Water: A Continental Asset
Water is the lifeblood that binds us all together. Water observes no political or ideological boundaries and our boundary with the United States has been cited as a triumph of geometry over geography. Water is frequently the subject of interjurisdictional discussions, disputes, court decisions, and binding agreements.
Interjurisdictional water management by necessity must be undertaken in observance of overarching institutional, legal, jurisdictional and policy issues, which can both help and hinder water management decisions. Further complications arise with the consideration of climate change, based either upon observational data and/or prediction of a future state. Meaningful policy decisions and significant investment in infrastructure now need to consider climate change scenarios and their inherent uncertainty. Some of the decisions being made are far-reaching in their implications for society and the validity of those decisions may not be known for many years.
The 2017 Conference will explore how water has been exploited, managed, protected, and shared as it crosses jurisdictional boundaries in North America. The program will address the best (and worst) approaches and solutions to interjurisdictional water management on the continent, with a view to influencing future public policy.
The program of the conference has been developed around six main themes. A description of themes and potential sub-themes is provided below. When submitting an abstract, you will be requested to indicate your choice of theme and sub-theme, and to specify your preference for either an oral or a poster presentation, or a Pecha Kucha style concise presentation.
To submit proposals for specific sessions, please contact the Program Chair at Conference.firstname.lastname@example.org
Hydro-climatic observations, forecasts and projections are inherently uncertain. The evolution of socio-economic conditions is equally uncertain. Coupled with varying jurisdictional and policy perspectives, international or transboundary water management draws upon technical skills and ongoing dialogue between practitioners, governments and scientists. The sessions organized around this theme will address issues experienced at the transboundary scale. Topics may include:
- NAFTA - Water Rights/Water Sales
- International Joint Commission
- Climate change predictions/observations and potential impacts on transboundary water management
- Transboundary Watersheds and Aquifers: Common challenges-different approaches
- Interjurisdictional and policy matters related to water management
The Canadian provinces and Yukon have the primary jurisdiction over areas of water management and protection. Most of these governments delegate some authority to municipalities, in particular drinking water treatment and distribution, and wastewater treatment operations in urban areas. Some also delegate some water resource management functions to local authorities that are responsible for a particular area or river basin. However, different provinces adopt difference approaches for the same water management issues, requiring dialogue and technical flexibility when interprovincial challenges arise. The sessions for this theme will address interprovincial issues, and sub themes may include:
- Prairie Provinces Water Board subjects
- Watershed-based organizations
- Evidence of climate change in hydrologic or climatic data and implications for decision making
- Policy differences and implications for interprovincial watersheds
To cope with an evolving climate, population growth, and many other factors, there is a need for ongoing dialogue between city planners, engineers, and local stakeholders and multi-disciplinary approaches to challenges. Rather than evolving in isolation, technical disciplines need to interact and develop coherent and integrated solutions for urban water management. The evolution of large metropolitan areas in the 21st century into so-called ‘city states’, with increased urbanization and population density, requires local and basin wide considerations for effective water management. Sub-themes include:
- Citizen Based Basin Governance
- Metropolis Area Scale Planning for Adaptation and Resilience
At a time when maritime zones in Canada are facing unprecedented impacts from increased commercial presence and human impact, the complexity of jurisdictional and security considerations furthers the challenges of managing impacts and development in these areas. Sub-themes include:
- The Northwest Passage: Future International Shipping Lane or Sovereign Water Body
- Adaptation Considerations in observance of predicted sea level rise and the changing nature of open water seasons
The challenges of quantitative water management and optimization of agro-environmental performance are crucial to assess agricultural production problems. The Canadian National Committee for Irrigation and Drainage (CANCID) session will focus on irrigation and drainage, water quality monitoring in agricultural areas, and on the development of beneficial management practices (BMP) to minimize the impacts of agricultural production on aquatic ecosystems. The International Association of Hydrology (IAH) members are welcome to submit their contribution to this multidisciplinary theme.
This theme seeks to showcase recent developments in hydrological modeling techniques, technology and applications in Canada. The breadth of topics may include: hydrological modelling, flood forecasting, drought and low-flow prediction, best practices in model development and data management, or other applied hydrological innovations. The Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences (CSHS) will give special consideration to presentations that focus on transboundary or interjurisdictional challenges.
This session and the associated 1-day workshop following the conference on June 8, 2017 will focus on evaluating different streamflow measurement techniques under a variety of difficult measurement conditions. One of the primary goals of this session is the development of a knowledge base for evaluating the sources of uncertainty and hence suitability of different methods of measurement in challenging conditions.
This theme will be focussed on the development of the HydRology suite of numerical modelling functions that together will comprise the HydRology package. The HydRology package is being developed specifically for Canadian hydrological applications.