Dept of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (EIT)
200 University Ave. W
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567
The Evolution of the Water Business from Resource Exploitation to Resource Recovery – The Challenge
Roger Woeller, MSc. P.Geo., Chief Executive Officer of BluMetric Environmental
Please join us afterwards for a reception in the first floor foyer of EIT.
To attend the half-day Farvolden Research Symposium, please see our symposium event page with schedule, speakers and registration details.
Our business, the business of water, is undergoing a steady- and some areas rapid evolution from being one of measurement and exploitation to currently one that recognizes a linked hydrological cycle involving the management of integrated energy and resource systems, to one of resource management and ultimately resource protection, recovery and an expanded hydrological cycle. Change happens first in disciplines and geographies where the stress, risks, costs, and the resulting benefits of finding solutions are highest. The results of positive change are in play already, primarily at a local scale but becoming necessary in a broader geographical and technical context as our environment is degraded. Our tools as hydrogeologists and water resource engineers have evolved from observational to reactive to predictive to protective. As a hydrogeologist, I am proud that our profession has embraced and advanced this progression. A similar phenomenon is occurring throughout the so called water industry(s) and involves new and different methods of analysing data, processes and employing technology. We are using new terms and that refer to “special use water, the beneficial reuse of water, water footprint reduction, industrial and municipal operational expense (opex) reduction and resource recovery”. I will explore the significance of these changes by considering the classic case of municipal water treatment. This 100 year plus process consumes and inordinate amount of energy (2 to 4% of the worlds energy), uses expensive chemistry generating obnoxious by-products and produces a relatively substandard discharge product below reuse quality standards. With new treatment strategies, this could be a “net energy zero” or even energy positive process with other benefits. This alternative approach will be discussed in detail with an emphasis on the environmental and economic benefits. Specific relevance to subsequent water reuse opportunities related to groundwater challenges will also be presented. In this business we may end up solving big problems on a foundation of solutions provided by the solution of small local ones first.
Roger M. Woeller, M.Sc., FGAC, P.Geo.
Chief Executive Officer and Hydrogeologist
Roger is an entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience in the environmental science industry, and led the development of the WESA Group of Companies as CEO from 2001 to 2012. During his career, he has provided leadership that contributed and drove steady growth, through the identification of new service areas, the development of new markets, and the promotion of innovative thinking throughout the company. He returned as CEO of the public company entity BluMetric Environmental Inc (TSX-V BLM) in 2014. BluMetric was the result of a merger of the WGI private company and a public entity in 2014. Since that time he has built and led a team of dedicated professionals in establishing the firm as a profitable and rewarding place to work with a strong sense of environmental responsibility.
In his career, Roger has worked both domestically and abroad as a senior in technical and management positions which in many ways defined the roles of engineers and scientists in developing environmental consulting with a predominant focus on water. This focus has broadened from primarily groundwater resource identification, development and protection work to a more inclusive view of water resources which included surface water, water wastewater treatment, beneficial water reuse, resource recovery, and related and supporting business interests in OH&S, drone technology and bathymetric data collection and energy. As CEO of BluMetric, Roger currently focuses primarily on the development of the business and its people by identifying and acting on opportunities for growth through acquisitions and the exploitation of new markets and technologies.
About the Farvolden Lecture Series and Symposium
The Farvolden Lecture Series, hosted by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, was initiated in 1996 as an annual celebration in honour of Dr. Robert N. Farvolden (photo). The Lecture Series fosters interaction and communication between the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the alumni of the hydrogeology program and the groundwater community at large. We welcome you to learn more about supporting the lecture series and the Farvolden Scholarship.
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1