Going Virtual

January 11 – February 3, 2022

Building a Water Efficiency Program


January 13 : 11:00 am – 12:30 EST

One thing that has become clear as we look at water efficiency programs across Canada is how diverse the experience, drivers and progress are across the country. This session will explore this reality by presenting three case studies of utilities at very different places in their water efficiency journey, to explore the greater themes of what is driving water efficiency, water are the barriers, and what does the future of water efficiency look like.

Generously sponsored by


Building a water efficiency program - the challenges of starting to save water


City of Vancouver Water Efficiency Program: at a Crossroads.

Neal Klasen, City of Vancouver

The City of Vancouver has abundant fresh water resources and historically did not encounter supply or infrastructure related challenges faced by many other municipalities in North America.  However, population growth combined with the effects of climate change has pushed water conservation up the priority list. 

Vancouver has done all the “right things” to date: plumbing code changes, watering regulations, metering ICI customers, system leak detection, etc.  Yet more than 70,000 single family homes remain unmetered and per capita water consumption has not really changed for the past few years. Metro Vancouver, the regional water supplier, is now facing billions of dollars in supply upgrades. 

As the largest user on the regional system, the City of Vancouver must take bigger, bolder steps.  But what are those steps?  Is universal metering really the best solution?  Are we missing something obvious?  With these and other questions, Vancouver sits at a crossroads with many important decisions to make.

Looking back and into the future – where to next when your programs have matured

Heather Yates, City of Guelph

Constrained by their groundwater supply, the City of Guelph celebrates over 20 years of water literacy and community commitment to sustainable water use. In December 2021, the City completed an update to their Water Supply Master Plan. Through preparing the plan, success in water conservation, efficiency and demand management were evaluated. Investments in reclaiming non-revenue water, fast-tracking natural savings typically achieved through years of market transformation and engaging thousands of residents and businesses in retrofitting and renovation for efficient use of water has actively contributed to maintaining a cost effective and sustainable water supply.

On the coattails of this Master Plan, the City will commence the fourth edition of their efficiency strategy – the means in which water efficiency programs are identified. But what remains left to do? What have we learned that can be applied to the future of programs? Or are programs a thing of the past?


    Session Speakers


    Neal Klassen, City of Vancouver

    Neal Klassen is a Policy Analyst with the City of Vancouver, responsible for water efficiency education and regulation in the residential sector.  He is a veteran in the water conservation industry, with over 25 years working on diverse projects like the City of Kelowna’s Water Smart Program, and the Columbia Basin Trust’s Water Conservation Program, which was the largest integrated water conservation program in British Columbia. 

    In Vancouver, Klassen leads the residential water metering initiative as well as developing other demand side management programs.  Klassen has a Masters Degree in Environmental Education and Communication, and is also co-chair of the CWWA’s Water Efficiency Committee.

    Heather Yates, City of Guelph

    Heather Yates is the Supervisor of Environmental Programs with the City of Guelph. A graduate of Lakehead University, Heather joined the City of Guelph in 2010. Since then, she has been responsible for developing, delivering and managing the City’s water efficiency and tap water promotion programming. In the last year, Heather’s portfolio has expanded to include programming for wastewater and solid waste. 

    Heather is past chair of the both the Canadian Municipal Water Efficiency Network and the Canadian Water Works Association’s Water Efficiency Committee.

    Energy Management in Helping Utilities to Improve Efficiency and Achieve Net-Zero Emission


    January 13: 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST

    As our world moves increasingly online – from managing aspects of our water system, to customer information and critical systems cyber security is becoming increasingly acute. A 2021 cyber attack on a water system in Florida demonstrated how vulnerable water systems can be. This session will explore the tools available to secure your cyber utility and the executive issues that threaten our systems.


    Improving Electricity Conservation in Small-Medium Municipal Water Distribution Systems Across Ontario

    Rebecca Dziedzic, Concordia University and Indra Maharjan, Ontario Clean Water Agency

    • Describe energy efficiency metrics for water distribution systems calculated with hydraulic models
    • Present water energy mapping tool developed as part of the project
    Strategic Energy Management and A Net-zero Emissions Future - Pine Creek WWTP

    Morris Liu, City of Calgary and Chris Tse, City of Calgary

    The Pine Creek (PC) WWTP Energy Audit project assessed the energy consumption patterns by process area, identified energy and GHG emission reduction opportunities around the plant, and provided high level estimate of potential financial and environmental benefits.

    The prioritized Energy Management Opportunities (EMO) were furthered investigated at a more detailed level in the PC WWTP Energy Recovery (ER) Study project. The EMOs investigated include energy data collection, blower and process optimization, biogas utilization by co-generation etc. It identified the gaps that need to be closed to reach our goal of net energy neutrality. The operational, maintenance and capital recommendations were developed to reduce the energy consumption, GHG emissions and to boost the recovery of the embedded energy potentials.

