Started in 2006, the Another Drop Lecture Series provides an opportunity to present research, policy, and case studies that aid in our understanding of linkages between water, environment, and health. The purpose is to provide the local academic and broader community with an insight into the many and varied challenges faced around the world. The lectures are held monthly on a Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm in September, November, January, February and March. Speakers tend to be recruited from local universities or Toronto-based NGOs.


Upcoming Lectures

The 2014-2015 Another Drop lecture cycle has ended. The Another Drop 2015-2016 lecture cycle will begin again in September 2015!



Past Another Drop Lectures

MARCH 2015: Water & Energy for Societies, Equality & Sustainable Development

Another Drop March 2015

This Another Drop event will feature the launch of the UN report, Putting Water and Energy at the Heart of Sustainable Development, a reception announcing a new partnership between UNU-INWEH and EPCOR, and a seminar presentation on the importance of meeting water and energy targets post-2015.

To learn more about the event, visit the event page here.




JAN 2015: The China-Canada Three Gorges Water Science Centre’s Role In Addressing Sustainable Water Management Of The Three Gorges Reservoir

January 13, 2015

Another Drop_Ken Drouillard POSTERThe Three Gorges Dam is one of the world’s largest hydraulic engineering projects used to generate and supply electrical power, control flooding, and provide a source of water, via diversions, to the north of China where water is limited. Situated on the Yangtze River, the reservoir is the second largest in the world. The Yangtze River itself supports 33% of agricultural production in China and is a critical resource and component to China’s water security. The China-Canada Three Gorges Water Science Centre (CCTW) was created as a coalition between Chinese and Canadian universities to generate a watershed approach to address water quality issues within the reservoir. This seminar will provide an overview of two sponsored reservoir projects, the vision of CCTW, and its future strategy to increase its expertise base through Canadian and Chinese institutional partnerships.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.

NOV. 2014 The Global Water Crisis As A Governance Crisis 

November 18, 2014 (7pm)

Another Drop_Dustin Garrick POSTER

Water has been called blue gold and the new oil of the 21st century, raising the spectre of water wars between sovereign nations due to growing competition for clean freshwater. Climate variability and change are threat multipliers superimposed on connected food, energy and water security challenges. This presentation separates the rhetoric from the reality by framing the global water crisis as a crisis of governance. It identifies the drivers of the global water crisis and examines policy responses in large rivers of North America and Australia, closing with implications for Canada’s domestic and foreign policy.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.




OCT. 2014 Water, Climate & Society 

October 07, 2014 (6:30pm)

Another Drop Water Week PosterWhether through extreme events or sea-level rise, many of the impacts of climate change are delivered by water.The challenges are complex, and the need for science to inform decision-making has never been greater. This distinguished lecture hosts leading practitioners in Canada and the US to learn lessons from the frontlines of efforts to respond to climate change. The two lectures are complementary perspectives on the nature of the climate change challenges we face, and the policy options to adapt.

Attendees are also invited to the Philomathia Water Futures Wine & Cheese Reception proceeding this distinguished lecture beginning at 5:30pm. (RSVP by October 01, 2014 required.)

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.


MARCH 2014 World Water Day 2014: The Water-Energy Nexus – From Global to Local

18 March 2014

Emma Quillerou

Emma Quillerou

WasteWater Emptiers Association

Michael Theodoulou
(Anaergia Inc.)

Dan McKinnon

Dan McKinnon
(City of Hamilton)

Water purification requires energy and energy production requires water. Water and energy are not only both closely interconnected and interdependent with choices and actions in one domain positively or negatively affecting the other, but combined together, they impact on sanitation and food production. As the “bottom billion” continue to urgently need access to water, electricity, sanitation and food, understanding the interlinkages and synergies between water and energy to alleviate poverty should be a priority. Water and energy is therefore the theme for this year’s World Water Day on March 22. This panel event will focus on the water-energy nexus and linkages to food security and health issues. Panelists will draw from examples from across the world to illustrate these linkages such as the current development of a Ugandan strategy for wastewater reuse and the City of Hamilton’s biogas initiative to achieve zero-net-energy use.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.

