Managing Liquid Assets in a Crisis

At Western Canada Water, our hearts go out to the families affected by the recent floods in Calgary and the surrounding area and we hope for a quick and safe return for all affected residents.

The flood waters that brought this devastation to Calgary and nearby towns this weekend has brought into sharp focus the need, now more than ever, to bring people together to talk about water, how to manage water infrastructure, and the various forces influencing water management in these times.

Mother Nature certainly played a role in the flooding bringing torrential rain to a vast region of North America and causing the South Saskatchewan River to swell to historic flood peaks. Other factors may have played a role as well, and in the coming days, we will likely learn much more as people associated with the water industry from engineers to scientists to operators to environmental regulators piece together this flood event.

Working together for water means examining these types of events with a lens toward preserving life and property, the environment and economies, both local and national. The upcoming Western Canada Water conference, Liquid Assets, will explore the many issues facing our water resources in the 21st century and the many factors that may have contributed to this flood.

The conference takes place Sept. 17-20, 2013, in Edmonton, Alberta. Edmonton lies north of Calgary and along the North Saskatchewan River, a fork of the main Saskatchewan River, which feeds the South Saskatchewan River.

Learning From Crisis

Each environmental disaster teaches us something new about how to better prepare for the next one. This most recent flood will be no different. The upcoming conference offers the perfect opportunity to meet with other water experts to discuss what we can learn from the flood.

One workshop in particular, “Source Control Strategies That Work” offered Tuesday, Sept. 17, will specifically address the issue of flooding. Many of the other breakout sessions offered during the technical program Wednesday through Friday will touch on other issues related to flooding, water quality and water infrastructure as well.

As we meet to discuss the various issues, the flood won’t be far from our minds. The ability to meet, discuss, interact and collaborate at the conference provides a unique opportunity to bring multiple aspects together to think deeply about a critical issue.

Moving Forward

What we all want to do most in times of crisis is learn how to forge a path forward in a way that minimizes the future effect of such catastrophes, plans ahead for how to stop such events, and helps the Calgary area and all affected areas recover as quickly as possible.

Working together for water to manage these vital — and volatile — liquid assets is something tangible we can all do right now to forge that path forward.

We hope you join us in September for the Liquid Assets conference as a place to discuss, plan and work on behalf of our communities.