Howard Wheater, University of Saskatchewan
My name is Howard Wheater and I'm the newly appointed CERC Chair in Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan. My aim is to do world-class research but research that makes a difference. And we have the challenge in water security of a set of issues, which actually affect everybody.
There are real stresses throughout the world, but there are also a whole range of important issues that affect Canada and Western Canada in particular. So we'll be looking at several of those. So one area is natural resource development, the issues of mining, of oil sands, the water needs, the wastes that are generated, the need for remediation, pollution control.
A second area is looking at the issue of land and its interaction with water and particularly nutrients and the associated water quality issues that arise, for example, from human sewage and agricultural pollution.
And then finally, I guess the big one is climate change and its affect on water resources. So Canada is really at the forefront of global warming and all around us the environment is changing. Glaciers are retreating in the Rocky Mountains, permafrost is thawing. Really dramatic and quite rapid changes.
You know, with the additional funding available from the CERC Chair, then, I think we can really make some powerful new developments in the science and technology that we need to address issues of water security.
In addition, we have outstanding leadership in the university who have taken water as an issue and seen the challenge both in Canada and globally, and been prepared to lead and invest in the area.