    A road map to the plant energy neutrality status was developed for consideration during long term infrastructure planning. The GHG emissions reduction from these EMOs are also assessed to support a climate change action plan.

    The phased approach in exploring the energy management potentials and the pathway to a net-zero status at the PC WWTP minimized the missing areas, avoided effort spent in unfeasible ideas, either financially or technically.  

    Plan for a Net-zero Utility with Energy Audit

    Qing Zhang, Epcor

      • Will describe the energy audit process in action for EWSI Water Treatment Plants, Reservoirs, and Booster Station.
      • The scope of work includes
        1. Use 2020 Data to prepare a baseline report for future benchmarking process;
        2. Conduct internal survey and stakeholder interviews for net-zero and energy efficiency improvement ideas;
    • Complete a first draft of a road map and a capital plan to achieve net-zero emission in 2035 or 2040.
    • Advocate to prepare documents for a few shovel ready projects for potential government grants.
    • Share findings from this project with other utilities and encourage carrying out similar process.


    Session Speakers

    Indra Maharjan, Ontario Clean Water Agency

    Indra Maharjan currently leads OCWA’s Innovation, Efficiency and Technology group and delivers solutions around energy, climate change and resource recovery to 220 plus municipal clients across Ontario. His unique ability to work with stakeholders to develop and deliver innovative solutions has resulted in 250 plus energy efficiency projects and 5+ codigestion projects in Ontario.

    Indra is passionate about Water Energy GHG nexus and have worked across sectorial industry collaboration to promote this. He is also amid volunteer with WEF, AWWA, OWWA, WEAO, ONEIA, Ryerson Urban Water, OSPE and PEO committees and has been an active mentor/ mentee for YPs and newcomers in this sector.

    Rebecca Dziedzic, Concordia University

    Dr. Rebecca Dziedzic is an Assistant Professor of the University of Concordia Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Her research expertise lies in developing decision support methods for sustainable infrastructure, particularly water systems. Prior to joining Concordia, Dr. Dziedzic worked as an asset management consultant and now continues to collaborate with industry professionals in order to better respond to current urban challenges.

    Morris Liu, City of Calgary



    Morris is a senior engineer leading the energy management team at the City of Calgary’s Water Utility. He has been working in the water and wastewater industries and utility for last twenty years. The areas he and his team searched for saving opportunities in energy use, cost and GHG emission reduction for the Calgary Water utility range from rotating equipment efficiency to power quality improvement, from bill monitoring to solar projects facilitating and fund application.

    Chris Tse, City of Calgary


    Chris is a Planning Engineer with about ten years of experience at Calgary’s water and wastewater utility. He manages the utility’s energy audit projects and various water and wastewater infrastructure planning projects. His priorities are to help the utility make smart energy choices by analyzing energy data, researching industry developments and providing operational support to his peers, along with helping the utility reach a long term goal of operating energy neutral wastewater treatment plants in the future.

    Qing Zhang, Epcor Water Utilities



    Qing is an enviromental engineer with more than 20 years of experiences in the water utility industry. With a primary focus on the energy management, water treatment plant operation, and change management, Qing also has extentive experiences in artificial intelligence modeling, and real time process monitoring and control. Qing has participated in several AWWA Research Foundation research projects, and published more than 12 papers in referred Jounrals and several reports with AWWA Research Foundation .

    Qing currently serves as the chair of CWWA Energy Efficiency Committee, and is actively promoting and sharing energy efficiency knowledge with CWWA utility members and through colleagues in many municipalitis. Qing is responsible for managing energy efficiency and green house gas related issues, such as monitoring energy efficiency performance targets, analyzing and reporting on green house gas emission, planning capital projects for energy efficiency improvements, etc.

    Cyber Security Threats and Executive Issues


    January 18: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

    As our world moves increasingly online – from managing aspects of our water system, to customer information and critical systems cyber security is becoming increasingly acute. A 2021 cyber attack on a water system in Florida demonstrated how vulnerable water systems can be. This session will explore the tools available to secure your cyber utility and the executive issues that threaten our systems.

    Generously sponsored by


    Level Cyber Up! –Municipal Water Cyber Security Threats and Executive Issues

    Bryan Hurd, Aon Cyber Solutions – Stroz Friedberg

    This session is designed for senior executives in the Canadian Water and Wastewater industry including focusing on the overall enterprise leadership issues faced by the industry CEOs, COOs, General Counsels and CISOs.  The presentation will cover technical threats, insurance issues, and what it is like to be in the board room during a ransomware attack, intrusion or other major incident. The presentation talks about water and wastewater cyber attacks, email compromises, and invoice scams from the year 2000 until today. The session will include an interactive Q&A are designed to “Level Up” cyber threats, vulnerabilities and incidents into the appropriate strategic issues in enterprise risk management and give attendees concrete things they can take back and action in their organizations.  Presented by a “senior cyber smoke jumper” who has handled thousands of breach events, with decades of experience in protecting critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats as well as corporate, government and international cyber operations and investigations experience.


