I have become aware of and increasingly involved with Waterlution over the past 8 months. Waterlution, a Canadian organization that builds awareness and encourages cross-sector collaboration promoting more holistic, sustainable practices and polices around water. Back in September, I was extremely fortunate to attend the Waterlution Innovation Lab. This week-long excursion included a pre-lab workshop where we toured the Columbia Ice Fields and followed the Bow River from its source in the mountains, into Calgary. We observed the water treatment process and heard from the city about their plans to develop their storm water management capacity, especially in light of the flooding events of 2014. Their water services initiatives are working in combination with Public Art to create attractive usable spaces that can be utilized for education purposes.
The Innovation Lab itself was a truly remarkable and inspiring experience. Being surrounded by so many enthusiastic, considerate, and driven people was mind opening. It the beautiful setting of Kananaskis, we learned innovative facilitation techniques and how they can help the water sector to problem solve. I left the lab with an overwhelming sense that anything is possible and feel so lucky for all of the amazing friendships formed there. Not to mention, it was my first time in western Canada and I cannot wait to go back!
Once we returned to our respective cities across the country, the ideas didn’t stop flowing. It has been great to hear about all of the projects that have snowballed from the lab. There was a large KW contingent at the lab; together we have started a Waterlution Grand River Hub. Thus far, our hub has held two events. The first was a “Water in Your Community” themed event. Our resource guest included Bernadette Conant from the Canadian Water Network, Mark Servos from the University of Waterloo, Tim Walton from the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and Cheryl Evans from REEP Green Solutions.
Our second event was help during Canada Water Week under the theme of water and technology, titled “HighTechH2O.” We were excited to bring together two remarkable strengths with our event in order to learn about tools that can be applied across sectors and explore the potential for co-creation. Our resource guests at the event included Brenda Lucas and Evelyn Allen from the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, Jon Grant from WaterTap, Blyth Gill from EchoStream, and Nancy Heide from Velocity.
I am excited for the potential for the Waterlution Grand River Hub to grow! If you would like to be added to our mailing list, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.