The University of Manitoba has received a Government of Canada investment through the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to support the CREATE H2O initiative, a program to educate young researchers and engineers about wastewater treatment, chemical contaminants in drinking water, and the protection of watersheds. Students will collaborate with environmental consulting firms and tribal councils to improve water and wastewater infrastructure and water management in northern and remote communities, including First Nations reserves.

University of Manitoba. Photo: Sancho McCann

CREATE H2O is a part of NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience program, which supports the training of qualified students and postdoctoral fellows to address scientific challenges in line with Canada’s research priorities.

The University of Manitoba project aims to address research science and training gaps that are preventing appropriate investments in water and sanitation security in First Nations communities. The program will combine technical water and wastewater training with Indigenous theory, law, and methodological skills training. Trainee research projects will focus on current and alternative systems for domestic water and wastewater treatment; pathogens and contaminants in drinking and source water; risk assessment and protection planning for watersheds; and improving the scientific basis for water and wastewater regulations.

The University of Manitoba investment, announced August 12, is part of more than $24 million in funding for 15 initiatives through the CREATE Program over six years.

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