USask leading Canadian freshwater monitoring system

USask is leading an initiative to monitor freshwater systems across Canada. Global News/ Ethan Butterfield

The University of Saskatchewan is spearheading a nationwide system with other Canadian universities to monitor Canada’s freshwater systems and have an early warning detection system in place.

The Global Water Futures Observatories is a network of observation and monitoring stations across the country that covers 64 basins, lakes, rivers and wetlands, 15 measurement systems and 18 water labs.

“USask experts have set a precedent of being the best in Canada when it comes to water research. We look forward to seeing the endeavours of our water researchers with the support of Global Water Futures Observatories (GWFO) resources as they continue to find creative ways for better use of water resources to serve Saskatchewan and Canada’s growing population and economic enterprise, and be what the world needs in this vital field,” said Baljit Singh, vice-president of research at USask.

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Peter Stoicheff Shaping Saskatchewan

The university said this system will help inform models and policy decisions around water security and sustainability and support Canadians looking for solutions to water issues regarding climate change, sustainable management of water, energy, agriculture and ecosystem conservation.

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“The security and sustainability of our water resources is an increasingly important discussion, given changes we are experiencing, particularly in water extremes. The GWFO allows us to have critical, consistent data to inform how we protect and manage those resources,” said Corinne Schuster-Wallace, director for the Global Institute for Water Security.

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This initiative received $15 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiative in 2022.

Monitoring sites for the GWFO are placed in remote and populated areas, from the Great Lakes to mountaintops and glaciers.

“The funding provided to GWFO shows our government recognizes the importance of critical and informed research into our water resources. The ongoing efforts of those running GWFO facilities, or using its data, will play a key role in determining the security and sustainability of Canada’s freshwater,” John Pomeroy, director of GWFO said.

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