    Introducing the ISA62443/IEC62443 Series of Cybersecurity Standards & Applying them to Municipal Water SCADA Systems

    Graham Nasby, City of Guelph

    In 2002, the ISA (international society of automation) brought together industrial cyber security experts from across the globe to develop a series of standards to provide best practices for industrial automation and control system cybersecurity. This group of experts became known as the ISA99 committee, who develop and maintain the comprehensive suite of ISA-62443 (and IEC-62443) cyber security standards. These consensus-based technical standards are now available to guide both designers and users of industrial control systems. In addition to a design and policy framework, the 62433 series of standards also provide cybersecurity guidance – and minimum requirements – for manufacturers who develop and sell industrial control equipment. The 62443 series of cybersecurity standards continue to be actively developed, with many of the individual standards now on their third update.

    This presentation, by a member of the ISA99 committee, provides an overview of how the 62443 series of standards have been developed specifically for the needs of the Operational Technology applications in critical sectors public water utilities. The talk will highlight features of the 62443 standards, and how they can be readily applied to the design and day-to-day management SCADA and other critical systems in Water utilities. Insight will also be provided into how the 62443 standards can be used in conjunction with other more general industry standards such as the ISO 27000 series, CIS20, NERC CIP and NIST CSF. Lastly, several examples of how ISA-62443 series of standard has been applied to the critical control systems used by municipal water utility for a city of 140,000 people will be discussed.

    A Case for Cyber Resiliency

    Thomas L. Kuczynski, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

    Cyber threats to the water sector are rapidly intensifying; and the range of actors is expanding. The impacts can be far reaching from a minor inconvenience to a major interruption in service.

    As automation and digitization become more ubiquitous and the sophistication of cyber-attacks increase a paradigm shift in the water sector is necessary and utilities need to transition their thinking from cyber security to cyber resiliency if they are to ensure continuity of operations. Unlike cyber security which focuses on protection, cyber resiliency emphasizes a company’s ability to mitigate damage (damage to systems, processes, and reputation), and maintain operations if systems and/or data have been compromised.  The ability to quickly isolate an attack, prevent or minimize damage, and finally recover are essential capabilities to achieve cyber resiliency.


    Session Speakers

    Bryan E. Hurd, Aon Cyber Solutions, Seattle

    Bryan E. Hurd is a globally recognized expert in protecting critical infrastructure and has served as a US government executive and industry leader addressing threats of cyberterrorism, cyber breaches, attacks on critical infrastructure, and espionage for over 27 years. Mr. Hurd founded the US Navy’s first ever Cyber Counterintelligence program for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in 1993. He holds numerous certifications in computer security, forensics, and is also board certified antiterrorism officer, and is a graduate of the US Naval Academy.

    He was the Chief of Operations for the Directorate of Terrorist Identities for the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and was awarded US Intelligence Community Exceptional Meritorious Service Award his leadership at the national level of watchlisting for the Boston Marathon Bombing and other national incidents. He founded the computer forensics program at EDS (now HP) and was Microsoft’s first ever chief of intelligence for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit at the Cybercrime Center. He currently leads Aon Cyber Solutions (Stroz Friedberg) Seattle office. Aon Cyber’s teams offer security program and architecture development, computer forensics, incident/breach response, penetration testing, electronic discovery, litigation support, M&A Cyber Due Diligence, and investigative/fraud teams responding to some of the largest fraud cases and cyber breaches in the US, Canada and around the globe.

    Graham Nasby, City of Guelph

    Graham Nasby, P.Eng, PMP, CAP, FS.Eng holds the position of Water SCADA & Security Specialist at City of Guelph Environmental Services, a public water utility located in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Prior to joining Guelph Water in 2015, he spent 10 years in the engineering consulting community after completing his B.Sc.(Eng) at the University of Guelph. He is senior member of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and co-chair of the ISA112 SCADA System Standards Committee. He is also active on the CSA P125, ISA18, ISA101 and IEC-TC65A committees. Mr. Nasby is a member of both AWWA and WEF, and currently sits on the Ontario Water Works Association’s Automation Committee. In 2021, he received the Standards Excellence award from the International Society of Automation for his contributions to consensus-based technical standards in the municipal water sector. Contact:

    Thomas Kuczynski, District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water)



    Thomas Kuczynski is the Vice President of Information Technology for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) and the President of Blue Drop. Tom joined DC Water in August 2013 and heads up an IT team of 60 individuals and a $20 million budget to develop applications that support all aspects of DC Water’s business. As President of Blue Drop, Tom leads the team responsible for generating non-ratepayer revenue from various products and services including Bloom, intellectual property and other non-traditional revenue sources.

