October 25, 2012
The Perfect Storm
September 14, 2012
To Market We Go
August 28, 2012
Water Needs a Radical Rethink
July 13, 2012
Building a "Blue Brand"
May 28, 2012
Blue Economy Initiative Announced
June 14, 2011
Monday, May 28, 2012
Countries around the world are currently facing significant water risks and challenges. Despite presumed water abundance, Canada is not immune. However, water challenges also present opportunities for Canada to establish and nurture a “blue economy” here at home.
By acknowledging the interconnections between water and the economy, Canada can benefit from developing innovative technologies and best practices, investing in green/blue infrastructure, and planning for the future using integrated watershed approaches.
In order to advance along this path, leaders must recognize the diverse and immense value of Canada's water, and realize the environmental and economic benefits of protecting and conserving this essential resource.
Nicholas Parker, Chair of the Blue Economy Initiative, will speak about the benefits and opportunities of a blue economy at the upcoming Canadian Water Summit in June.
A forum to build a sustainable water future
On June 28, CWS will bring together a mix of business, government, academic and non-profit leaders from across the country to provide a thought-provoking forum for delegates to explore water and economic issues across industry sectors. Calgary is the host city for this year's summit, with the water-food-energy nexus as its central theme.
The event is a project of the Innovolve Group, a sustainability consultancy that seeks to help unlock Canada's potential to become a world leader in water management, expertise and innovation. This goal resonates with our own Blue Economy Initiative work and vision.
Anthony Watanabe, President and CEO of Innovolve and founder of CWS, clearly articulates, "We are on a bold mission to build a 'blue brand' for Canada." Watanabe sees the Summit as just one part of a multifaceted approach to creating a sustainable water future. Forward-thinking government policies are also currently being developed at regional and municipal levels across the country.
As business and government leaders, "We have a shared opportunity to build on Canada's rich history of both stewardship and clean tech, and meet the demand for business innovation in response to global water challenges," he says.
The World Economic Forum has identified water as a key global risk, particularly with respect to energy and food production. "Western Canada is a perfect microcosm in which to situate our regional water-food-energy context within the larger global perspective," adds Watanabe.
Panel to highlight shared opportunities for water leadership
One of the CWS panels is set to feature three national water initiatives, and discuss opportunities for collaboration to drive Canadian water leadership forward. The panelists include Nicholas Parker of the Blue Economy Initiative, together with David Marshall, Chair of the Canadian Water Resources Association's Working Group on a Canada Wide Water Strategy, and Carine MacDonald, Chair of the Council of the Federation's Water Stewardship Council.
Parker is keen to engage and discuss the potential for collaboration with leaders at the forefront of shaping Canada's future in water stewardship. The demand for water, food and energy is expected to rise by 30 to 50 percent over the next two decades.
Canada needs to think radically different about how it values, protects and conserves its water resources, and define what this means for Canada's water innovation industry, both here at home, and abroad. Opportunities to mitigate water risks will require collaborative efforts to build the necessary tools, technologies and policies behind a truly innovative "blue economy".
Other CWS panel discussions and breakout sessions will explore the water-energy-food nexus in greater detail, and focus on practical strategies to build Canada's "blue brand" and ensure its competitiveness as a global leader in water innovation.
The Canadian Water Summit will take place on June 28 at TELUS Spark, the New Science Centre, in Calgary, Alberta. For more information or to register online, please visit watersummit.ca.