Securing Canada's Future Through Sustainable Water Strategies

March 10, 2015

OTTAWA, March 10, 2015 - Knowledge is power, but success in managing Canada's water resources is about more than just delivering relevant research. It is about asking the right questions and connecting the right people to ensure that research leads to positive results. This year, Canadian Water Network's Connecting Water Resources 2015: From Knowledge to Action (CWR) conference (March 10-12) will bring together major water players from industry, government, academia and non-governmental organizations to highlight the need for strategic planning and research to aid in decision-making and policy development.

"Sparking a dialogue around water is essential, but this conference is about taking those conversations about what we know to the next level – action," says Bernadette Conant, Executive Director of CWN. "We have brought together a group that wants to see results in solving real world water challenges, and we want to empower them with knowledge and an understanding of how and where bringing that knowledge forward makes the difference. It is the only way to bring about change."

Water management decisions affect policy and management decisions at every level, from public health to economic development. Issues around safe drinking water, wastewater management and responsible resource development are reaching the national agenda, and they pose a new challenge for policy-makers. In order to maintain a global competitive advantage, tailored solutions must be planned and implemented in these areas.

"Canada is a global leader in the area of water management," says Peter Steblin, Chair of the Board for Canadian Water Network. "And maintaining and extending Canada's leadership will require continued partnership between the public, academia and private sector."

CWN, established as one of Canada's federally-supported Networks of Centres of Excellence, connects researchers and end-users across the country to collaborate on water initiatives that can support actionable solutions for industry, government, municipalities and the resource development sector. CWN acts as Canada's expert advisor and manager of our knowledge wealth for water innovation.

Connecting Water Resources 2015 will feature both domestic and international speakers, and focuses on three key areas that address current and emerging water challenges:

Blue Cities: Moving to the systems we need: Water plays a vital role in maintaining healthy communities. How will communities support growth while ensuring safe drinking water and effective wastewater and stormwater management? What is the impact of climate change? What is the impact of an aging infrastructure?

Resource Development and Agriculture: Securing our future: Resources (including oil and gas and mining) and agri-food both play a key role in the success of the Canadian economy. As water risks continue to affect these areas, strategies are required to sustain growth, ensure environmental stewardship, and serve both public and private interests.

Small and Aboriginal Communities: Solutions that fit: Water management issues in aboriginal communities represent a growing need and a priority. How do we maintain policies that result in success, not failure? Conventional solutions, as they relate to technical, financial and governance planning, are often developed for larger communities and do not address aboriginal, small and remote communities.

The conference in Ottawa will feature international leaders in water management, who have embraced the theme of Knowledge to Action to uncover fresh perspectives and approaches to water management.

Experts are available to discuss key topic areas and overall challenges and opportunities in the area of water management:

  • Bob Rae, Senior Partner, OKT - Olthuis Keller Townshend LLP
  • Beverly Yee, Assistant Deputy Minister, Municipal Assessment and Grants Division, Alberta Municipal Affairs
  • Jean François Barsoum, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM
  • Margaret Catley-Carlson, Patron, Global Water Partnership
  • Simon Courtenay, Scientific Director, Canadian Water Network
  • Hans Schreier, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia
  • Dhesigen Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer, Water Research Commission, South Africa
  • Cecelia Brooks, Research Director and Indigenous Knowledge Specialist, Assembly of First Nations; Water Grandmother, Canadian Rivers Institute

For a complete list of keynote speakers and conference session details, visit and follow Canadian Water Network @CdnWaterNetwork and #CWR2015 for the latest news from the event.

About Canadian Water Network (CWN)
Headquartered at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canadian Water Network ( 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 unite the expertise of researchers, practitioners and implementers to respond to water challenges.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Pira Pathmanathan, Environics Communications, 416-969-2765,