U of L becomes first Canadian member of international water council

The University of Lethbridge has become the first Canadian member of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) – an organization of universities, non-academic institutions, and international affiliates leading the way in water resources education, research and public service.

Founded in 1964 as an expansion of the Universities Council on Hydrology, UCOWR members and delegates focus on water resources related research and education, and represent various fields of natural and social science.

University of Lethbridge Vice-President (Research) Dr. Dan Weeks says membership in UCOWR will increase the reach of leading water-research initiatives undertaken at the U of L, and will be a catalyst for future collaborations at both the researcher and institutional levels.

“The University of Lethbridge is known as a provincial and national leader in water research by governments, industry and organizations alike,” says Weeks. “Membership in the Universities Council on Water Resources will create international opportunities for collaboration that will benefit us an institution, and more importantly, benefit our communities.”

The University of Lethbridge is home to the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE). WISE researchers play a leading role in analyzing water resources, including natural science analyses of watersheds, and water quantity and quality; and overlapping social science investigations related to aspects such as water policy and economics.

David Hill, director of centres and institutes at the U of L, says water issues are globally important and that international collaborations are essential to finding ways to better address similar problems (such as water quality and quantity) for the benefit of all.

“The University of Lethbridge’s participation on the Universities Council on Water Resources is a tremendous way to mark World Water Day (March 22),” says Hill. “The water research capacity at the U of L will be enhanced through UCOWR participation, and we will contribute our world-class experience with others.”

UCOWR's main objectives include facilitating water-related education at all levels, promoting meaningful research and technology transfer on contemporary and emerging water resources issues, compiling and disseminating information on water problems and solutions and informing the public about water issues with the objective of promoting informed decisions at all levels of society.

UCOWR’s membership includes over 60 American and Mexican universities.