CWSA 2021 Annual Conference

Adapting to the Chaos of Climate Change and Drought

Dear Members, Associates & Operators,

All of us at CWSA were looking forward to an in-person conference this year; unfortunately, due to on-going health concerns with the Coronavirus we have decided to hold an online conference again this year. We look forward to seeing you all online! We’ve put together a great variety of speakers for our Water System Managers, Trustees, Associates and Operators for this year’s online Administrative Workshop and great prizes throughout this event! For any Water Operators attending the online conference there is EOCP 0.4CEU’s for attending.

All of these events are online. Links will be sent to all Membership together with instructions for participating.

Administrative Workshop Presentations (via Zoom)

Thursday, November 25, 2021, 9am – 2:30pm

Presented by Nancy Clements, Island Health’s Consult in Drinking Water, Vancouver Island Health Authority

An overview of update guidance materials from Health Canada and the BC Ministry of Health (as it relates to drinking water) will be provided. A summary of the 2021 drought survey results will be presented and some resources and guidance around drought monitoring and response will be discussed.

Work History: Nancy Clements is Island Health’s consultant in Drinking Water and the Healthy Built Environment (North Island) with a degree in Environmental Health (Public Health) and a minor in Public Administration. She is a certified Public Health Inspector with 24 years of experience working in British Columbia and Ontario. Most recently, her work is focusing on supporting field staff around drinking water and land use issues as well as working with local government to support the inclusion of health in land use planning.

With the pandemic, her focus has shifted to include supporting the Health Protection department’s covid response for schools, overnight camps and adult sport. She works collaboratively alongside the Island Health’s Medical Health Officers, in partnership with local government, academics and other provincial government agencies such as Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Nancy grew up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario and landed on the beautiful west coast, which is where she feels she belongs. She is passionate about ensuring the safety of the public’s health now and as we plan for the future.

Presented by Rachel Warren, Manager, Public Authority Consultation and Training Team, Office of the BC Ombudsperson

This session will provide an overview of administrative fairness and provide tips on how to respond fairly to more challenging interactions with the public. The BC Ombudsperson has the mandate of responding to complaints about local and provincial public sector organizations. We will share some lessons learned from our office’s experience in investigating complaints about local governments and share some best practices in complaint handling. Administrative fairness involves not just following consistent and transparent decision-making processes, but also communicating and responding effectively to complaints and concerns when they arise.

Work History: Rachel Warren has been delivering administrative fairness training to public sector organizations since 2017. Rachel joined the Office of the Ombudsperson in 2014 and was previously an Investigator on the Health and Local Services Team, responsible for investigating complaints about local governments in BC. She also has 20 years of prior social work and executive leadership experience in healthcare, child welfare and adoption. Rachel completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology and Social Work at the University of Victoria.

Presented by Dave Mercer, General Manager, BC Ground Water Association/Underground Communications

Stream (water, wastewater, transport, or leadership) Improve your leadership skills through more effective communications.

Successful leadership requires effective communications, and in today’s work environment communicating typically requires giving presentations. Whether you’re presenting at a conference or to your work team, your presentations need to be effective or you risk losing your audience – all too familiar “death by PowerPoint.”

This presentation will provide attendees with a set of simple skills to help leaders prepare presentations that keep your audience engaged and make sure they retain the information you want to communicate to them. Half of the time allotted will be interactive so that we can discuss your specific presentation needs and determine what techniques you can use to communicate your information.

Work History: Dave is a geologist with over 25 years of experience working in ground related industries. He has managed groundwater instrumentation projects on a wide variety of sites around the world and worked over a decade for Schlumberger as a manager of business development, sales and marketing, and product development and integration. Dave launched Underground Communications in 2011 to provide strategic business development, marketing, and communications services to resource-based industries. He is currently also the general manager of the BC Groundwater Association.

Thank you for attending the Workshop and continued support.

For questions, please call Caroline at (250) 731-5557


Conference Registration



Operator Training Courses (via Zoom)

This year’s Operator Training topics are accredited by the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) at 0.6CEU’s per training course.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021, 8am-4pm.

With the ever-shifting impacts of climate change on our industry, water suppliers and operators are faced with new challenges of providing an uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water to the communities we serve. This workshop will explore the issue of what does climate change and extreme weather events mean to water suppliers and why does it matter. Rising sea levels, intense storms, drought and the impacts on Source Water will be featured.

Over the course of the day participants will:

- Investigate how Climate Change will impact water & wastewater utilities

- Analyze tools to determine risks for their own utilities and

- Plan for future operational and administrative strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change

This course will be instructed by Mike Ippen, DRAGONETTI Group. Mike has spent over 40 years in local government utilities operations and management, as superintendent in North Vancouver, to utilities and public works manager in Saanich and for the City of Victoria. Mike has served on the boards of the BC Public Works Association, BCWWA, where he served as President in 2015-2016, and for BC1 Call, as Executive Director between 2017-2020. Mike consults with local governments and First Nations in BC and Yukon on water and wastewater issues.

EOCP (0.6 CEU's)
Wednesday, November 24th, 2021, 8am-4pm.

Control and Automation systems are becoming more and more common, and they are playing an increasingly larger role in the daily tasks of an operator, while they are getting more and more complex. This course will help operators understand the components that make up a Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system from the process and its instruments, through controllers and communication systems, to the interface. Operators will not only gain knowledge that will help troubleshoot existing control system issues, but also learn about options available when upgrading, expanding, or replacing SCADA systems.

This course will be instructed by Bart Nelissen, Automation & Controls Team Lead at MPE Engineering. Bart started his working career as a lab tech and plant operator, before starting building control systems in the late ‘90s. Since then, Bart worked for various consulting companies where he programmed, tested, and commissioned control systems for the oil & gas, water & wastewater, food & beverage, and manufacturing industries. Bart has been an active member of the BCWWA and Alberta AWWOA since his career is dedicated to the water and wastewater sector in 2015, attending events, sponsoring, and presenting lectures. Bart is passionate about teaching and mentoring, and has been a SCADA Software instructor for many years which included instructing Schneider InTouch and General Electric Cimplicity. Aside from that, educating Clients as part of a SCADA project has become more and more common with the involvement of multiple Client departments such as IT, Management, Maintenance, Engineering, Accounting and of course Operations.

EOCP (0.6 CEU's)

Thank you for your registration, this Workshop has ended.

For questions, please call Caroline at (250) 731-5557

Operator Registration