March 25, 2021 2PM ET/11AM PT: World Water Day Panel « Valuing Water in Canada »

 In Archived Event, Archived Online, Archived Webinars

The 2021 UN World Water Day (March 22, 2021) theme is « Valuing Water ». While most Canadians agree that water is vital to our health and living standards (and to Canada’s self-identity) we see large differences in how water is valued financially, socially, and environmentally, in daily decisions about its management. CWRA is hosting a panel of experts on how water is valued in Canada to help advance this discussion. Stephanie Smith, CWRA’s President-Elect, will moderate the discussion.

If you have a question you’d like the panel to address on valuing water in Canada, let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn! We’ll select some questions from the audience during the discussion, as well.


Confirmed Speakers

Stephanie Smith, CWRA President-Elect (Moderator)

Dr. Myrle Ballard, Indigenous scholar, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba

Dr. Chandra Madramootoo, James McGill Professor, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of McGill

Robert Sandford, Chair, Water and Climate Security, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health

Sylvie Spraakman, University of Toronto, CWRA-SYP National Representative


Register Here



Speaker Bios

Dr. Myrle Ballard

Dr. Myrle Ballard is an Assistant Professor / Indigenous Scholar, in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba. She is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin First Nation and a fluent speaker of Anishinaabe mowin. Her current research is developing baseline monitors / frameworks using Anishinaabe mowin for water management. Dr. Ballard uses the management embedded in words as the baseline which can be used for monitoring water and landforms.

Dr. Chandra Madramootoo

Chandra Madramootoo is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering at McGill University. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from 2005 to 2015, and was the Founding Director of the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management at McGill. He created the McGill Institute for Global Food Security, as well as programs in integrated water management. He has received national and international awards for his work in water management including being inducted to the Overholt International Drainage Hall of Fame, recipient of the World Irrigation Prize, elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and awarded the DSc (honoris causa) by the University of Guelph. Professor Madramootoo is currently President of the Canadian Society of Bioengineering, Vice Chair of the Board of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture, hosted at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He served as President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) from 2008-2011, and continues to actively participate in the working groups and committees of the Commission. He was President of the Canadian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CANCID), and served on the executive of the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA), for which he has been a member for over 35 years.

Robert Sandford

Bob Sandford holds the Global Water Futures Chair in Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. In this capacity Bob was the co-author of the UN Water in the World We Want report on post-2015 global sustainable development goals relating to water. He is also lead author of Canada in the Global World, a new United Nations expert report examining the capacity of Canada’s water sector to meet and help others meet the United Nations 2030 Transforming Our World water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

In his work Bob is committed to translating scientific research outcomes into language decision-makers can use to craft timely and meaningful public policy and to bringing international example to bear on local water issues. To this end, Bob is also senior advisor on water issues for the Interaction Council, a global public policy forum composed of more than thirty former Heads of State including Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, U.S. President Bill Clinton and the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Brundtland. Bob is also a Fellow of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of Canada’s Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), a national water policy research group centred in Toronto. Bob is also the author, co-author or editor of more than thirty books.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith, CWRA National President-Elect, is a BC Branch member and has been involved with the BC Branch Board of Directors since about 2007 in a number of roles, including BC Branch past president (2012-2013). Stephanie was co-chair of the 2018 CWRA National conference in Victoria, BC.

Stephanie manages the Hydrology department at BC Hydro, where she has worked at the heart of the water-energy nexus for over 25 years.  Her team is responsible for collecting and managing climate, hydrometric, and generation data, and providing weather forecasting and water supply forecasting for all of the reservoirs BC Hydro manages.  She is the Canadian Chair of the Columbia River Treaty Hydrometeorological Committee.   Stephanie leads BC Hydro’s scientific research program investigating climate change impacts to hydrology and climate and supports the integration of climate change projections into long term planning and climate risk assessments across the company.   She has a B.Sc. in Geography specializing in Climatology from the University of British Columbia.

Sylvie Spraakman

Sylvie Spraakman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto and is soon to be starting at the City of Vancouver as an engineer on the green infrastructure implementation team. Her PhD research focuses on long term performance of bioretention systems, a type of green stormwater infrastructure. She is a CWRA SYP National Director and co-chair of the IWA Young Water Professionals Canada chapter.



Le thème de la Journée mondiale de l’eau des Nations unies (22 mars 2021) est « Valoriser l’eau ». Malgré que la plupart des Canadiens soit d’accord que l’eau est vitale pour notre santé et notre niveau de vie (et pour l’identité du Canada), nous constatons de grandes différences dans la manière dont l’eau est valorisée financièrement, socialement et écologiquement, dans les décisions quotidiennes relatives à sa gestion. L’ACRH accueille un groupe d’experts sur la manière dont l’eau est valorisée au Canada afin de faire avancer la discussion. Stephanie Smith, présidente élue de l’ACRH, animera la discussion. Si vous avez une question à poser au groupe d’experts sur la valorisation de l’eau au Canada, faites-le nous savoir sur Twitter ou LinkedIn ! Nous sélectionnerons également quelques questions du public au cours de la discussion.


Stephanie Smith, présidente élue de l’ACRH (modératrice)
Myrle Ballard, chercheur autochtone, Faculté des sciences, Université du Manitoba
Dr. Chandra Madramootoo, Professeur James McGill, Faculté des sciences agricoles et environnementales, Université de McGill
Robert Sandford, Président, Sécurité de l’eau et du climat, Institut pour l’eau, l’environnement et la santé de l’Université des Nations unies
Sylvie Spraakman, Université de Toronto, représentante nationale du CWRA-SYP