Innovation Anthology

Alberta Innovates Announces New Support For Water Research



Calgary, AB - Alberta Innovates (AI) has announced announced $6.9 million in funding for 18 new projects to support its Water Innovation Program. This program helps AIs partners achieve their goals and the Government of Alberta deliver on the goals of its Water for Life Strategy.

 "The demands on Alberta's water system are increasing," says Pam Valentine, Transition CEO, Alberta Innovates. "Population growth is expected to double by 2050, and we are predicting increasing water use demands. At the same time, climate-change and resource development will impact the health of Alberta's aquatic ecosystems. Alberta Innovates is proud to partner in the delivery of solutions for Alberta to meet these challenges head-on."

The Water Innovation Program is a key mechanism for leveraging the world-class research and innovation capacity in Alberta and Canada, and for building the knowledge and tools that support sustainable water resources management.

This investment in water research and innovation is a result of a six-year $25 million grant from Alberta Economic Development and Trade to Alberta Innovates.

"This Alberta Innovates program supports partnerships that drive innovation in Alberta," says Deron Bilous, Minster of Economic Development and Trade. "Excellence in water research and innovation will ensure modern, safe and responsive water systems for our province."

The approved projects include:
- $3.1 million for seven projects in the area Future Water Supply and Watershed Management
- $2 million for five projects related to Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems
- $1.2 million for three projects on Water Use Conservation, Efficiency, and Productivity
- $600,000 for three projects on Water Quality Protection.  

"We need to be talking about the adaptability of our water management systems to sustain our watersheds and water dependent economy," says Dr. Kim Sturgess, CEO, Alberta WaterSMART and funding recipient. "Alberta Innovates' funding has allowed us to introduce and use an innovative approach to collaborative water management that draws on the expertise and knowledge resident in the basins to put forward practical and implementable roadmaps for sustainable water management."

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Approved for Funding:

- University of Alberta -  Water supply and watershed management in Alberta - source-to-tap practices:  $748,854
- University of Calgary - Reducing uncertainty in GW availability & its sensitivity to land-use and climate variability: $454,250
- University of Calgary - Oil-Sands Produced Water Treatment by Electrocoagulation:  $311,650
- University of Alberta - Rapid multi-parameter assessment of natural recreational waters in Alberta:  $215,625
- University of Waterloo - Wetland Ecosystem Functions-Drivers Evaluation and Management Implications:  $426,000
- University of Alberta - Seasonal Operational Model for Water Management within Irrigation Districts:  $248,300
- University of Alberta - Evaluating Microbial Risks Associated with Stormwater Management and Reuse in AB:  $750,000
- University of Saskatchewan - Rocky Mountain Water Supply Resilience and Vulnerability Evaluation:  $550,000
- University of Lethbridge - Expanding Functional Flows - Floods, Floodplains and Groundwater:  $360,000
- University of Lethbridge - The Castle Watershed-a sentinel system at the crown of the continent:  $340,000
- Eastern Irrigation District - Method for potash application to irrigation pipelines for the control of invasive mussels:  $100,000
- University of New Brunswick - Development of next generation of wet areas mapping model for NE AB:   $225,000
- University of Calgary - Geochemical Resource Characterization of Alberta Groundwater:  $400,000
- Water Quality Branch (AAF) with University of Alberta - Nutrient Objectives for Small Streams in Agricultural Watersheds of Alberta:  $400,000
- Alberta WaterSMART - Sustainable Water Management in the Athabasca River Basin Project Phase 3:  $750,000
- Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Atmospheric deposition and farming practices leading to GW contamination:  $181,000
- University of Alberta - Adapting to Changing Water in Alberta:  $350,000
- Land Stewardship Centre - Septic Sense:  $50,000

Total:  $6,860,679

About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates will deliver 21st century solutions to the most compelling challenges faced by Albertans. Building on our province's strengths in environment, energy, health, food, fibre, and enabling technology sectors, we will work with our partners to diversify our economy, improve environmental performance and enhance our well-being. Alberta Innovates delivers cross-sectoral support and leadership that Alberta's world-class researchers, entrepreneurs and industry innovators need to be globally competitive. Services, tools, expertise, partnerships and funding from Alberta Innovates supports research and innovation activity, from discovery to application, with a focus on accelerating outcomes for Albertans. Find out more at  

About The Water for Life Strategy
The Water for Life Strategy aims to provide safe, secure drinking water; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy. The new projects will enhance the scientific understanding and development of best practices for managing water security, watershed stewardship and ecosystem management. Water use efficiency and productivity projects in the municipal, agriculture and industry sectors will lead to improved water conservation. Water quality protection will be enhanced through projects that provide a better understanding of the sources and pathways of contaminants in groundwater and surface water and approaches to minimize or mitigate the effects of contaminants. Broadly, the investments are designed to address these wide ranging challenges which span many key issues and sectors across the province.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Michelle Gurney
Acting Executive Director, Communications
Alberta Innovates

Bruce Marpole
Alberta Innovates

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