    Tom has more than 40 years of experience in utility management and operations including nearly 30 years at Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) in two separate terms of employment. As Senior Vice President, Strategic and Information Services for PGW Tom was responsible for managing Strategic Planning, Enterprise Performance Management, Information Services and Internal Auditing. He has significant experience in a wide range of utility information technology solutions including customer information system, credit and collections, ERP, SCADA, GIS, AMI and mobile work management.  Recently he led the development of DC Water’s Pipe Sleuth an AI and machine learning solution for automated defect detection of sewer pipe videos.

    He has also worked for Pacific Gas & Electric’s National Energy Group as Director of Technology Strategic Planning and Architecture, and for Delmarva Power in Wilmington, Delaware where he provided IT Strategic Planning Services to the Energy Supply Group.

    Tom is a graduate of La Salle College of Philadelphia and the Executive MBA program at University of Maryland University College.

    Biosolids Management
    Across Canada:

    A Snapshot


    January 18: 2:00 – 3:00 pm PM EST

    While every Canadian flushes their toilet, the resulting biosolids are not all managed the same across our nation.  This session highlights the diverse approaches taken by presenting six examples from across Canada.  Viewers can gain an appreciation of the diversity and might provide them with ideas that might apply to their communities.   

    Tailings Reclamation & Revegetation Using Dewatered Municipal Biosolids (DMB)
    1. Current uses for Dewatered Municipal Biosolids
    2. Why Mine Sites?
      • What are Mine Tailings?
      • Historic dust control methods
    3. Why Biosolids for Reclamation?
    4. Approvals Process
    1. Green house trial and findings
    2. Application
      • Storage
      • Equipment
      • Results
    1. Brief time for Questions
    Innovative Solutions to Lagoon Dredging in a Northern Yukon Community

    Lambourne Environmental was contacted to see if we could provide dredging services to a remote Yukon community within the Arctic circle.  The community of Old Crow needed to rehabilitate their existing wastewater lagoon, removing the accumulated sludge from the cell as well as removing the vegetation growing around and in the cell.  All equipment used on the project needed to be able to fit on a commercial aircraft for transport to the site.  While some of the equipment required did not yet exist that would do these multiple tasks, Lambourne staff were able to design and build a dredge that would provide both sludge removal and also remove the vegetation from the cell.  Over the course of 2 seasons, and amidst COVID, the project was a success and the lagoon was rehabilitated and functioning efficiently.

    A Synopsis of Biosolids Management Practices in Western Canada

    Urban centres and rural municipalities in Western Canada have sufficient land to complete direct land application of treated biosolids resulting in significant benefits such as the recycling of valuable nutrients to agricultural land.  The four seasons of the year require some jurisdictions to have multiple approach to accomplish the sustainable reuse of biosolids in many centres across Canada and specifically Western Canada. This synopsis will review the approaches that both large and small centres are taking for biosolids management to sustainably manage this by-product resource at different times of the year.

    Biosolids Management in Charlottetown, PEI

    Canada’s garden Province PEI promotes the culinary experience of field to table. This presentation will provide insight into the path from the table back to the field. The City of Charlottetown produces an Exceptional Class A biosolid that is used to enhance agricultural lands on PEI. The biosolids treatment process includes pasteurization, anerobic digestion and drying. 

    Session Speakers

    Sarah Mason-Renton, Lystek

    Sarah Mason-Renton

    John Laverly, Sylvis

    John Lavery


    Robert Hobbs, Terrapure

    Jeff Neuman



    Robert has over 30 years’ experience in environmental permitting and compliance for the Mining, Forestry and Municipal sectors.  For the last 10 years with IMG’s Cote Gold Division he helped coordinated a multi-disciplinary team in the permitting of two mining projects; both of which had infrastructure components for water course realignments, potable water, sewage, tailings and mine water treatment and progressive rehabilitation planning.  He has successfully built an extensive multi-disciplinary network of government, industry, consulting, supplier and public relations professionals that have enhanced his services capabilities and direction toward Mine Land Rehabilitation utilizing dewatered municipal biosolids. 

    Blair Benn, Lambourne Environmental



    Blair was born in Saskatoon, Sk. but moved with his family to Alberta in 1967.  Blair attended the University of Calgary studying Microbiology for 2.5 years before transferring to the University of  Alberta, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

    Post graduation, Blair worked in livestock feed sales, and later was nutrient manager for a 30,000 head feedlot, where he directed a large scale composting operation creating valuable class A compost for use on agricultural land.  Currently Blair is President of Lambourne Environmental Ltd, an Alberta based water and wastewater company specializing in beneficial reuse of municipal and industrial biosolids in western and northern Canada.

    Darren Keam, WSP



    Darren Keam, M.Sc. P.Ag.  Darren is a Regional Manager and Senior Soil Scientist for the WSP Canada Inc. of the Environment and Geotechnical Services in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Darren has over 22 years of experience in agriculture and environmental management consulting.  As a Professional Agrologist he provides agri-environmental advisory services for the land application of biosolids in Manitoba providing guidance to municipal clients for the sustainable and beneficial reuse of nutrients for cooperating farm producers.  Darren also completed his Master of Science in Environment and Management, evaluating the suitability of lagoon wastewater irrigation in the Interlake region of Manitoba.    

