Another Drop Lecture Series 2013

Browse the 2013 archive

The Right to WaSH; the Right to Health

In 2010, the United Nations declared Access to water and sanitation a human right. Despite this declaration and the efforts of many NGOs and governments around the world, 780 million people remain without access to improved sources of drinking water, with 653 million of them living in rural areas; 2.5 billion are still without improved sanitation and nearly 1.2 billion people still practice open defecation (UNICEF/WHO, 2012). Water and sanitation are strongly linked to hygiene and together they comprise WaSH (water supply, sanitation, and hygiene). WaSH problems are especially acute in low and middle income countries, which often lack the financial, human, and infrastructure resources. There is a critical need, both in Canada and globally, to address the problem of inadequate supplies of clean, safe water in rural, remote communities in order to improve health and wellbeing.

Speakers: Catarina de Albuquerque (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation), Dr. Nancy Doubleday (McMaster University), Dr. Ross Pink (University of Toronto), Paul General (Six Nations Eco-Centre)


The Aftermath Of Natural Disasters: Realities And Myths

The number of people affected by natural disasters continues to increase. Examples of natural disasters include floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis. The media will often report on a natural disaster initially but the public interest soon fades. Dr. Redwood-Campbell will discuss the realities (and myths) of working in a post natural disaster setting. What is it like after the disaster? She will focus on the 2004 Asian tsunami response in Aceh Indonesia as an example. Dr. Redwood-Campbell will describe how the 2004 tsunami devastated the community, affected the health and wellbeing of individuals and how two medical universities are working together eight years later.

Speaker: Dr. Lynda Redwood-Campbell  (McMaster University)


‘Wallace’s Dream Ponds’: The Malili Lakes of Sulawesi Island

Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, has played a very important part in the history of evolution as the island’s biodiversity is very unique compared with other islands of Indonesia and their association with either the Asian or Australian flora and fauna.  Alfred Wallace spent most of his time trying to understand the evolutionary history on what he referred to as the ‘Ultimate Island’, before writing his famous letter to Charles Darwin.  This talk reviews the formation of Sulawesi, the creation and the biological evolution of the Malili Lakes, and explores why these lakes contain the highest percent of endemic species in the world.  This talk will also review how these lakes will contribute to our understanding of major climate events such long term variations in the Southern Oscillation.

Speaker: Dr. Ioannis K. Tsanis (McMaster University)

Water is Life: Issues Facing Canada and China in the 21st Century

Canada and China each face major challenges in managing their water resources in the 21st Century (both quality and quantity). While one might think that such vast countries would not experience these problems, they both do, but for very different reasons. This seminar will examine the issues in each country and what, if anything, governments and citizens are doing to guard their water resources.

Speaker: Dr. Harvey Shear (University of Toronto)

Addressing Water Quantity and Quality Concerns in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Northern Alberta, From Perspectives of the Past

Effective stewardship of floodplain landscapes requires knowledge of the relative roles of natural processes and upstream human activities on environmental flows. In floodplain landscapes, hydro-ecological conditions that develop from potentially competing drivers, such as climate change and industrial development, tend to be expressed at spatial and temporal scales that are often inadequately captured by existing monitoring datasets. Consequently, perceived cause – effect relations may be misunderstood, conflict can escalate among stakeholders, and effectiveness of surveillance systems, policies, and governance may be impaired. This is the context for the Peace-Athabasca Delta, an internationally-recognized water-rich floodplain landscape located in northern Alberta that has been subject to multiple stressors. Based on over a decade of research, this seminar will relay key findings from lake sediment records that have fostered an unparalleled window into the past to address water quantity and quality concerns of today.

Speaker: Dr. Brent Wolfe (Wilfrid Laurier University)