Blue Economy Webinar Series

Water Canada presents its Blue Economy Webinar Series. This series focuses on how Canada should define its blue economy and all of the key elements that will ensure a strong national water sector. Each session will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the third Wednesday of the month.

Upcoming Webinar: Advancing Municipal Co-digestion

Many stakeholders recognize that the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions entering the atmosphere need to be limited, if not reduced, given the negative implications of global warming. Since wastewater treatment plants generate a significant amount of GHG emissions, there’s an opportunity for municipalities to help reduce the overall emissions. This session will examine the benefits of municipal co-digestion, explore regulatory requirements and financing options for projects, and provide examples of municipalities that are currently undertaking projects.

Speakers include:

Indra Maharjan, Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA): Maharjan currently leads OCWA’s Innovation, Efficiency and Technology group. In this role, he delivers solutions around energy, climate change, and resource recovery to 220 plus municipal clients across Ontario. Maharjan’s unique ability to work with stakeholders to develop and deliver innovative solutions has resulted in 250 plus energy efficiency projects and over five co-digestion projects in Ontario. In addition to his role at OCWA, Maharjan is a volunteer on committees with WEF, AWWA, OWWA, WEAO, ONEIA, Ryerson Urban Water, OSPE, and PEO.

Jennifer Green, Canadian Biogas Association: Green leads the Canadian Biogas Association. She works directly on behalf of the membership to create awareness and expand opportunities for biogas and renewable natural gas in Canada. Green connects people in the public and private sector, commercial, municipal, and agricultural communities and NGO’s to build relationships and discover strategic and sustainable partnerships for deploying anaerobic digestion technology. She fosters an open dialogue with industry and government on matters relating to policy, research, technology, and economic barriers and solutions to advance development of biogas and RNG projects. Green is an experienced educator and influencer and intimately familiar with the biogas/RNG sector by advocating for best practices, policies, and programs that fit industry needs.

David Unrau, Town of Petawawa: Unrau graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Science. He has been licensed as a Professional Engineer in Ontario since June 1995. Unrau has worked with several municipalities and federal agencies (including DND and CNL). Currently, he is employed with the Town of Petawawa as the director of public works. In this role Unrau is responsible for day-to-day operations, delivery of major capital projects, waste management, and strategic asset management planning. In addition to his professional background, Unrau currently sits on a number of local boards as well as provincial and national committees.

Corinne Lynds, Actual Media: With more than two decades of experience leading B2B editorial teams and content strategy on the agency side, Lynds is passionate about humanizing highly technical stories across Actual Media’s print, digital, and experiential platforms. She is responsible for managing all of the company’s editorial and content operations across the infrastructure, water, and environment sectors. Lynds is a compulsive storyteller who knows how to engage business audiences.

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Upcoming Webinar: Innovations in Stormwater Management

Stormwater management has been evolving over the past few years in Canada. This session will explore projects that have been undertaken to improve traditional stormwater practices in Canada. It will also explore new approaches that have been developed to improve stormwater management.

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Past Webinar: Defining the Blue Economy

The United Nations definition of the blue economy is based on the “the improvement of human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” However, we believe that definition is too narrow and needs to be more all-encompassing of the entire water sector from coast to coast to coast.

In our first session, we explored why the wider definition is warranted, why it’s important for the future of the Canadian water sector, and the importance of gaining a greater appreciation of all of our Canadian watersheds.

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Past Webinar: Building the Blue Economy

Following our webinar on “Defining the Blue Economy,” we shifted our focus to “Building” the Blue Economy. Where are the infrastructure demands that can help ensure the Canadian water sector continues to prosper?

This session explored how municipalities are moving forward in the face of new and ongoing challenges like public funding, ratepayer demands, and health concerns. How are municipalities managing the operation and maintenance of their existing drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure at the same time as building new capabilities and services? Where do municipalities need more support? What are water technology and consulting firms doing to provide solutions that meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of municipalities and their water utilities?

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Past Webinar: Governing the Blue Economy

Who’s in charge of our water? How can we break down geographical silos and avoid politically influenced water regulation? In order to have a functional and prosperous blue economy, Canada will need to have an alignment between municipal, provincial, and federal policies. Citizen engagement and stakeholder inclusivity will be critical to achieving new governance models that work for the benefit of all Canadians—while also protecting our most valued resource.

In our third session of the Blue Economy series, we looked at the existing policy regimes across the country and where new governance structures are being proposed (or are needed). We also looked at how water sector leaders can influence government bodies to make the changes needed to ensure real actions that can drive effective governance of Canadian water in both the short and the long-term.

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Past Webinar: Innovating in the Blue Economy

Innovation comes from a pressing need, often involves disruption, and is best deployed when there is an urgency for new solutions. As an example, the pandemic forced global governments, health care, and scientific communities to innovate quickly in order to protect ourselves and develop vaccines. Similarly, there is urgency in Canada’s water industry to adopt clean technologies, change our habits, and think outside the box to help provide safe drinking water, more effective wastewater treatment, and better managed stormwater.

In this session, we asked questions such as: What drives (or hinders) municipalities to adopt innovative technologies? Who are the champions of water innovation? Where are the projects that demonstrate positive impacts for the communities and companies involved? What’s in the crystal ball for Canada’s Blue Economy in 2026?

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Past Webinar: Driving Diversity in Canada’s Water Industry

Increasing diversity can help to drive creativity, generate new ideas, and support succession planning. This webinar explored why it’s important to encourage diversity, what the current barriers are, and what strategies can be used to increase diversity.

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Past Webinar: Ensuring Reliable Access to Safe Drinking Water

In Canada, the federal and provincial governments play an important role in setting and updating the guidelines and regulations needed to provide reliable access to safe drinking water. This session explored questions such as: What’s working? What’s not working? What more is needed?

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