    Richard MacEwen, Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility 


    Richard MacEwen is the Manager of the Charlottetown Water and Sewer Utility. He has worked with the Utility since 2011. He holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of New Brunswick, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London. Prior to joining the City of Charlottetown, he worked as an environmental consultant based in PEI, a water resources advisor in Vanuatu and an infrastructure manager in Ghana. Richard is the PEI representative on the CWWA Board of Directors. 

    New and On-Going Challenges in Drinking Water Quality


    January 20: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

    Drinking water quality, and consumer perception of that quality is greatly impacted by numerous factors. Water utilities are finding themselves grappling with new challenges – from the growing threat of algal growth due to climate change to shifting water taste due to changing water chemistry. This session will explore these emerging challenges in water management – from detection to public outreach.


    Consumers’ Perceptions of Drinking Water: Odors, Anosmia, and Parosmia

    Andrea M. Dietrich, Virginia Tech, USA 

    The myriad of earthy-musty odorants, and variable human perception of these odors, is an increasing challenge for water professionals who desire to identify and control aesthetic issues and increase customer satisfaction. Earthy-musty odors in drinking water are frequently, but not always, the result of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol which are produced by naturally occurring cyanobacteria and actinomycetes. Other biologically and chemically produced earthy-musty odorants in water include the haloanisoles and pyrazines, both of which are increasingly being identified in source waters and in tap water. Added to the difficulty of identifying which odorant causes earthy-musty is the complexity of the human sense of smell. People vary in their sensitivity to specific odorants and also may have specific anosmias where they cannot detect select odors or even parosmia which is a distorted sense of smell.  Another complexity is that inconsistent descriptors many be used by different people to describe the same chemical odorant. This presentation will address the diversity of earthy-musty odorants and the varying ways humans perceive and describe odors. 


    ATRAPP – Algal Blooms, Treatment, Risk Assessment, Prediction and Prevention Through Genomics

    Sebastien Sauve, City of Montreal

    Genetic biosensors to forecast cyanobacteria toxic blooms: a novel technology available as user-friendly kits of reagents.

    Sandra Lagauzere,  Microbia Environment

    Microbia Environnement offers a cutting-edge molecular technology, that provides a fast, specific and sensitive tool for the detection of cyanobacteria and the prediction of toxic bloom occurrence in environmental waters. It relies on genetic biosensors recognizing specific cyanobacteria fingerprints and revealing their actual metabolic activity, thus their growing trend, using a simple ELISA-type colorimetric assay. Applied to high-frequency monitoring, this unique method matches with the needs of high-throughput and cost-effective capacities which are essential for improving current surveillance programs and early warning systems. Besides reglementary methods, it provides waterbody managers and drinking water utilities with a true standardized and self-monitoring capacity to anticipate cyanobacteria blooms and to engage proactive decision-making. Regarding the importance of water preservation in Canada, and the exemplary concern of both citizens and stakeholders, the solution brings concrete perspectives to protect people, pets and wildlife and to preserve economic activity around water bodies threatened by microbial contaminations.

    Session Speakers

    Andrea Dietrich, University of Virginia

    Andrea Dietrich
    University of Virginia

    Sebastien Sauve, City of Montreal

    Sebastien Sauve, City of Montreal

    Sandra Lagauzere, Microbia Environment


    Sandra Lagauzere holds the position of Business Developer at Microbia Environnement, a French company offering a novel molecular tool for detecting harmful microorganisms in water, in particular bloom-forming toxigenic cyanobacteria. Graduated in biology and environmental sciences, Sandra has been involved for ten years in diverse research projects in ecotoxicology, biogeochemistry and ecological modelling of freshwater ecosystems, at different French and German institutes. With an additional seven-year experience in the biotechnology industry sector, Sandra has been convinced by the capacity of Microbia Environnement for game-changing anticipation of microbial contaminations. She is now taking the challenge to boost the development of the young company and to spread its solutions for improving water quality surveillance.

    National Adaptation and Mitigation Case Studies


    January 25: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

    This session will explore key issues in the Water Resources chapter from Natural Resources Canada’s “Canada in a Changing Climate: National Issues” report along with case study presentations from across the country on adaptation and mitigation on a local level.  Firstly the authors of the Water Resources Chapter in the National Issues Report will provide a summary on the chapter and a national overview on the preparedness of the country to climate change pressures.  This will be followed by case studies from across the country ranging from assessing vulnerability of infrastructure to climate change in Halifax, Nova Scotia, quantifiying GHG emissions from treatment facilities in Toronto, to adapting to climate change pressures in the Okanagan Basin out in the west of the country.


