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Research Partners

Environment Canada

Environment Canada’s number one priority is to protect the environment while maintaining Canada’s natural heritage. The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) is identified as the largest freshwater research assembly in Canada. NWRI works in collaboration with other government departments, governments, universities and research organizations. Close to 400 professionals from the scientific and technical fields work together to conduct scientific studies and research programs. Their efforts give us an approach to water-related issues and scientific knowledge needed to create a sustainable environment full of natural resources and freshwater ecosystems for Canada. Some NWRI research includes the affects of nutrients and contaminants on surface and ground waters caused by agriculture. NWRI is also researching toxic algae and how it affects the water ecosystems of the Great Lakes. NWRI is apart of the water monitoring programs, which were created to measure physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water quality. These programs will show if the maximum limits of harmful contaminants are exceeded.

Water is one of Canada’s greatest natural resources; this is why the Government of Canada is working to restore polluted waters back to their unaffected states. Over four years Environment Canada has invested $17.7 million into the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative. The initiative focuses on five goals, which include reducing blue-green algae blooms, restoring the ecological stability of Lake Winnipeg and to maintain a sustainable fishery. To achieve these goals, Environment Canada and partners are using scientific research, community stewardship programs, and collaboration on watershed governance.

RAISON software, developed in the 1980s by Environment Canada, is as an environmental information decision support system. The user-friendly computer system has an integrated database, spreadsheet, models, GIS and expert systems. The software is designed for scientists and decision-makers; to help analyze, synthesize and predict environmental factors in a timely fashion. The RAISON system can be applied to many environmental problems, taking into account that environmental issues generally have many different factors to them. The problem could involve a combination of physical, chemical and ecological sciences in a variety of ecological forms (water, soil, air, etc).

The Stewardship Fund has committed over $1.2 million into 15 community projects to reduce pollutants, restore ecological balance and to prevent damaging elements, such as phosphorous and nitrogen, from entering the lake.