Queen's University

New watershed initiative supports Canada's water supply


The RBC Queen’s University Water Initiative, led by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science's Department of Civil Engineering, aims at raising awareness of the impact of industrial development and agriculture on watershed health and water supplies.

“Protecting the water supply is key for maintaining healthy populations,” says civil engineering researcher Kent Novakowski. “The more people who are aware of water protection issues the more help we have in safeguarding water supplies in Canada and around the world.”

The 10-year water initiative is bringing researchers and industry partners together to expand research, and provide hands-on learning experiences for graduate and undergraduate students, in a world-class research and teaching environment.

Students across multiple disciplines, including engineering, health sciences and arts and science will study the physical, ecological, policy, economic and health issues associated with watersheds, and consult with industry clients in the region to help them better manage water use.

In addition, conservation groups and students from local elementary and high schools have opportunities for experiencing the watershed process at the 135-acre Kennedy Field Station, and learning how they can protect our fresh water supplies for the future.

“It is important that the community be part of this new initiative,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “Outreach through industry-student partnerships will help us close the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills.” 

Researchers will also monitor storm activity on the Salmon River watershed, and collect and analyze impact data, as part of the water initiative, making this the most documented river in North America. The resulting data archive will provide an important tool for researchers across Canada and the world.

RBC has donated $2 million to the RBC Queen’s University Water Initiative as part of their Blue Water Project, which is committed to supporting organizations involved in watershed protection.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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