    “Canada in a Changing Climate: National Issues” report Water Resources Chapter Summary

    Hayley Carlson, University of Saskatchewan and Alain Pietroniro, University of Calgary

    Global climate change has already affected Canada’s cold-dominated water cycle, and while future changes are uncertain, they will include risks of reduced water availability, drought, and extreme rainfall. To adapt to uncertainty and changing conditions, Canadian water organizations are beginning to embrace exploratory modelling, scenario exercises and adaptive management, and enhance coordination across new institutional arrangements. At the same time, adaptation is a local, place-based process and capacity challenges are often concentrated in rural, northern, and Indigenous communities. Water practitioners cannot always access the high quality, locally relevant data they need to reduce vulnerabilities in systems and infrastructure. Canadians support action on water-related risks, but the issue competes for public attention and many Canadians remain unaware of the efforts required to meet adaptation goals. Ultimately, Canadian organizations and institutions remain unevenly prepared to manage water-related risks associated with climate change.


    Local Experience 1: Halifax Water Vulnerability to Climate Change Risk Assessment

    David Blades, Halifax Water

    In 2019, Halifax Water created a climate change adaptation framework within the utility’s Long-Term Planning Framework. The adaptation framework is a three-stage process: Assessment, Action Plan, and Implementation. Many industry best practice frameworks studied during development of the Halifax Water adaptation framework stop at the assessment stage. However, the Halifax Water framework identifies how an infrastructure asset progresses from the stage where risks are identified and assessed through development of an adaptation strategy to implementation.

    Halifax Water is currently completing a pilot vulnerability to climate change risk assessment study for two of the utilities fourteen asset classes. This presentation will provide an overview of the “Vulnerability to Climate Change Risk Assessment – Water Supply Plants and Water Supply Dams Asset Pilot” project; lessons learned during the pilot; and how the asset class level risk assessment fits within the climate change adaptation framework.

    Local Experience 2: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ontario Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities

    Emily Zegers, City of Toronto

    As a growing number of governments make “net zero” pledges and declare climate emergencies, an understanding of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is becoming increasingly important across all sectors.  Significant opportunities exist for emissions reduction in water/wastewater operations.  However, because most utilities in Canada are not required to calculate and report on their emissions, the types and scale of the various greenhouse emissions from water and wastewater operations are not well understood. 

    In 2020 Toronto Water embarked upon a collaboration with the University of Toronto to complete an inventory of GHG emissions from its water and wastewater treatment operations.  The carbon footprint that will be developed through the study will go beyond the reportable emissions to quantify the utility’s most significant GHG impacts, both on and off sit 

    This presentation will provide an overview of the types of GHG emissions associated with water and wastewater treatment and will present emission breakdowns for two of Toronto’s facilities.  Potential process changes will be discussed in terms of their potential for reducing emissions.  Finally, a case will be presented for why even in the absence of regulation, utilities should act now to understand and reduce their GHG emissions. 

    Local Experience 3: The Okanagan Basin Water Board

    Anna Warwick Sears, Okanagan Basin Water Board

    With the changing climate the OBWB plays an important role in generating a more systemic approach to water management in the Basin, especially under rather severe climate projections for more frequent flood/drought conditions.

    Session Speakers

    Hayley Carlson, University of Saskatchewan

    Hayley co-led the development of the Water Resources Chapter for Natural Resources Canada’s Canada in a Changing Climate series while working for Global Water Futures, a research program focusing on pan-Canadian water issues. She has a BSc. in Environmental and Conservation Sciences with distinction from the University of Alberta, majoring in the human dimensions of environmental management. Her Public Policy Master’s research focused on the influence of stakeholder policy narratives on decision-making about water. She currently works as a Policy Analyst for Prairies Economic Development Canada, is President of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, and a board member with the SES Solar Co-operative.

    David Blades, Halifax Water

    David is the Infrastructure Program Manager within the Asset Management team at Halifax Water.  Responsible for long term infrastructure planning, hydraulic modelling, and corporate flow monitoring programs, David works to provide information to various Halifax Water stakeholders to facilitate data driven decision making in the prioritization of capital and operating needs.

    With the exception of a brief hiatus in Fredericton to complete a Civil Engineering degree at the University of New Brunswick, David is a lifelong resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

    Emily Zegers, City of Toronto


    Emily is a Senior Engineer in Toronto Water’s Process, Innovation and Energy group with 20 years of water industry experience.  Her focus areas include wastewater process optimization, instrumentation and data management, water reuse, and GHG emissions.  Emily is past chair of WEAO’s Wastewater Treatment and Technologies Committee and current chair of the OWWA/WEAO Climate Change Committee.  She holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University.

    Anna Warwick Sears, Okanagan Basin Water Board



    Anna Warwick Sears is the Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, a collaborative local government agency focused on water science, management and sustainability of the Okanagan watershed.  Raised in B.C., Dr. Sears received a PhD in population biology at the University of California – Davis, returning to Canada in 2006 to work for the Water Board. She currently serves as a member of the International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control, appointed by the International Joint Commission.

