NINTH ANNUAL WATER SUMMIT STARTS IN MID-JUNE IN VANCOUVER
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by Jan Rose
Over 250 delegates and 30 exhibitors are expected to attend the ninth annual Canadian Water Summit in Vancouver from June 20 to June 22.
Todd Westcott, content and marketing manager, Actual Media/Blue Events said the theme this year is Knowledge to Practice—Applying Science, Policy, and Research to the Blue Economy.
"The conference will explore the availability of resources needed to sustain future generations. In one of our morning plenary sessions, speakers will examine how Canadian technologies can help foster global peace by accelerating the United Nation's water Sustainable Development Goals."
One of the summit's purposes is to "foster cross-communication between various disciplines and trade knowledge, such as engineers talking to hydrologists," Westcott explained, "with an emphasis on turning knowledge into practice."
The Summit attracts business leaders from across North America and this year, and there will also be strong academic representation the University of British Columbia is a sponsor and partner. The Canadian academic network RESEAUWATERNET will host their annual general meeting alongside the event.
Ian Neilson, executive deputy mayor of Cape Town, South Africa, will provide the morning keynote address. Neilson is in the challenging position of coping with and responding to the critical drought that has lowered water levels in six major reservoirs that supply the city of four million people with drinking water.
The reservoirs can hold up to 230 billion gallons of water, combined. The drought is attributed to overpopulation, climate change and other factors. Warning signs of its approach were considered 20 years ago.
Following opening remarks, plenary sessions include how business is responding and putting knowledge into practice in a changing global water cycle presented by Robert Haller, executive director of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association.
The guest speakers list - which reads like the who's who of the water industry from Canada and abroad. The list includes Kerry Freek, vice-president and senior manager of communications for the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTap), and Jill Heinerth, an intrepid explorer who has made dives deep into underwater caves and searched for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs.