CWSA 2021 Annual Conference "Adapting to the Chaos of Climate Change and Drought"

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.

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.

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.

Jeff Moore, MRM, Senior Environmental Analyst, Environmental Services Division, Cowichan Valley Regional District

Climate Change, Drought and Floods. A look at water supply in the face of increasing drought, including tools for encouraging water conservation.

Barrie Nicholls, Program Analyst, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Governance and Structure Branch

Alexa Newton, Financial Analyst, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Infrastructure and Finance Branch

Discussing recent legislative updates and recommendations for reserve funds and regulation bylaws

The presentation will begin with an explanation of the legislative changes made in the past year that affect improvement districts. The presentation will then switch to some topics that would relate to adapting to climate change and drought.

Vernon Rogers M.Sc. P. Eng (Non-Practising), Sustainable Infrastructure Society

Emergency Planning for Water Suppliers – Slide Presentation

Water Operator Training November 23 - 24, 2021

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.

 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 Bart Nelissen, Automation & Controls Team Lead at MPE


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.


Description: 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.