    Plastics and Microplastics in the environment




    January 25: 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST

    Plastics have become inescapable in our daily life – from packaging, to clothing and even personal care products – plastics are everywhere. There’s growing research that plastics and microplastics are having lasting, damaging impacts on marine and freshwater environments. This session will explore not only the growing problem, but the municipal wastewater system contribution and what technologies and outreach programs are available to mitigate this growing problem.

    Generously sponsored by

    Urban pathways for microplastic

    Dr. Shreyas Patankar and Stephanie Wang, Ocean Wise

    Synthetic polymer microfibers account for a large fraction of microplastic pollution in aquatic environments. Ocean Wise’s Plastics Lab conducted an extensive research project on the variation in the microfiber shed rate of different consumer fabrics based on their material design and construction. Our research highlighted the importance of “first-wash” cycles and the efficacy of microfiber lint filters. A separate research project has been focused on study of urban pathways for microplastics entering the ocean like wastewater treatment plants, combined sewer overflows, and stormwater. This recently led to the development of new analytical methods allowing efficient estimates of the abundance, morphology, and chemical composition of microplastics in urban sampling environments. These methods enable the consistent, high-volume monitoring of microplastic abundance needed to identify strategies for intervention to mitigate microplastic pollution in the ocean.

    Our Ocean Thanks You: Metro Vancouver’s Microfibre Reduction Campaign

    Carol Nicholls and Dana Zheng, Metro Vancouver

    Microfibres from laundry are one of the main sources of microplastics in the ocean, a fact that is virtually unknown to the general public. In 2021, Metro Vancouver launched a campaign to reduce microfibres generated in laundry, developing creative materials that asked residents to switch to cold. Learn about how and why the campaign was developed, original research findings and what to consider when trying to change public behaviours. Having developed dozens of behavior change campaigns over the years – many of them tackling “icky” wastewater topics that residents would rather not think about – we have a pretty good idea of what does and doesn’t work.

    Session Speakers

    Dr. Shreyas Patankar, Ocean Wise

    Dr. Shreyas Patankar is a Research Scientist at the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab. Shreyas works on forensic analysis of environmental microplastics, using infrared spectroscopy, microscopy, and data science tools. He holds a PhD in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied nonlinear optical properties of quantum materials. Shreyas’ research interests include materials science, energy technology, and science policy.

    Stephanie Wang, Ocean Wise

    Stephanie Wang is the Lab Manager for the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab. Stephanie’s research focus is on wastewater facilities as major urban sources and pathways of microplastics emission, and on analytical techniques to study urban liquid waste. She holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Queen’s University. Before Ocean Wise, she worked on conservation data mapping of the Ottawa River boundary and on plantation restoration of stormwater ponds in the Ottawa area.

    Carrol Nicolls, Metro Vancouver

    Carol Nicolls is a Communications Specialist with Metro Vancouver. She has spent the past nine years talking to the general public about wastewater issues, including four behaviour change campaigns. Prior to joining Metro Vancouver, Carol worked as a Communications Officer with the World Health Organization (focusing on HIV/AIDS financing and malaria), and as a city planner. Carol has a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning. 

    Dana Zheng, Metro Vancouver

    Dana Zheng is the Source Control Program Manager with Metro Vancouver’s Liquid Waste Services and leads a team dedicated to preventing and reducing liquid waste contaminants from entering the region’s wastewater systems. Prior to this role, Dana focused on drinking water policy and planning for Metro Vancouver. She has a Master’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from McGill University.

    New and On-Going Challenges in Drinking Water Quality – chemical contaminants 


    January 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

    As analytical methods continue to be improved and developed we are finding a wider range of chemical contamination in our freshwater ecosystems and groundwater. For example, PFAS and PFOS termed “forever chemicals” are highly persistent in the environment, and Chemicals used in a wide variety of everyday products are being found in the environment and in organisms. This session will explore PFAS/PFOS and plastics and the latest research on their presence in drinking water, and the efficacy of available technologies in removing them.


    PFAS in Drinking Water: Challenges and Solutions

    Krista Barfoot, Stantec

    The evolution of regulatory criteria for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water in Canada has important implications for utilities with water supplies potentially impacted by various PFAS sources (e.g., aqueous film-forming foam [AFFF] releases, landfill leachate, industrial wastewater, or other industrial activities). Drawing on past project experience, this presentation will review PFAS-impacts observed in international drinking water systems and the treatment technologies applied to address elevated PFAS concentrations. Example case studies from pilot and full-scale treatment systems designed to remove PFAS – including both the application of granular activated carbon (GAC) as well as ion exchange (IX) as a high-performing adsorptive alternative – will be examined. Preliminary results from a pilot study being conducted by Stantec in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health that directly compares IX and GAC from both an operational and a water quality perspective will be reviewed.


