Great Lakes Great Challenges Forum 2013


The International Joint Commission Great Lakes Regional Office was pleased to host the Great Lakes, Great Challenges Forum 2013 on March 14th on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  The daylong conference was free and open to the public.  Morning sessions focused on challenges facing the Great Lakes, such as harmful algae in Lake Erie, while afternoon sessions targeted solutions such as green infrastructure. 

Cosponsors of the event include Oakland University, Wayne State University, Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, Sustainable Water Works, the Michigan section of the American Water Works Association and the Michigan Water Environment Association.  The program featured expert presenters from both the public and private sectors, providing information and advice useful to academic researchers, public utility operators, municipal officials, consulting engineers, students and the public. 

NOTE:  Presentations are availabe below and are posted to the right of each speaker.

Great Lakes, Great Challenges Forum
Oakland University Banquet Room A/B
Rochester, Michigan -- Thursday, March 14, 2013 

7:30 – 8:30      Breakfast with Exhibitors – Brief remarks from OC Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash

8:30 – 8:35      Welcome from Oakland University 

8:35 – 8:45      Welcome from IJC  (Chair Lana Pollack)

8:45 – 9:15      Plenary Speaker 1:  Dr. Jan Ciborowski (University of Windsor)    PRESENTATION

                        Great Lakes Environmental Assessment and Mapping

9:15 – 9:45      Plenary Speaker 2:  Dr. Don Scavia (University of Michigan, Graham Family Professor of Sustainability)  PRESENTATION

                        Challenges of Nutrient Pollution in Lake Erie

The re-emergence of Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie’s Western Basin and Hypoxia in the Central Basin has raised concern in the scientific, policy, and public sectors.  With the increased policy attention and new scientific information, we have an opportunity to review and renew nutrient loading targets for Lake Erie.  This presentation will provide context for those discussions.

9:45 – 10:15    Break with Exhibitors

10:15 – 11:30  Great Lakes, Great Challenges:  Presentations and Panel Discussion

Session will focus on the IJC Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority and the development of recommendations to government to reduce phosphorus loads and growth of harmful algae.


Dr. Michael Murray (National Wildlife Federation)  PRESENTATION
Impacts of Climate Change on Water Quality

Dr. Shawn McElmurry (Wayne State University)  PRESENTATION
Assessment of Best Management Practices to Reduce Phosphorus Loads

Dr. Frank Lupi (Michigan State University)
Economic Impacts of Harmful Algae

11:30 – 12:00 Plenary Speaker 3:  Dr. Linda Schweitzer (Oakland University)  PRESENTATION

                        Great Lakes Water Quality and Health

12:00 – 1:00    Lunch with Exhibitors, Remarks by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel

1:00 – 1:30     Plenary Speaker 4:  Jon Allan (Director, Michigan Office of the Great Lakes)  PRESENTATION

                        Michigan’s Water Strategy

1:30 – 2:45      Solutions 1:   Presentations and Panel Discussion

                        Managing Infrastructure to Improve Water Quality

Session will cover management of infrastructure to improve water quality, including: condition assessment of aging water & wastewater systems, strategies to reduce energy costs and methods for removing algal toxins


David Vago (Midwest Asset Management Consultants)    PRESENTATION
Developing an Asset Management Plan to Achieve Sustainability

This presentation will discuss the interplay of the Sustainability Plan and the Asset Management Plan.  An Asset Management Plan combines condition assessment with criticality rating. The presentation will discuss the role of a Sustainability Report in determining criticality, methodologies for assigning a condition score, and how the two are combined to assign Business Risk.

PJ Dada (Detroit Water and Sewerage Department)  PRESENTATION
Strategies to Reduce Water Loss & Energy Use

Dr. Arash Zamyadi (Drinking Water Research Group, Univ. of Toronto)  PRESENTATION
Responding to the Challenge of Harmful Algal Blooms in Source Water 

2:45 – 3:00      Break with Exhibitors

3:00 – 4:00      Solutions 2:   Presentations and Panel Discussion

                        From Grey to Green:   New Approaches to Stormwater and Water Quality

Session will cover new concepts ranging from reuse of grey water to green infrastructure to help system operators improve management of storm water.


Kelly C. Karll, PE (Southeast MI Council of Governments)   PRESENTATION
Planning for Green Infrastructure Implementation in the Region

Sustainability in Southeast Michigan means managing contraction in population, employment, and fiscal capacity, while simultaneously improving economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental quality. A common outcome for creating success in the southeast Michigan region is  healthy, attractive environmental assets.  An important component of achieving this outcome includes reducing stormwater runoff to the region’s water resources and which can be achieved through  implementation of green infrastructure.  This presentation will focus on the importance of green infrastructure planning to achieve systematic reductions in stormwater runoff while also highlighting current planning efforts, including the Regional Green Infrastructure Vision and DWSD’s Long-Term Green Infrastructure Strategy.  

Bob Harbron (Project Director, Black & Veatch)   PRESENTATION
Toledo’s Wet Weather Treatment Facility: Impacts on Water Quality

Pat Lindemann (Ingham County Drain Commissioner)  PRESENTATION (Note:  Video not include because of large file size.)
Greening of the Drains

4:00                 Closing Remarks