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About the Water Institute

The sustainable use and management of the world’s fragile water resources has emerged as one of our greatest challenges. The University of Waterloo has been actively involved in water-related research throughout its history. In fact, since its inception in 1957, Waterloo has systematically fostered a highly diversified water research capacity in topics that cross faculty boundaries campus wide. Over the more than five decades of growth, Waterloo has emerged as an internationally recognized research institution known for excellence in a diversity of water-related areas, including surface and groundwater hydrology, mathematical modeling, drinking water and wastewater treatment, ecohydrology, aquatic ecology and toxicology, and water management and governance.

Recognizing the collective excellence of Waterloo's water research programs, the Water Institute was officially formed in 2009 to coordinate and support the extensive group of university researchers, staff, students, and partners working in water science, water engineering, water governance and water economics,  and to bring them together within a single institutional setting. Today, more than 150 faculty members from all six Waterloo faculties and 19 departments are members of the Water Institute, providing innovative and interdisciplinary expertise in research, education, training and technology development.


To be a global leader that substantially advances the sustainable use and management of water for the benefit of the environment, economy and society.


To facilitate collaboration, support excellence and promote innovation in interdisciplinary research and education, and to promote knowledge exchange in addressing complex water challenges.

Strategic goals

  1. Promote and support relevant, collaborative, interdisciplinary water research.
  2. Strengthen global networks and partnerships with leading water organizations and researchers.
  3. Promote interdisciplinary perspectives in water-related education.
  4. Strengthen the capacity of water resources professionals.

Annual report

Roy Brouwer

Executive director of the Water Institute

Roy Brouwer is an eminent water economist with primary research interests in the economic valuation and modelling of water resources, and the design and evaluation of policy instruments to support sustainable water management.