    PFAS/PFOS in Ontario

    Sonya Kleywegt, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

    Plastics and Microplastics and Drinking Water

    Robert Andews, University of Toronto

    Krista Barfoot, Stantec

    Recognized as a Contaminated Sites Specialist, Dr. Barfoot has 25 years of industry experience with expertise spanning from the technical elements of project delivery to program management, risk management, policy development, and stakeholder communication. A Qualified Person for Risk Assessment (QPRA) (per Ontario Regulation 153/04), Dr. Barfoot’s technical expertise includes strategic site planning, risk assessment (RA), vapour intrusion (VI) assessment, management of excess soil, non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL), risk mitigation measures, and emerging contaminants – including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Serving as Stantec’s Emerging Contaminants Program Lead, she is experienced in investigative and analytical approaches, risk assessment considerations, and remediation techniques for PFAS, and has provided multiple PFAS training seminars and conference presentations. Dr. Barfoot has an established industry presence via engagement in numerous industry and regulator associations, including the Ontario Environmental Industry Association (ONEIA), Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN), Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC), and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Excess Soil Engagement Group (ESEG). She currently serves as the Chair of ONEIA’s PFAS Committee, Vice-President of the CBN, and is a member of the ITRC PFAS Regs, Tox, and Risk Sub-group and Training Sub-group.

    Sonya Kleywegt, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

    David Blades
    Halifax Water

    Robert Andews, University of Toronto

    Emily Zegers
    City of Toronto


    How the pandemic changed water management and how we reopen




    January 27: 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST

    As analytical methods continue to be improved and developed we are finding a wider range of chemical contamination in our freshwater ecosystems and groundwater. For example, PFAS and PFOS termed “forever chemicals” are highly persistent in the environment, and Chemicals used in a wide variety of everyday products are being found in the environment and in organisms. This session will explore PFAS/PFOS and plastics and the latest research on their presence in drinking water, and the efficacy of available technologies in removing them.


    Lessons learned from recommissioning of building water systems after extended low occupancy caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns: challenges and findings from research efforts

    Marianne Grimard-Conea, Ph.D student, Industrial Chair on Drinking Water, Polytechnique Montreal

    Marianne will share her experience in recommissioning large buildings in the city of Montreal following prolonged low occupancy and water demands exacerbated by COVID-19 shutdowns. The effectiveness of guidance documents for the safe re-opening of buildings and challenges encountered with sampling water quality will be reviewed. More particularly, research findings from extensive samplings in three large buildings before and after implementing flushing protocols will be exposed. These research efforts will include preliminary results on the occurrence of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium responsible for increased cases of Legionnaires’ disease in drinking water, and other physico-chemical parameters.

    Jennifer Clancy

    Utility Experiences - COVID 19

    Session Speakers

    Marianne Grimard-Conea, Ph.D student, Industrial Chair on Drinking Water, Polytechnique Montreal

    Marianne Grimard-Conea is a Ph.D student at Polytechnique Montreal in the industrial chair on drinking water. Under professor Michèle Prévost, she is completing her research project on the impacts of low water demands on the microbiological water quality distributed in large buildings. More recently, she has participated in commenting guidance documents on the safe recommissioning of building water systems after extended low occupancy and stagnation events caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as well as conducting several demonstrations studies to assess the effectiveness of these guidelines.

    Jennifer Clancy, Environmental Science Policy and Search Institute 

    Wendy Krkosek, Halifax Water

    Wendy Krkosek Ph.D. P.Eng., is the Water Quality Manager with Halifax Water, where she works with treatment, water quality and distribution operations staff to conduct water quality research, solve water quality and treatment problems, improve treatment methodologies, and develop and implement water quality plans.

    Wendy received her BASc in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from the University of Waterloo, followed by a PhD in Civil Engineering at Dalhousie University. Wendy is currently the Technical Director with ACWWA.

    Emily Zegers
    City of Toronto


    Workforce Development




    February 1

    11:00 am – 12:30 pm EST and 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST

    Our workforce is evolving, as we see senior management in many utilities nearing retirement, an increasing move to work from home arrangements and changing expectations for a work to life balance. Utilities need to adapt along with the workforce to ensure adequate training, succession planning and recruitment. This two part session will review CWWA’s Workforce Development Guidance document (to be released) as well as the impacts of COVID19 on the workforce.

    Marianne Grimard-Conea is a Ph.D student at Polytechnique Montreal in the industrial chair on drinking water. Under professor Michèle Prévost, she is completing her research project on the impacts of low water demands on the microbiological water quality distributed in large buildings. More recently, she has participated in commenting guidance documents on the safe recommissioning of building water systems after extended low occupancy and stagnation events caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as well as conducting several demonstrations studies to assess the effectiveness of these guidelines.

    David Blades
    Halifax Water

    Emily Zegers
    City of Toronto


    CWWA is a non-profit national body representing the common interests of Canada’s public sector municipal water and wastewater services and their private sector suppliers and partners.

    Head Office
    CWWA, Unit 11, 1010 Polytek Street, Ottawa, ON K1J 9H9 Canada

    (613) 747-0524