Water in the City Conference

This conference takes place in Victoria, BC, from September 1720, 2006, and will be of special interest to anyone concerned with their community’s future, including local government politicians and staff, the development industry and consultants, engineers, planners, stewardship groups, senior government representatives and community leaders.

This unique conference places water ‘”front and centre” in community decision-making, and provides a comprehensive, non-technical look at water issues in communities large and small across North America. Conference sessions will provide examples of new ideas, best practices and emerging technologies related to:

*healthy watercourses and water features as a quality of life asset for communities
*emerging opportunities for water re-use and recycling
*clean, safe drinking water
*wastewater as a resource
*a demand-management, conservation-based approach to supply
*issues of governance including current strengths and weaknesses, with new directions and strategies to give water a prominent place in community decisions

Keynotes speakers include Dr. Peter Coombes and Dr. Robert France. Peter Coombes is Associate Professor, University of Newcastle, Australia and Managing Director of the consulting company Urban Water Cycle Solutions. He has authored more than 90 research papers on integrated water management, water sensitive urban design and water quality, designed over 100 sustainable developments, written many design guides including co-authorship of Australian Runoff Quality. He continues to provide advice on water management to senior governments both in Australia and in North America. Robert France is Adjunct Professor, Harvard University, and the author of numerous publications dealing with water including: Deep Immersion: The Experience of Water, Handbook of Water Sensitive Planning and Design, Facilitating Watershed Management: Fostering Awareness and Stewardship and Introduction to Watershed Development: Perspectives to Aid in Understanding and Managing Sprawl.

Panel discussions will address: “Water Issues North Americans Face,” “Climate Change: The Elephant in the Room?” and “Integrating Water into Planning for Sustainable Communities.” Breakout sessions will involve dynamic speakers from across Canada, the United States and Australia, who will be discussing ideas and best practices for a sustainable approach to water in our communities, large and small. Optional field trips will take delegates to see local examples of best practices, while pre-conference workshops provide an opportunity to explore some subjects on more detail.

On Sunday, September 17, 2006 stewardship groups from southern Vancouver Island will be showcasing their initiatives to restore streams and watersheds, reduce water use, and educate the public about water. This free public event will be targeted to families and the general public as well as conference delegates, and will feature lots of hands-on activities to get people involved. Renowned environmental psychologist and author Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr will offer a one-day community-based social marketing workshop on effective alternatives for delivering programs to change environmental behaviour.

Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians will speak at a public lecture on the looming water crisis and the need for us to recognize water as a human right and ensure it stays in the public trust, outlining the steps needed to reach this goal.

The conference will also include a trade show featuring new technologies that help communities to achieve more sustainable water use.

For program details and registration information, please visit www.waterinthecityvictoria.ca