This month the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto will host The Value of Water, a one-day workshop that will address address issues such as freshwater scarcity and security, political and human rights implications, corporate risks and investment opportunities, legal and regulatory frameworks, technology innovations, the commoditization of water, and the crumbling water works infrastructure in our communities. According to the United Nations, the world contains approximately 1,386 million cubic kilometers of water of which only 2.5 per cent is fresh water and only about a quarter of a percent of this is accessible and drinkable.

Canada is estimated to have almost 20 per cent of this planet-wide drinkable water. But Canadians consume 350 litres of water a day per capita, second only to the U.S., as the biggest consumers of water in the world. As we waste our water, nations are preparing for water to be “the oil of the 21st century.” Some suggest that this “liquid gold” will cause wars as supplies dwindle and become spoiled. Needless to say, critical issues related to the world’s water supplies are mounting quickly, with implications that will affect governments, corporations, communities and people worldwide.

Speakers at the event will include Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and author of “Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water”; Marc Levinson, industrial economist with JP Morgan Chase and lead author of the JP Morgan water report “Watching Water – A guide to evaluating corporate risks in a thirsty world”; John Coburn, managing director of XPV Capital Corporation, and Canadian Water Treatment editor John Nicholson. The event will be moderated by Alex Chamberlain, managing partner of Investeco Capital.

The Value of Water takes place Thursday, May 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto. Registration is $175.00 and there are a limited number of seats are available to students at a discount. Please contact Donna Workman at d.workman@utoronto.ca for registration details, or click here.

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