity to practice what they’ve learned by working on freshwater policy change scenarios.
Whether your future job is policy analyst, water resources engineer, aquatic biologist, environmental lawyer, or something else entirely, you can be an “agent of change.”
Sunday May 4th
Turning research and innovation into a viable business.
Facilitated by: Brian Mergelas, CEO of WaterTAP Ontario
Turning research and innovation into a viable business can be a rewarding challenge. But what does it take to commercialize an idea? What kinds of decisions does an innovator have to make going from a bench-scale project to a real-world application? This workshop will explore the stages of business development, covering topics such as intellectual property, regulatory approvals, finances and investment, leadership, and business strategy. Water technology innovator and successful entrepreneur Dr. Brian Mergelas, CEO of Ontario’s Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP), hosts this workshop.
Intersections between health and water
Facilitated by: Geof Hall, Department of Civil Engineering, Medicine and Family Medicine at Queen's University
Water and human health are intimately linked. Sustainable communities and healthy populations require safe, clean water to flourish, however the health of water supplies across the country is at risk from a variety of sources. Protecting, preserving and restoring the health of water supplies must be approached from a holistic view, which incorporates the daily experience of all facets of life in Canada. This module will explore human health issues associated with water and will give participants the opportunity to engage in exciting dialogue on how to move Canada forward in protecting its population and to nurture the deep respect that Canada’s future leaders have for its water resources.
Innovative ways to create a water haven: How to reduce your impact on the blue, the green, the gray and the virtual water cycle
Facilitated by: Hans Schreir (Emeritus Professor, Soil Science, UBC)
The focus of this session is to reduce your water footprint and water contamination by innovative actions that reduce blue water use, capture green and gray water, and consider the virtual water in your diet. We will discuss many easy ways of reducing domestic water consumption, such as accounting for water, minimizing flushing of blue water, and capturing green and grey water for reuse. Many cities strive to become green, which generally means planting more vegetation and using green energy. How about using the green water concept to help reduce the flood risk and water pollution problem in cities? Food is one of the pleasures in life and water is an essential component in its production. What are innovative ways to account for the virtual water in your diet and reduce the impact on human and environmental health?
Community-based and participatory approaches for water management with Indigenous peoples in Canada
Facilitated by: Dr. Heather Castleden (Associate Professor, Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University)
Water-related issues and water-related threats disproportionately burden Indigenous communities in Canada; given these circumstances, there is growing recognition concerning the importance of understanding how best to integrate Indigenous and Western perspectives and methodologies to effectively address these challenges. The goals of this conference workshop are two-fold: 1) to introduce participants to the history of Indigenous-settler relations and to explain why this historical context is needed to effectively and respectfully approach the management of our shared water resources; and 2) to introduce participants to community-based and participatory methods for engagement in water-related research involving Indigenous peoples.
Defining Canadian water research priorities: What does the future hold?
Facilitated by: Simon Courtenay, Scientific Director of the Canadian Water Network
Whether you work with energy, resource extraction, agriculture, municipalities or any other sector of the economy water is an integral issue. The new reality of increasing frequency and severity of meteorological events requires a whole new way of thinking about how we manage our activities around water. This makes water among the most necessary, exciting and challenging areas for research right now whether you’re thinking about drinking water, wastewater and stormwater or watershed management. In this plethora of potential research opportunities which are you going to address? Which are most important to Canadians and most tractable in the immediate future?