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Laurier researchers receive funding for water network


October 25, 2013
By Administrator

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Oct. 25, Waterloo, ON – Wilfrid Laurier University researcher William Quinton has received $150,000 in funding from the Canadian Water Network (CWN) to create the Water Knowledge Application Network (WatKAN).

Over the past three years Quinton, a Canada research chair in cold regions hydrology, has been working with collaborators to map the change in the permafrost and to develop computer models that will help predict permafrost distribution and river flow.

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WatKAN will focus on two-way knowledge transfer between producers and users working together to solve watershed management challenges arising from permafrost thaw.
The project will build on earlier research projects in the Northwest Territories, developing ways to bring that knowledge to the communities and policymakers who can use it.

“The Water Knowledge Application Network will share the research and prediction tools developed by Quinton and his team with local First Nations people, government policymakers, and Northwest Territories communities who will be making decisions about the ecosystem in which they live,” said Abby Goodrum, vice-president of research, in a media release.

The objectives of WatKAN include increasing community involvement throughout the Taiga Plains region and Yellowknife, NWT; adapting the predictive models to the needs identified by local communities; and training local communities to apply the Cold Region Hydrological Model to guide watershed management.

“WatKAN will reduce the uncertainty of the future availability and quality of northern water resources resulting from permafrost thaw, and will provide a rigorous scientific basis for management strategies by predicting both long- and short-term changes to water resources,” said Quinton, in a press release.

The CWN-funded WatKAN project team include:

William Quinton, associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University

Jennifer Baltzer, associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University

Patricia Gober, professor at the University of Saskatchewan

Philip Marsh, adjunct professor at Wilfrid Laurier University

Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president of the academic and provost at Wilfrid Laurier University

John Pomeroy, professor at the University of Saskatchewan

Howard Wheater, professor at the University of Saskatchewan

For more information about Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre, visit coldregions.ca.