Special Guests


Opening Session Wednesday October 5

Robert William Sandford

We are honoured to present Robert William Sandford as our keynote speaker for the 2016 conference.  Bob is the EPCOR Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nations “Water for Life” Decade and also sits on the Advisory Committee for the prestigious Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. He is a director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative, an associate of the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan and a fellow of the Biogeoscience Institute at the University of Calgary. As well, he sits on the advisory board of Living Lakes Canada and is co-chair of the Forum for Leadership on Water and a member of the Advisory Panel for the RBC Blue Water Project.

In his work Bob is committed to translating scientific research outcomes into language decision-makers can use to craft timely and meaningful public policy and to bringing international example to bear on local water issues


Keynote Presentation 9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Hot & Bothered: Water, Weather & the Future of the Canadian West

Presented by Bob Sanford

Population and economic growth, massive land-use and land cover changes, resource development and alterations we have made to the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere have in tandem energized the global hydrologic cycle. Our warmer atmosphere now carries more water vapour which has triggered more frequent and far more intense extreme weather events. We are only now beginning to realize the extent to which our social, economic and political stability are dependent upon relative hydrological predictability. If current trends persist the Canadian West will barely resemble the West as we know it today by mid-century.

Water For People Breakfast October 6

Eleanor Allen, CEO of Water For People

Eleanor Allen is fiercely compassionate about improving global water and sanitation. She believes this societal change can be accelerated through social entrepreneurs like Water For People (WFP). Currently Eleanor is the CEO of WFP. Prior to WFP she was the Global Director of Water at ARCADIS. She also held various positions at CH2M over 16 years where she rose to Latin America Director of Water and Senior VP. Ms. Allen also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

As the CEO of WFP, Ms. Allen leads one of the Top 100 global non-profits. WFP is recognized as an innovative leader in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector through its sustainable approach to development called Everyone Forever (EF). EF brings together local entrepreneurs, technology, governments, and communities to create lasting water systems and sanitation for Everyone (every family, school, and clinic), Forever. WFP is working with 4 million people in 9 countries in Africa, Latin America, and India.

WCWEA Luncheon Thursday October 6

Jenny Hartfelder, WEF President-Elect

Jenny is currently a Vice President with MWH and serves as a National Campaign Manager out of Denver, Colo. In this role, she provides strategic planning and leadership for the business development activities for the water sector across the United States. She also serves as a project manager and design engineer on numerous water and wastewater projects including master plans, preliminary and detailed designs, and engineering services during construction.

WCS AWWA Breakfast Friday October 7

Jeanne M. Bennett-Bailey, President (2016-2017) American Water Works Association

Jeanne has worked in the drinking-water community for more than 25 years.  Recently retired, she served as the Public Affairs Officer for Fairfax Water for over 12 years.  Fairfax Water is the largest drinking-water utility in Virginia, serving nearly 2 million people in the Washington Metropolitan area.

An AWWA member since 1990, she served as Chair of AWWA’s Public Affairs Council and as a member of the Diversity and Member Inclusion committee and many technical committees.  Jeanne was honored as the 2014 AWWA Volunteer of the Year.  Jeanne comes from the Virginia Section where she served on various committees.