About GWFO

The Global Water Futures Observatories (GWFO) is a unique national network of freshwater observatories that enables the timely detection, monitoring, and analysis of hydrological, water quality, and ecological changes across Canada. This network supports world-leading research into adaptive strategies to protect our vital freshwater resources against threats, including those resulting from climate change, urbanization, overuse, emerging contaminants, and ecological shifts. GWFO provides access to a wide range of experimental field sites that are strategically lnked to local laboratories and deployable instrumentation.

GWFO is a partnership between the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Waterloo, McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Windsor, Trent University, Carleton University, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Toronto.

GWFO’s Principles of Operation

  • Facilitate access to well-researched field sites and the existing monitoring data in Canadian river systems, groundwaters, lakes, wetlands, reservoirs and other engineered aquatic ecosystems in rural and urban landscapes.
  • Contribute to a critical baseline of water data to the benefit of multiple end-users and communities.
  • Support the collection and analysis of new data that inform adaptive management of Canada’s water systems.
  • Adhere to the principles of open access.

On this website, you will find information about the University of Waterloo GWFO sites, the associated field and lab equipment available, the analytical services offered, as well as access to request services from these facilities under a fee-for-service model.     

For detailed information about the sites and facilities maintained by the other GWFO partner institutions, please see the Global Water Futures Observatories (GWFO) main website.