Alberta water management and protection benefits from $6.9M investment

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.

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CALGARY, ALBERTA, NOVEMBER 30, 2016 -- Alberta Innovates (AI) has announced $6.9 million in funding for 18 new projects to support their 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, Minister 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."

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 www.albertainnovates.ca.

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.

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