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 needs to be limited, if not reduced, given the negative implications of global warming.
At the municipal level, there’s an opportunity to help reduce emissions by diverting organic waste from landfills to wastewater treatment plants. This is so that the organic waste can be co-digested to produce biogas.
Industry experts that will be joining us for a webinar that 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.
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.
Tej Gidda, GHD: Gidda has been working at GHD for 17 years. He is a vice president at the firm and is GHD’s Global Leader for Future Energy, an overt activity to help clients and communities decarbonize their operations and energy consumption. His main areas of interest include hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, traditional renewables, renewable natural gas, and energy storage. Gidda has spent most of his career specializing in food waste management through composting and anaerobic digestion. He has a particular interest in deploying viable technologies to allow food waste to be processed at municipal wastewater treatment plants for the production of value-added fertilizers and renewable energy. Gidda lives in Waterloo, Ontario and is an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo.
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.
David Blain, City of Chilliwack: Blain is the director of planning and engineering at the City of Chilliwack. His role includes the planning, design, and construction of municipal infrastructure in the City. Prior to joining the City of Chilliwack, Blain was employed for over 16 years as a consulting engineer and worked on a variety of municipal projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Montana. Blain holds a masters degree in environmental engineering and an MBA.
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.
Upcoming Webinar: Tacking Plastics in Freshwater
While there has been a significant amount of focus on the plastic that ends up in our oceans, we also need to consider the amount of plastic pollution that’s entering our freshwater. This session will explore the current challenges and potential opportunities associated with managing plastic pollution in Canada’s freshwater. During the discussion, we will consider how plastics are currently regulated in Canada, what opportunities there are for improvement, the implications for municipalities, and what technology companies can do to support municipalities.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?