On March 29th, over 50 stakeholder organizations including Ministries, Municipalities, Conservation Authorities, developers, consultants, and technology providers came together at a workshop hosted by Ryerson Urban Water to discuss current and future challenges for urban water systems in the Ontario ecosystem.
The IWRET workshop, a partnership between Ryerson Urban Water and Waterfront Toronto, presented a series of talks by key stakeholders in urban water management including representatives from Toronto Water, Water TAP Ontario, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and the consultants Greenland Consulting Engineers. During the event, key speakers shared their expertise and knowledge on water management approaches, as well as regulatory opportunities, challenges and constraints. The focus of the discussions presented the current and future challenges for urban water systems in the context of intensification, redevelopment, and sustainable planning.
The event was distinguished by its interactive approach where participants gave their feedback in real-time polls and held roundtable discussions to advance their understanding. The outcomes of the day will guide the development of the Integrated Water Resource Evaluation Tool (IWRET), a tool for the evaluation of alternative strategies for integrated urban water management. Specifically, participants identified key water technologies to include in the tool, measurement criteria to evaluate new integrated strategies, and the user interface for the tool.
Through a two-year project, researchers from Ryerson Urban Water (led by Darko Joksimovic and Vladimir Nikolic) will work with key stakeholders to further develop IWRET as a decision-making support tool that will analyze and compare the sustainability performance of hybrid approaches to integrated urban water management strategies and technologies. IWRET will be tested on Villiers Island as a case study, with a view to further refinement so the tool can be used by municipalities, governments, and developers in the planning of water management for neighborhoods through innovative water servicing solutions.
The project aims to develop IWRET as a transferable, non-proprietary tool that is accessible to other neighborhoods and jurisdictions, allowing it to be widely adopted for educational purposes and applied in municipal settings. The expectation is market transformation towards high performing and sustainable water servicing solutions.