The Water Initiative is focused
on three research areas: developing
and assessing new approaches to
water treatment in Alberta’s resource
industry, forecasting and assessing
the effects of climate change on
Alberta’s future water supply, and
developing new water treatment and
monitoring technologies for rural
Alberta is a perfect place to do
this research because almost all of
the water issues facing the world
are found here, including a lowered
water supply, competition for water
among users, the need for better
water services for rural and remote
regions, and recreational water
quality. Sharing what we learn with
the rest of the world creates a great
win-win situation and will make
Alberta an international leader in
One of the high-profile problem-
solvers Alberta has recruited to
work on water is Dr. Nick Ashbolt.
As the translational chair in Water,
Ashbolt will receive $4.2-million
in funding over seven years from
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions.
A professor in the School of Public
Ashbolt is part of a province-wide
research effort to improve the way
our water supplies are used and
managed. The goal is to turn
research results into action.
Ashbolt’s team is exploring water
treatment technologies. He says that
our current system—treating water
in the same way for all uses and then
putting 95 per cent of it back in the
sewer—is unsustainable. Even in
water-rich Alberta, we won’t have
enough water to keep doing this.
“We need to rethink our current
centralized water service,” says
Ashbolt. “Less than 20 per cent of the
We need to rethink our
current centralized water service
Water conservation begins at home
The best place to start conserving water is in your bathroom, where you use
65 per cent of your total household water. You can:
what old toilets use.
Energy efficient washing machines and dishwashers typically use less water than standard
appliances when washing a full load.
Be water-wise outside too. It’s easy to overwater. Experts say most lawns and gardens only need
about 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) of water per week.
For more water conservation tips, visit onesimpleact.alberta.ca and click
on Simple Solutions.