May 9, 2005

Ottawa renews funds for national Water Network

The Canadian Water Network (CWN) will receive $3.7 million per year for the next three years through Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). The renewed funding will continue to support research addressing critical water supply and safety issues.

"Access to safe drinking water is a critical issue worldwide, and Canada can play a significant role in helping to develop sustainable water management strategies," said federal Industry Minister David Emerson, who has responsibility for the NCE. "By mobilizing the best research talent at universities across the country, the Canadian Water Network helps find practical solutions to this global issue, and contributes to a healthier and safer environment for everyone."

Created in 2001, the Canadian Water Network is hosted at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. The CWN has collaborated with universities, governments and industry to initiate a variety of leading scientific projects and initiatives addressing key water-related issues facing Canadians.

Led by scientific director Mark Servos, holder of a Canada Research Chair in water quality protection, the CWN provides funding for 21 projects being conducted by 116 eminent researchers based at 31 Canadian universities. More than 200 research students are also involved in these projects.

Building on this excellence, the CWN is creating an integrated national "innovation knowledge network" incorporating strong multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral partnerships.

At the same time, the CWN has awarded two University of British Columbia researchers two years of funding for their project titled "Options and Innovations for Non-point Sources of Pollution Prevention and Water Resources Management in the Lower Fraser Valley." Watershed management experts Dr Hans Schreier and Dr Ken Hall, of UBC's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, aim to examine pollutants from intensive land use activities around the lower Fraser valley and examine the effects on human and aquatic health.

"We...will work with our students, municipalities and Fraser River partners to address many of the water management challenges affecting the area, such as increased urbanization, groundwater and surface water contamination, and agricultural intensification," said Dr Hall.

More information is available from David Cotter of the CWN, 519/888-4567, ext 7709, or on the CWN Web site, www.cwn-rce.ca.

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