Second Sino-Canada Water Environment Workshop leads to further collaboration between Water Institute and CRAES

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

In late September, a delegation of 12 researchers from the Water Institute participated in the second Sino-Canadian Water Environment Workshop in Waterloo with officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES).

The first workshop, which took place in Hangzhou, China in May 2015, resulted in the adoption of the 2015-2017 China-Canada Bilateral Workplan which identified CRAES and the Water Institute as respective Chinese and Canadian lead contact agencies under the water management theme.

Since 2014, the two organizations have convened several workshops to identify common areas of research interest. Particularly, they have focused on interdisciplinary opportunities where the fields of water science, engineering, economics and governance could play a combined role in addressing priority water issues.

delegates sitting around table at CRAES workshop
Showcasing the interdisciplinary research within the Water Institute, and identifying collaboration opportunities between CRAES and Water Institute, was a key component to the September workshop. Each of the 12 participating researchers from Waterloo addressed challenges in the water sector and demonstrated how their research is helping to solve these wicked water problems, while highlighting opportunities for collaboration with CRAES researchers.

Professor Michael Tam presenting at CAES workshop

Merrin Macrae, associate professor in Waterloo’s Department of Geography and Environmental Management, spoke about improving water quality in agricultural watersheds in the Great Lakes region with best management practices. Michael Tam, professor in Waterloo’s Department of Chemical Engineering, presented his research on developing novel sustainable nanomaterials for advanced engineering applications such as water treatment. Professor Mark Servos from Waterloo’s Department of Biology, discussed the impact of major wastewater treatment infrastructure upgrades on surface waters, and Economics Professor, Roy Brouwer, presented his research on cost-effective management and treatment of persistent and bioaccumulative substances.

CRAES and Water Institute members gathered outside classroom

The workshop closed with both organizations committed to continuing collaboration, finding specific opportunities for Water Institute and CRAES researchers to work together, and encouraging graduate student exchanges.


CRAES is China’s largest environmental research organization. They carry out innovative, scientific research on environmental protection with a focus on sustainable development at the core of its research. The organization has seven main areas of focus: atmospheric environment; cleaner production and circular economy; water environment; ecological environment; solid waste management and disposal; environmental safety; and climate change.

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