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University of Toronto researchers will benefit from a $19.58 million investment in water technologies announced today by FedDev Ontario, an agency created in 2009 as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Peter Kent, Canada’s minister of environment, was on campus to announce funding to the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, an alliance of universities, companies, municipalities and non-profit organizations working to develop, test and pilot water technologies.

U of T researchers participating in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium include:

  • Robert Andrews, Susan Andrews and Ron Hofmann of civil engineering, who comprise the Drinking Water Research Group;
  • Vanessa Allen of laboratory medicine and pathobiology;
  • Miriam Diamond of geography and chemical engineering and applied chemistry;
  • Eric Miller of civil engineering; and,
  • Brent Sleep of civil engineering.

The funding will allow the Southern Ontario Water Consortium to build an integrated system for the development, testing and demonstration of new market-driven water technologies and services, primarily along the Grand River and adjacent watersheds.

“Our government is committed to supporting innovative projects, to ensure that businesses and communities in Southern Ontario can continue to grow now and in the future,” said Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario, who made a simultaneous announcement of the project at the 2011 Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference. He noted that the project was also expected to create jobs throughout the region.

“The quality, safety and viability of water is one of the vital issues facing global society today,” said Professor Peter Lewis, U of T’s Associate Vice-President (Research). “U of T is proud to be collaborating with so many other organizations to ensure that people in Southern Ontario and around the world continue to enjoy access to safe, clean water. Thank you to the Government of Canada for their investment in this important work.”

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