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March 27, 2014

CWWA Climate Change Committee Profile

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Following its members’ keen interest regarding the impact of climate change on water and wastewater utilities, CWWA created a Climate Change technical committee in June 2012. A group of active members of the Association representing the federal and municipal level, private sector and academia joined the committee under the leadership of Hiran Sandanayake from the City of Ottawa.

The activities of the Committee are focused on the following:

  • Monitor the development of legislation and government programs pertaining to climate change in Canada.
  • Keep water and wastewater utilities informed on key issues regarding preparedness and adaptation to climate change.
  • Educate the municipal water sector on climate change issues and possible strategies. 
  • Encourage water and wastewater utilities to take timely and reasonable action. 

Members of the Committee met regularly during the year through teleconferences and organized two successful workshops (November 2012 and November 2013) in conjunction with CWWA’s annual event Window on Ottawa. The large participation to both of the events reflects the interest toward the topic and the value of presentations delivered by quality speakers from the federal, municipal and private sector. The workshops provided a platform to communicate and learn about the level of preparedness and adaption of Canadian municipalities to climate change, case studies, common problems and local effects, costs involved to adaptation, and a solid basis to build relationships among climate change experts.

The Committee also established under its wings two technical Sub-committees: National Survey and Resource Databank.

a. National Survey Sub-committee
The goal of the sub-committee is to raise awareness of climate change impacts to water utilities across Canada and help develop adequate tools to adapt to climate-related hazards. To meet that end, members of the subcommittee developed an electronic national survey with a list of specific questions to be distributed to water utilities (small, medium, large) across the country.

b. Resource Databank Sub-committee
The goal of the sub-committee is to collect and provide accessible information through a resource databank on climate change impacts on water utilities and available adaptation measures to CWWA members and partners. A draft Project Plan highlighting options with corresponding level of cost, timing and complexity was developed by the sub-committee and submitted to members of the Climate Change Committee for consideration.


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