This Open Science Meeting provides the opportunity to come together to share, learn, plan and celebrate our achievements, building on the progress and momentum that was shown at our past science meetings in Hamilton and Saskatoon.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation across Canada and the world, the GWF Annual Open Science Meeting (GWF2020) scheduled for 11-13 May, 2020 in Waterloo will unfortunately not take place.

Instead, GWF2020 will be held this year in an alternative virtual format including a published compendium of abstracts, an online poster session, and an online policy panel discussion.


Virtual Events

Virtual Poster Session

We will be holding an online poster session to accompany the published abstracts selected. The session will take place in June, but you can view the submissions so far by heading to the virtual gallery below!

Create a great virtual poster

To help GWF HQP create great virtual posters for the online poster session, the GWF KM Team has pulled together a number of helpful resources and is hosting a virtual drop-in webinar to provide input on draft content. Click below or scroll down to view available resources!

National Water Policy Panel Discussion

How can a Canada Water Agency Deliver Water Security for Canadians?

The virtual GWF2020 kicked off with an online National Water Policy Panel discussion event on May 13th. You can click below to view information about the event, a recording of it, and supplementary documents and links.


We would like to thank everyone for their submission of an abstract for an oral or poster presentation – we received close to 350 abstracts this year! The abstracts were reviewed and authors have been notified of their acceptance and are invited to take part in a virtual poster session taking place in June, 2020.

The GWF2020 abstracts are now available as a Compendium of Abstracts sorted according to the meeting’s themes. 


The meeting's five themes provide the context for the overall program and encourage interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogue and research co-creation. The themes are underpinned by cross-cutting challenges and opportunities that further emphasize solutions across sectors and stakeholders.

The meeting's themes are:

1. Climate-driven changes of water environments in cold regions

This theme will examine how climate change will shape future water security in cold regions. Addressing the projected changes in hydrology, biogeochemical cycles and ecological functions, this theme will explore the cascading impacts of climate change in cold environments and propose adaptive and integrated management solutions.

2. From anthropogenic pressures to ecosystem services

This theme will examine the complex interactions between human activities and ecosystem services. Addressing a range of interconnected issues related to anthropogenic disturbances of water environments, this theme will explore the impacts on the state and function of aquatic ecosystems, and the responses required to safeguard and restore the services they provide.

3. Turning research into policy and management solutions

This theme will explore options for translating water research, from the natural, social and health sciences, into concrete and relevant policy and management solutions. Addressing how to effectively respond to water risks and adapt in the face of uncertainty, this theme will examine how adopting new or improved practices and tools enhances evidence-based policy and decision-making.

4. Innovations in water science and technology

This theme will examine advances in water science and technology and the challenges facing knowledge mobilization and technology transfer. Addressing the increased need for and access to data-supported information and advanced analytics, this theme will explore innovations in the collection and use of environmental data and the potential to revolutionize decision-making for water management.

5. Knowledge co-creation with Indigenous communities

This theme will examine the role of Indigenous co-led and co-produced research in shaping a shared water future. Addressing the need for inclusive solutions and policies that reflect different knowledge systems, this theme will explore co-created research, the co-learning of different knowledges, and the experience of different communities working together towards shared water management solutions.

The themes are supported by the following cross-cutting challenges and opportunities:

  1. Transferable knowledge and tools

  2. Predictive modelling and forecasting

  3. (Big) data science and management

  4. Social, economic and health determinants and impacts

  5. Stakeholder engagement and knowledge mobilization

Create a Great Virtual Poster

To help create great virtual posters for the online poster session, the GWF KM Team has pulled together a number of helpful resources:

Virtual Drop-In

We are also inviting you to participate in a Live Q&A virtual drop-in on Thursday, June 11 at 12 pm CT (2 pm ET) hosted by Nancy Goucher and Stephanie Merrill of the GWF Knowledge Mobilization Team. This will be your chance to:

  • Get real-time input on your draft content and/or poster (through the screenshare function)
  • Get inspiration from your peers by seeing how they intend to present their science message

If you would like to attend the virtual drop-in, please click below.