A critical step for any new water enterprise is having its application tested and verified. Often, widespread trusted endorsement is built upon the rigorous testing which happens at an established utility. Every year, hundreds of water industry businesses demonstrate and test their cutting-edge products, technologies, and services in Ontario’s water and wastewater utilities, validating the world’s next generation of water treatment solutions.
Spanning both the applied research and piloting demonstration stages, the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) is a platform for turning water ideas into water innovations through research, development and demonstration of solutions in facilities in real world environments. Its emphasis is on promoting integration across six theme areas as a “living lab” within the Grand River watershed. The SOWC’s robust platform provides unique capacity for research, demonstration and testing of water and wastewater technologies and services for local, national, and global markets, including a state-of-the-art computational and data facility to process, analyze, store, and distribute data generated across the platform.
Established as a provincial crown agency in 1993, the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) is Ontario’s largest water facility operator, providing water and wastewater engineering, expertise, and services to municipalities, institutions, industry, and businesses and communities across the province. The agency is also involved in piloting new technologies.
The Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT) at Fleming College performs laboratory testing, fieldwork, verification and calibration of equipment. The CAWT also collaborates with several industry, government, and academic partners to identify research needs and develop pilot-scale projects or experiments to address these needs.
Another example of significant verification support was the Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) program. This provincial government funding program complemented the Ontario Water Opportunities and Conservation Act and was designed to encourage early adoption of cost-effective and innovative technologies and approaches for water management. The program funded 32 cost-share projects valuing nearly $50 million in Ontario’s cities, towns, and First Nation communities. Projects included pilot testing made-in-Ontario technologies, innovative water use mapping, demonstrating new stormwater technologies and approaches, and advancing water conservation in new residential developments. See the program results and associated materials here.