Forgot to take notes? Download each presenter’s powerpoint slides!

1) Emma Quillerou. 2) Michael Theodoulou. 3) Dan McKinnon.

FEB. 2014 Global Action, Local Impact: Mercury Contamination In Arctic Ecosystems

25 February 2014

P1030455 - Copy

Igor Lehnherr, PhD

Northern ecosystems and peoples currently face a number of environmental challenges, including climate change and chemical contaminants. There has been increasing concern about mercury levels in marine and freshwater organisms in the Arctic, due to the importance of traditional country foods such as fish and marine mammals to the diet of Northern peoples. This talk will look at mercury in Arctic aquatic ecosystems, tracking its path from sources to animals and people, and answering questions such as “how can there be concern about mercury in a pristine region such as the Arctic?” This is a story that has chemical, ecological, and human aspects and is complicated by other issues such as climate change.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.


JAN. 2014 Sustainable Development Governance In The Post-2015 Development Era:
A Few Reflections

21 January 2014

Dr. Aslam Chaudhry

Dr. Aslam Chaudhry

In 2015, the Millennium Development Goals – a set of global targets ushered in with the new millennium designed to eradicate poverty around the world – will end. What will the global leaders choose as the next set of targets post-2015? With climate change, continued inequity in access to established human rights, and widespread conflict in parts of the world, these goals will be important for steering a future where change is the only certainty.What are the mechanisms for deciding these goals and targets? How does water fit in to sustainable development governance? Where does Canada fit in this process? This presentation will focus on the post-2015 agenda intergovernmental processes while reflecting on the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals and the broader role of water, especially with regard to agricultural management.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.

To print an event poster, download the seminar flyer here.


NOV. 2013 The Right to WaSH; the Right to Health

25 November 2013

Dr. Nancy Doubleday (McMaster University)

Dr. Nancy Doubleday,
McMaster University

Dr. Ross Pink (Global Water Rights)

Dr. Ross Pink, Global Water Rights

Mr. Pa ul General, Six Nations of the Grand River

Mr. Paul General, Six Nations of the Grand River

Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation

Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation

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.

To learn more, visit the lecture’s event page here.

To print an event poster, download the seminar flyer here.

Missed the event? Watch the video below! (Hint: skip to 17:02 mins. to see the start of the event)


OCT. 2013 The Aftermath Of Natural Disasters: Realities And Myths

08 October 2013

0908-123-lynda redwood-campbell

Dr. Lynda Redwood-Campbell, Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University

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.

To learn more, download the seminar flyer here.

SEPT. 2013 ‘Wallace’s Dream Ponds’: The Malili Lakes of Sulawesi Island

10 September, 2013
Douglas Haffner, UNU-INWEH Another Drop Seminar Series

Douglas Haffner, Research Chair, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), University of Windsor.

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.

To learn more, download the seminar flyer here.


FEB. 2013 Water is Life: Issues Facing Canada and China in the 21st Century

5 February, 2013
Harvey Shear

Dr. Harvey Shear, Professor, Geography Dept., University of Toronto

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.

View the video below to listen to Dr. Shear’s lecture.

JAN. 2013 Addressing Water Quantity and Quality Concerns in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, Northern Alberta, From Perspectives of the Past

8 January, 2013
new picture

Dr. Brent Wolfe, Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies Dept., Wilfrid Laurier University

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.

NOV. 2012: Stories from the Field: Personal Insights from Working with Communities on Water and Sanitation Projects


Dr. Chris Metcalfe, Professor, Trent University


Mr. Dan Olsen, Operations Leader & Project Manager, CH2M Hill


Dr. Sheree Pagsuyoin, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
Download the accompanying lecture slides for Dr. Chris Metcalfe, Mr. Dan Olsen, Dr. Sheree Pagsuyoin

View the videos below to listen to the lectures.

OCT. 2012: The Impact of Climate Change on Hydrological Extremes and Water Availability


Dr. Ioannis Tsanis, Civil Engineering Dept., McMaster University

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.

