FedDev Ontario has announced a contribution of nearly $20 million to help fund the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) through the Ontario Technology Development Program. The University of Waterloo, along with several other universities, is partnering under the SOWC to establish a system to integrate the development, testing, and demonstration for new water technologies. With strategic partners located along the Grand River and adjacent watersheds, this initiative has the goal of assisting water technology companies in southern Ontario with testing their products at the watershed level.
IBM Canada Limited is also providing $20 million to establish the electronic data management system for the real-time collection andarchiving of data, supporting watershed management, drinking and wastewater, ecotoxicology, and analytical technologies development.
Many communities across southern Ontario will have permanent components of the project, such as the City of London Wastewater Facility Site, sensor development facilities at McMaster University, and computer equipment and data analysis at the University of Toronto. Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto will establish mobile field facilities for eco-toxicology measurement and drinking water treatment, respectively.
“This collaboration of water technology expertise is a unique network and tremendous asset to the region,” said D. George Dixon, vice-president, university research and professor of biology at the University of Waterloo. “The Southern Ontario Water Consortium will provide enormous benefits to the environment, the economy and Canadians overall.”
FedDev Ontario’s funding will assist with the purchase and installation of equipment for setting up the testing and demonstration technology. The components for this project include locations in London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and the Toronto area.