$1 million investment to support the development of an Integrated Risk Management Framework for Canadian cities

July 29, 2014

McBean Risk 288WATERLOO, ON, July 29, 2014 - Canadian municipal water systems are facing an increasing array of challenges. Confronted with continued growth, aging infrastructure, climate change, and an ever more limited ability to absorb stormwater runoff, municipalities are recognizing the importance of integrating the tasks of risk management for drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and related urban systems.

Canadian Water Network (CWN), one of Canada's federally-supported Networks of Centres of Excellence, is investing over $165,000 to address this challenge by establishing a basis for designing an integrated risk management framework for municipal water systems. The funds are being matched with additional partner support, including both leveraged cash and in-kind contributions, to bring the total investment to almost $1 million.

"In Canada, municipal water issues related to drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, urban watersheds and related urban planning and disaster management responses have traditionally been managed in isolation," says Warren Wishart, manager of CWN's Canadian Municipal Water Consortium. "This project will demonstrate the interrelationships and interdependencies of municipal water systems, and will assist the current movement towards sustainable water resources."

The project, "Integrated Risk Management Framework for Municipal Water Systems," led by Dr. Edward McBean, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Water Supply Security at the University of Guelph, is multi-disciplinary in nature, drawing on the expertise of over 30 partners, including municipal, academic, private sector and non-governmental organizations across Canada. The intended end users of the research include regulators, utilities, municipalities, technology and service providers, and finance and insurance sectors.

The team has started conducting a study to establish the risks and drivers that will need to be addressed in terms of understanding risk management cultures, including an overview of connections and linkages for water, wastewater and stormwater management, emphasizing key barriers and opportunities. The project will be completed March 31, 2015 and is Phase 1 of a Knowledge Integration Call for Proposals. Phase 2 will be launched in late spring 2015 and will involve the design of a new, integrated risk management framework for municipal water management.  

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About Canadian Water Network (CWN) Headquartered at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canadian Water Network (www.cwn-rce.ca) was created in 2001 by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program to connect international water researchers with decision-makers engaged in priority water management issues. Canadian Water Network works to harness the expertise of researchers to improve the ability of practitioners and implementers to respond to water challenges.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Kathryn Ross
Media and Public Relations Coordinator
Canadian Water Network
519-888-4567, ext. 37709
kross@cwn-rce.ca