SEPT. 2012: 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)


Why Women? Why Water? Why Me? (McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton, Ontario)

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.


What’s in it for you? Smart Investing in the Global Water and Sanitation Crisis (Toronto Lawn and Tennis Club, Toronto, Ontario)

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 download the lecture flyer click here.

To listen to the lecture, view the videos below.



water 2

Top Down, Bottom Up: Bridging Global Policy and Practice (Marriott Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario)

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 download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.

To listen to the lecture, view the videos below:


MARCH 2012: Making the Connection: How Water Impacts the Holistic Health of Rural African Communities


Kevin O’Brien, Executive Director, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.

FEB. 2012: Measuring the Degradation of Ecosystem Health Caused by Climate Change

trent u

Raul Ponce-Hernandez, Associate Professor, Geography Dept., Trent University

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.

To download the lecture flyer click here.

View the video below to listen to the lecture.

JAN. 2012: Science and Politics of Climate Change


Graham Knight, Professor, Department of Communication Studies & Multimedia, McMaster University


Roberto Quinlan, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, York University


Lucilla Spini, Executive Officer, Global Environmental Change and Human Health, UNU-INWEH


Richard Thomas, Assistant Director, Dryland Ecosystems, UNU-INWEH

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?

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.
View the video below to listen to the full lecture.

DEC. 2011: The Politics of Policymaking


Dr. Alex T. Bielak, Senior Research Fellow and Knowledge Broker, UNU-INWEH


Dr. Ahmed Shafiqul Huque, Professor, Political Science, McMaster University


Mr. Carl Griffith, Former Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Environment









Effective policy development is a complex process. This is particularly true in the case of water in which multiple water uses compete for priority. Within this context, evidence-based decision-making is essential to informed and appropriate water-related policy development. Incorporation of the most current research is an integral part of this process.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides (Dr. Alex T. Bielak) click here.

NOV. 2011: The Wishing Well: Where Maternal Health and Water Intersect

1 November, 2011

Dr. Jean Chamberlain, Executive Director, Save the Mothers Associate Professor, McMaster University


Dr. Eve Nakabembe, Academic Director, Save the Mothers

With the global focus on maternal health and its slow progress towards improvement in many parts of the world, the issue of water and its availability (especially in light of climate change) is one that cannot be overlooked when examining the determinants of maternal health. Dr. Chamberlain and Dr. Nakabembe discuss some of the many ways that water directly and indirectly impacts maternal/infant health.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.



SEPT. 2011: Arsenic Exposure of the Rural Poor in Bangladesh

13 September, 2011

Edward A. McBean, Canada Research Chair in Water Supply, Professor, Engineering, University of Guelph

Arsenic-related impacts continue to be important health concern in rural Bangladesh, with considerable effort still being extended to attenuate the exposure. Examples of assessments which are showing promise will be discussed, including: Rainwater harvesting; arsenic iron removal plants; food types and food preparation activities which influence exposure scenarios; and, using relationships between arsenicosis and arsenic in groundwater to identify areas where the risks are greatest which are proving of value but aren’t as effective as originally hoped. The summary demonstrates that there is much room for improvement.

To download the lecture flyer click here.

View the video below to listen to Mr. McBean’s lecture.



MARCH 2011: Water and Environmental Health in Ontario: How Far Have We Come Since Walkerton?

8 March, 2011

Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association

Theresa McClenaghan, one of the CELA lawyers representing the Concerned Walkerton Citizens in the Walkerton Inquiry, will briefly review what led to the tragedy in that community and what needed to change in protecting Ontario’s drinking water system. Theresa will then highlight what has happened since then to assure much better protection of drinking water in Ontario. Finally, Theresa will outline the changes that are still underway, and the balance of her talk will focus on the things that still need to happen to adequately protect drinking water for all Ontarians. In particular, drinking water issues relating to various contexts such as small, remote, rural, non-municipal, and First Nation communities will be reviewed.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.

