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Water Institute signs Memorandum of Understanding with CRAES to advance research in water management

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yesterday, Waterloo’s Water Institute and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU formalizes the commitment to continue collaboration between China’s largest environmental research institute and the Water Institute in water management research, education and training.

 “This agreement brings two world-class institutions together to advance water research,” said Professor Roy Brouwer, executive director, the Water Institute. “Our researchers and students will work together to help solve wicked water problems for the benefit of both countries.” 

signing MOU

Waterloo Vice-President Academic & Provost, George Dixon and CRAES Vice President, SHU Jianmin signing the MOU. 

In 2013, the Water Institute was introduced to CRAES by Environment and Climate Change Canada under the auspices of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Environmental Co-operation (JCEC). The JCEC was established as the key collaborative mechanism under the Canada-China Environment Action Plan signed in 1999. 

George Dickson and SHU

Waterloo Vice-President Academic & Provost, George Dixon and CRAES Vice President, SHU Jianmin. 

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 water priority issues.

“This is a valued partnership of two organizations that pursue excellence in teaching and research in the water sector,” said Brouwer. “We both seek out innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to global water challenges that have the potential to impact local environmental conditions and livelihoods and sustain water use and availability into the future.”

CRAES and WI members

From left to right: YANG Suwen, professor; Fereidoun Rezanezhad, professor and Water Institute member Kevin Boehmer, managing director of the Water Institute; Roy Brouwer, professor and executive director of the Water Institute; SHU Jianmin, professor and vice president of Brouwer, professor and executive director of the Water Institute; SHU Jianmin, professor and vice president of CRAES; LEI Kun, professor; Mark Servos, professor and Water Institute member; LIU Kexin, engineer; Su Jing, professor; JIA Xiobo, engineer.

In May 2015, a delegation of 10 researchers from the Water Institute participated in the first Sino-Canadian Water Environment Workshop in Hangzhou, China with officials from Environment and Climate Change Canada and CRAES. After this meeting, Canada and China adopted 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. The Water Institute was the only non-governmental organization identified as a lead contact in the workplan. The second workplan. The second Sino-Canadian Water Environment Workshop is tentatively scheduled for September 2017, in Ottawa.


CRAES was founded in 1978 and is affiliated with China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection. It is the largest and most comprehensive national non-profit institution conducting environmental research in China, with over 1000 staff members.

CRAES carries 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.