Dr. Nancy Doubleday (OCP Arctic Working Group) and students Sarah Newell (PhD. candidate) and Kathryn Pringle (B.A. candidate), participated in the 3rd Annual Spring Water Forum at McMaster University on April 18. The Water Forum is organized by the McMaster Water Network, a University-wide initiative to connect water science, technology and policy to deliver local and global impacts. The network provides opportunities for students, both undergraduates and post-graduates, and faculty to engage with the community and develop partnerships on issues related to this important and life-giving resource.
Dr. Doubleday is a member of the Water Network executive. “Engaging Canadians is ultimately the goal we seek in OCP, in order to mobilize knowledge and change ocean future trajectories.” The goal of the water forum is about moving forward with water and a globally shared responsibility to preserve water and water quality. Canadians need to understand the issues, how to talk about them and as this year’s 3rd Annual Spring Water forum communicated – navigate from risk to resilience.
This year’s Water Forum was organized as part of Big Ideas, Better Cities – a year-long series of events showcasing how McMaster research can help cities respond to 21st century challenges. “We are fostering a culture of care for Canada’s oceans from west to east, and south to north,” said Dr. Doubleday. “Most Canadians are urban, and with the exception of Vancouver, Victoria, Churchill and Halifax, are located on ocean tributaries rather than directly on marine coastal zones. Part of what we are doing is building a platform for engaging citizen science in OCP Arctic research as well as marine environmental quality and justice issues.”
The Water forum forum included a Great Lakes Cafe which brainstormed ways in which arts, culture, education, and other activities can be used to bring attention to the Hamilton Harbour and the Great Lakes. The first panel on water resilient cities began with a keynote address from Dr. Patrick Ray from the University of Massachusetts Amherst about climate uncertainty in water resources planning and project design. The second panel focused on drinking water security and health with a stimulus presentation by Dr. Bu Lam. Both panels featured a wide range of experience and perspectives from which to view these issues. The forum concluded with an expert discussion panel and Keynote Speaker, Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, on the Flint water crises (Flint, Michigan is Hamilton’s sister city). The day ended with a poster showcase of work by Sarah Newell and Kathryn Pringle in collaboration with Dr. Nancy Doubleday.