FEB. 2011: Management of Water Utilities in the Arab Region: Challenges and Solutions

1 February, 2011

H.E. Eng. Khaldon Khashman, Secretary General of ACWUA

The water sector in the Arab region suffers from chronic problems, such as water scarcity, weak water and environmental policies, high investment needs, lack of management and technical capacity, increasing demand due to growing populations, and conflict. Here comes the necessity to engage professionals in utilities from the Arab countries in a dialogue that extends across the borders within the Arab world. This presentation will talk about the problems and challenges facing water and wastewater utilities in the Arab region and what are the alternatives and solutions that should be done to overcome these problems and provide better water supply and sanitation services.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.

JAN. 2011: Ilngwesi: How to Animate a Community towards Health Care Progress

18 January, 2011

Miriam E. Patterson, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts in Social Justice and Intercultural Relations

In 2007, a Maasai Community in Kenya stated their desire to “get HIV/AIDS under control,” throughout their 50 km by 50 km area of land. A team of volunteers from North America joined a team of local volunteers to figure out what that might look like. Miriam will share the story of how facilitation methods were combined with local knowledge and understanding to successfully implement a community-wide, awareness, and voluntary testing campaign that has proven to be sustainable.

To download the lecture flyer click here.


DEC. 2010: Preserving Wetlands: Their Biochemical Contribution to Heath and Intelligence

14 December, 2010

Michael T. Arts, Environment Canada

Wetlands are under siege worldwide due to the effects of climate change (e.g. droughts and increasing water temperatures), farming practices, excess nutrients, and contaminants. Wetlands are also considered “valuable” because they are known to provide a variety of “ecosystem services”, for example: provisioning of drinking water, navigation and flood control, esthetic and recreational services, and mitigation of organic contaminants. One ecosystem service that has, so far, been under-appreciated is their ability to act as reservoirs and suppliers of essential nutrients. For example, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that has several unique properties. It comprises 40% and 60% of the PUFAs in the brain and retina, respectively, and 50% of the weight of the brain’s neuron plasma membranes. It has been shown to promote visual acuity and improve cognitive development (“intelligence”) in vertebrates. But where does much of the DHA in terrestrial organisms ultimately come from? Fish oils are rich in DHA, however, most of the DHA in fish and fish consumers (e.g. otters) originates from algae and generally becomes increasingly concentrated in aquatic organisms as it moves progressively up to higher levels in food chains. From there, essential nutrients (such as DHA and another fatty acid called EPA), can, by a variety of pathways, make their way onto terrestrial landscapes. It is important to document how these aquatic-terrestrial DHA transfers are brokered and to understand emerging threats to the global supply of these essential nutrients. Such an analysis leads to the conclusion that we must now add one heretofore unrecognized ecosystem service to the suite of services provided by wetlands; namely, the provisioning of essential PUFA to adjacent terrestrial systems. This newly recognized service provides conservationists and managers with a new outlook and justification for preserving our aquatic resources.

To download the lecture flyer click here.

OCT. 2010: Contemporary Issues and Challenges Related to Water, Health and Environment in Uganda

12 October, 2010

Dr. Edward Mukooza Kibikyo, Uganda Christian University / International Christian Medical Institute


Dr. Frederick Kakembo, School of Research & Postgraduate Studies Uganda Christian University

Rural and urban populations in Uganda face different challenges of safe water supply and therefore need different approaches to intervention. Many of the larger towns in Uganda have piped water but because of low income, many households cannot afford to pay the bills let alone the cost of installing running water systems in their houses.

Although there are plenty of water sources, the majority of them are not safe for consumption because they are contaminated by industrial and domestic waste. In urban areas, the contamination is caused by numerous pit latrines, direct sewer leakages, flooding (after heavy rains) and by industrial waste which is directly dumped into water bodies. In rural areas, people travel long distances to fetch water and it may be contaminated because it is used as a watering point for cattle, or a place where people bathe and wash clothes.

A dynamic response to the challenges of safe water calls for diverse levels of interventions which include, among others, community awareness campaigns, protecting/safeguarding the water sources and poverty alleviation programmes.

To download the lecture flyer click here.
To download the accompanying lecture slides click here.