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The Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) is a platform that creates unique capacity for research, development, testing and demonstration of water and wastewater technologies and services for local, national, and global markets.
The platform includes state-of-the-art facilities, instrumentation and technical support for research and development related to watershed management, wastewater treatment, ecotoxicology, drinking water treatment, and sensor development, as well as the development of analytical techniques for detection of emerging contaminants. It enables collaborations between the private and public sector with leading academic researchers from eight partner universities, and promotes integration across these research areas.
While organized largely within the framework of the Grand River Watershed, SOWC facilities are distributed over a wide area and managed through partner universities. The SOWC provides a single point of contact for users recognizing that some will require access to single facilities, while others will require access to multiple facilities over varying periods of time.
The platform also includes a large computational and data environment for the processing, analysis, storage, and distribution of water data. SOWC is utilizing cutting-edge hardware and software invested by IBM Canada to pilot a sophisticated data environment that acts as the backbone for ‘smart watershed’ capacity – a unique and innovative feature of the broader SOWC platform.
The key to the SOWC project is the integration of all elements of water management into a single platform. The platform comprises six complementary research and demonstration areas, or “Nodes”:
The organization of the platform’s operations into these six themes will facilitate research excellence in each area, while integration across these areas remains the primary purpose of the SOWC. The work conducted with respect to each of these themes and the use of the integrated platform will be the basis for water industry companies and researchers to demonstrate success in real-world environments and with multi-faceted applications, thus adding new value and insight to all of the research elements.
Geographic Distribution of the Elements of the Platform