University of Waterloo researchers lead impactful projects on climate change

Friday, June 9, 2017

Image of a Canadian lake.Climate change is significantly impacting Canada’s water resources. From melting permafrost, to more pervasive algal blooms, to increased flooding, these impacts are only expected to increase in the future.

Three professors from the University of Waterloo have been awarded more than $3.5 million to develop new, innovative technologies and to deliver new management approaches to enhance the resilience and adaptive capacity of Canada’s water resources in the face of climate change.

“Each of these projects brings together a team of researchers from various disciplines, and from multiple institutions,” said Philippe Van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology. “The Global Water Futures program will transform water management in Canada, and it’s very exciting that the University of Waterloo is involved.”

Professor Nandita Basu from the Faculties of Science and Engineering is the principal investigator on a project that focuses on the causes, impacts and mitigation of various pressures affecting water quality in the Great Lakes. By creating models, determining indicators and measuring the vulnerability of the lake ecosystem, she and her team will deliver long-term management tools and strategies that account for changing climate and land use.

The other projects involve Professor Claude Duguay from the Faculty of Environment, who is leading a project to develop, test and implement a “Big Data” platform for managing various water issues affecting cold regions. Professor Merrin Macrae, also from the Faculty of Environment, will evaluate water availability, use and quality in the agricultural sector. 

The projects make up three of the 11 projects receiving funding from the Global Water Futures initiative – the largest university-led water research program ever funded worldwide.

Professors Basu, Duguay and Macrae are all members of the Water Institute. A total of 40 Water Institute members from 10 different departments, including Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biology are involved so far as co-investigators on Global Water Futures projects.

For more information, visit Waterloo's Global Water Futures website.