The University of Waterloo has state-of-the-art research facilities that support water-related investigations and discoveries.

Water quality

  • Environmental particle analysis: XRF, XRD, SEM-EDX, NIR, microwave digestion

  • Geomicrobiology: epiflorescence, q-PCR, DGGE, micro-respiration, retentostats
  • Natural organic matter characterization: LC-OCD, FEEM spectrophotometer
  • Trace and emerging organic contaminants: LC-MS, GC-MSD, HPLC electrospray triple quadrapole MS, IC electrospray triple quadruple MS, GC chemical ionization single quadrapole MS

  • Trace metals: large clean lab, MC-ICP-MS, triple quadrapole ICP-Ms, Photon Machines Analyte G2 excimer laser ablation system



  • DNA: biomolecule (DNA and RNA) isolation purification and analysis, combinatorial DNA selection
  • Fish assays: genetic and diagnostic assays of fish health (unique in the world)
  • Imaging system: world’s highest resolution, largest field of view imaging-based monitoring system for detecting and automatically enumerating different types of pathogens


  • Big data: cluster-based modelling infrastructure (parallel processing), automated data retrieval, and preliminary analysis of large data sets (big data analysis capacity)
  • Fluid dynamics: largest computational fluid dynamics infrastructure and software in Canada
  • Simulation modelling: large capacity for simulation modelling of flow and transport processes in groundwater and surface waters

Water treatment

  • Drinking water: pilot plant with conventional water treatment technologies
  • Membrane technology: advanced composite membrane casting, characterization of membrane structure, lab- and pilot-scale membrane filtration systems
  • Wastewater: pilot-scale wastewater technology testing facility

Research platforms and field facilities

  • Alder Creek: sub-watershed of the Grand River, intensively instrumented including real-time data management systems
  • CFB Borden: field facility for the development and testing of concepts and technologies in contaminant hydrology
  • Hydrometeorology: network of 12 comprehensive hydrometeorological flux stations across Canada
  • Several departments focus on field research. Collectively we have an extensive set of equipment for water, biological, and ecological monitoring and sample collection. This includes a Geoprobe drill rig in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.