Another Drop Lecture Series 2012

Browse the 2012 archive

Stories from the Field: Personal Insights from Working with Communities on Water and Sanitation Projects

Are you interested in volunteering or conducting research internationally? Have you wondered why people work internationally? Do you want advice on how to get started? Working within different settings to effect change around water, sanitation and health in developing communities can prove challenging but rewarding. Panelists will talk about their experiences, providing personal insights on the challenges, opportunities and rewards to working in the field. In particular, the speakers will provide valuable advice on the realities through anecdotal stories of volunteering or conducting research in developing countries.

Speakers: Dr. Chris Metcalfe (Trent University), Mr. Dan Olsen (CH2M Hill), Dr. Sheree Pagsuyoin (University of Waterloo)

View the videos below to listen to the lectures.


The Impact of Climate Change on Hydrological Extremes and Water Availability

Climate change is expected to have a significant impact on the hydrologic cycle, resulting in changing freshwater resources. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that as a result, floods and prolonged droughts will take place at increasingly frequent periods. The projected and bias adjusted precipitation is in line with the intensification of future precipitation process. The following two case studies will be discussed: Spencer Creek in Ontario and the island of Crete in the Eastern Mediterranean. Quantitative results of simulated hydrological changes provide the data required to improve existing policies on how to adapt to climate extremes and water shortages.

Speakers: Dr. Ioannis Tsanis (McMaster University)


Women and Water: Dignity, Innovation and Leadership (A Three-Part Series) 

Featuring The Honourable Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water and Environment in Uganda (2006-2012)

Issues of water quality and quantity are of particular importance to women. From childbirth to education, from domestic responsibilities to dignity and safety, access to water and sanitation has very real impacts on women’s lives around the world. The MDG target for drinking water has officially been met, but the global picture remains dire. 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation; 1.1 billion defecate in the open; and almost a billion lack access to improved water supplies. Where women’s voices are heard, they are strong advocates for potable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices. This lecture will explore the role of women in the global water crisis and how the public can meaningfully engage to contribute towards solutions.

19 September, 2012

This luncheon event will bring together individuals in the private and public sectors to discuss the many benefits of investing in water and sanitation projects:

  • How businesses can enter and excel in this area

  • New financing models

  • Successful public/private/civil society partnerships

  • Future opportunities

To listen to the lecture, view the videos below.


20 September, 2012

Policy design is often dominated by hierarchical institutional bodies which hold decision-making power. However, in order to achieve sustainability on the ground a balance needs to be found between the responsible authorities who control the allocation of financial and other resources, and the stakeholders who will be most affected by the implementation of policy. In water-related policy development, engagement of local people is essential to finding sustainable solutions and increasing the chances of long term success. Panelists will discuss whether bridging policy and practice can improve water security in rural communities; how to engage communities in designing effective policy to address water-related challenges; how policies support this engagement for sustainable interventions; who facilitates the interface; and, how and where this fits within the context of Rio+20 and the post-2015 sustainability goals.

To listen to the lecture, view the videos below



Making the Connection: How Water Impacts the Holistic Health of Rural African Communities

This lecture will focus on the interconnected impact of water, heath and the environment. More specifically, this lecture will examine how access to clean and safe water in rural Tanzania and Ethiopia impacts community health, nutrition and environmental development. By focusing on rainwater harvesting at Ayalaliyo Primary School in Karatu, Tanzania and the construction of a protected spring in Jarso, Ethiopia, we will learn more about how water impacts the holistic health of African communities.

Speaker: Kevin O’Brien (Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief)


Measuring the Degradation of Ecosystem Health Caused by Climate Change

Certain landscape features offer tell-tale indicators of a watershed’s health and, in turn, offer insights into water productivity and quality both local and regional. This fundamental premise is leveraged in the design and attainment of a methodological framework for the assessment of resource degradation and the prediction of the future impacts of climate change on ecosystem health and productivity. The framework relies on historic earth observation data sets from a range of platforms and sensors at multiple scales and on projected climate scenarios from general circulation models (GCM) coupled to water balance and crop growth simulation models. The methodological focus is on the status and trends of land productivity, water quality and ecosystem health at multiple scales, illustrated through application of the framework in case studies in Canada and abroad, in collaboration with United Nations agencies.

Speaker: Raul Ponce-Hernandez (Trent University)

View the video below to listen to the lecture.


Science and Politics of Climate Change

While the potential impacts of climate change on human health and the environment are global in reach, the poor are likely to be the most adversely affected – and those changes will be felt most profoundly through water. Researchers are devoting much attention to this issue. But how are we applying this knowledge, and what yardsticks are we using to measure impacts? Furthermore, how are national and international political positions being affected by this knowledge?

Speakers: Dr. Graham Knight (McMaster University), Dr. Roberto Quinla (York University), Lucilla Spini (UNU-INWEH), Dr. Richard Thomas (UNU-INWEH)

View the video below to listen to the full lecture.