Conference Presentations

2019 Western Canada Water Conference and Exhibition – September 17-20 in Edmonton, AB

The 71st annual Western Canada Water Conference and Exhibition returns to Edmonton from September 17th-20th at the Edmonton Convention Centre. This year’s conference slogan of “Our Water, Our Future” brings focus to our global water challenges that require us to make impactful efforts, both individually and collaboratively, right now. Our own water professionals are dedicated to the importance of making impact in communities and we will be nicely represented at the conference. Laura Creswell, Leigh Chmilar, Taylor Swalies and Mohammed Elenany will be attending the conference. Laura, Taylor and Leigh will be presenting during the conference. For further information about their sessions please read below:

Water Source Vulnerability Assessments On Reserve

When: Thursday September 19th, 4:30 PM
Where: Red Deer Room (Salon 4), Edmonton Convention Centre
Laura Creswell, Professional Engineer, Urban Systems Edmonton
Taylor Swalies, Water Practice EIT, Urban Systems Calgary

Presentation Description
Saddle Lake Cree Nation (SLCN) operates a community water system that serves 686 homes as well as commercial and institutional facilities. Most of the homes within the community are serviced via truck fill except for the town core area which is servcied with a piped potable water distribution system.

Visit the Saddle Lake Cree Nation website
In 2017, the community completed a Rural Waterline Expansion Feasibility Study which looked at the long-term plan of serving homes on reserve with a safe, reliable piped potable water network. The community is concerned with the long-term sustainability of Saddle Lake as a primary water supply considering the combined effect of climate change impacts on water supply and projected increases in demand fro population growth and economic development initiatives. A Climate Change and Source Water Vulnerability Assessment has been performed to better understand the hydrology of Saddle Lake, the potential impacts of climate change on water supply and whether or not Saddle Lake has the capacity to meet the future demands of the community. The assessment will help inform decision-making related to the pursuit of alternative water supply options.

About Laura and Taylor

Urban-Systems-Laura Creswell-OurTeamLaura has had the privilege of working with Saddle Lake Cree Nation for more than three years now. During this time Laura obtained her license to be a professional engineer. Laura has been involved in three different water focused projects with the community and she learned many lessons from the humble people of Saddle Lake.

Laura has played a lead role to help our team in Alberta understand the deep history of the community and share Saddle Lake’s vision and goals throughout the lifecycle this project. Her goal from the onset of this project has been to ensure a final deliverable will be useful for years to come. Her past experience on projects, her ability to build strong relationships with community members and her understanding of the bigger picture provided harmony for the team to succeed.

Urban-Systems-Taylor-Swailes_CWCTaylor is a graduate of the Civil Engineering program at the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary. He has 4 years of experience as a Water Resources Analyst working for Urban Systems in our Calgary branch. A modelling and analytical specialist, his experience includes a wide range of projects from stormwater management strategy, master drainage planning, and climate change adaptation to detailed design and modelling of stormwater, sanitary, and potable water systems. His skills include hydraulic and hydrologic modelling, model calibration and validation, forecasting, and statistical analysis. Taylor is knowledgeable in a variety of modelling tools including PCSWMM, HEC-RAS, Raven, and WaterCAD, as well as the data science languages R and Python.

Taylor has participated in many planning and strategy-level projects for communities across British Columbia and Alberta, developing a good understanding of different and unique approaches to rainwater management.

The Quest for Water in a Closed Basin

When: Thursday September 19th, 10:00 Am
Where: Calgary Room (Salon 12), Edmonton Convention Centre
Leigh Chmilar, Municipal Water Engineer, Urban Systems Calgary
Rick Deans, Senior Manager Infrastructure, Town of Cochrane

Presentation Description
Water in the Bow River Basin has become scarce, and the closing of the basin has created an unprecedented market for water. With increasing climate impacts to a sensitive watershed, combined with continued growth projections in southern Alberta, municipalities are facing massive challenges in securing water license for potable use to support growth. The scarcity issue is exacerbated by onerous regulatory bureaucracy in the license transfer process as well as the cost impact to purchase license on a market with low supply and high demand.

The Town of Cochrane is leading the charge through initiation of a Comprehensive Water Strategy. This collaborative, dynamic process involves partnerships with surrounding communities, regulators and private industry. The Water Strategy aims to provide a roadmap for Cochrane and similar jurisdictions to solve their water issues, identify regional collaboration opportunities, to provide a solid basis for future decision making and management in this basin, and to allow for regional growth that support all the communities involved.

About Leigh

Urban-Systems-Leigh-ChmilarLeigh has over 8 years of experience with municipal water and wastewater utility systems, and has developed skills in the regulatory, feasibility and strategy, detailed design & construction, operations and owner/operator side of drinking water treatment and distribution. She works directly with clients to analyze system and servicing problems and works to find creative solutions. She is experienced in improving utility systems, managing project teams and budgets, and working with various stakeholders to commission equipment and upgraded infrastructure within existing and new systems. She is passionate about collaborating with client teams to realize the most effective solutions to benefit the client and stakeholders.

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