Clean water technology investment to benefit southern Ontario

The government of Canada announced its investment in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, a new partnership that will develop, test, and pilot market-driven water technologies in the London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and Toronto areas...

TORONTO, ON, Canada, Aug. 23, 2011 -- The government of Canada announced its investment in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, a new partnership that will develop, test, and pilot market-driven water technologies in the London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and Toronto areas.

The investment, made by FedDev Ontario, is providing the Consortium with a non-repayable contribution of up to CAD$19,580,000. It will go toward the purchase and installation of equipment related to setting up the water system components.

The initiative will allow southern Ontario water-related technology companies to test their innovations on a watershed-level platform to allow them to compete in a global marketplace. It is anticipated that this project will lead to the creation of many high quality jobs, resulting from the expansion of current water companies, the creation of new companies, the attraction of companies from outside the region, and the expansion of public sector jobs in the water industry.

Ontario has become a leader in advancing water technology in Canada. At the recent Ontario Global Water Leadership Summit, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Glen Murray said, "Ontario is the North American water capital thanks to the presence of world-class water technology researchers and entrepreneurs and a growing partnership with global leaders in water innovation."

This new regional partnership will help to advance water-related technologies associated with the following key areas:

• watershed management, to better handle groundwater and all forms of run-off into the watershed, reducing threats to water purity and usage;
• drinking water and wastewater treatment, to enable more effective use and reuse;
• ecotoxicology, to detect new and emerging contaminants in the water supply; and
• analytical technologies, to develop sensors, data collection, analysis, processing, management and dissemination of water-related research.

The project is divided into various permanent and mobile components, as well as research expertise spanning across southern Ontario:

• Municipal Flow Scale Wastewater Treatment Facilities for Compliance Testing and demonstration, at the City of London Wastewater Facility Site
• Mobile Field Facilities for Eco-toxicological Measurement, led by Wilfrid Laurier University
• Mobile Field Facilities for Drinking Water Treatment, led by the University of Toronto
• Field Monitoring Facilities, along the Grand River and Mimico Creek Watersheds
• Sensor Development Facilities, at McMaster University
• Computer Equipment and Data Analysis, at the University of Toronto
• Bed Rock Testing, in Guelph
• Wastewater Treatment Facilities for Nascent Technologies, at the City of Guelph Wastewater Treatment Plant
• Groundwater Facilities, at the Canadian Forces Base in Borden
• Analytical Facilities for Drinking Water and Field Collected Samples, at the University of Waterloo

A Board of Directors for the Water Consortium will help to oversee the building and testing of the system and its ongoing operations, with representatives from eight private sector companies; six participating universities; and the Toronto Region Research Alliance (TRRA). In addition, Ryerson University, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, together with more than 60 companies and a number of municipalities throughout southern Ontario are active in the Water Consortium.

IBM Canada Limited is the major private sector partner in this project, providing a contribution valued at $20,068,233 to establish the electronic data system that allows for the real-time streaming, exchange and archiving of data among users.

For more information, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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