Ontario aims to be the place where the world buys its water technology

New Orleans, LA – WEFTEC 2012, Booth # 7321, Hall I – Oct. 1, 2012
The Ontario Clean Technology Alliance is attending WEFTEC 2012, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference and the largest conference of its kind in North America, with news of an ambitious $60 million Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) that has already attracted $20 million of technology investment from IBM Canada Limited together with additional investment from the private sector, government, and universities. SOWC is a research and development platform for new water technologies and facilities for the testing and development of drinking water solutions, wastewater purification, ecotoxicological analysis, watershed management, and sensor development.

To be fully operational by 2014, the SOWC platform includes a series of facilities within the Grand River watershed, the Mimico Creek sub-watershed near Toronto, the City of London Greenway Wastewater Treatment Centre, the City of Guelph Waste Water Treatment Centre, the Sensor Development Labs at McMaster University, Drinking Water Treatment Labs at the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo, ecotoxicological labs and staging facilities at Laurier, and the Ground Water Research Facilities at Base Borden and the University of Guelph. The platform will be open to companies interested in testing technologies in a real watershed or municipal environment, companies looking for collaborative R&D with leading water researchers from eight universities, and international companies looking for a North American beachhead.

A variety of mobile facilities will also be deployed as needed across these watersheds, and all operations are being linked together by IBM’s computational and data facility installed at the University of Toronto to process, analyze, store, and distribute the data produced across the SOWC platform.

Ontario’s water industry, with 900 firms and 22,000 employees, includes well-known global players such as American Water, Danaher, GE Water and Process Technologies, Nalco Corporation, Siemens Water Technologies, Suez Degrémont and Veolia Water. Global water management problems represent a market opportunity currently estimated at $424 billion (USD). Ontario’s water industry is primed to be among the best solution-providers for this market.

“We are looking for more companies that want to grow with us in Ontario, says Jennifer Patterson, Senior Business Development Consultant, Hamilton Economic Development and Chair of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance. “We want to be the place where the world buys its water management technology. The Ontario government has adopted an economic growth strategy, backed by a comprehensive series of legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives that is designed specifically to support the expansion of clean, green industries including water.”

In Ontario, as in many jurisdictions, most water and wastewater services are provided by municipalities, and their needs are growing. Ontario’s water systems will need an estimated investment of $30 to $40 billion over the next 15 years for repairs and to accommodate growth. Toronto Water, for example, provides water and wastewater services for 2.6 million residents and businesses. For 2012, Toronto Water’s recommended operation budget is $893 million that includes a comprehensive renewal program first launched in 2007.

The United States is Ontario’s number one trade partner and the largest water consumer in the world. Water and wastewater treatment in the United States is a $113 billion annual market, according to estimates developed by Global Water Intelligence.

About the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance

The Ontario Clean Technology Alliance offers a highly educated workforce, excellent growth opportunities, a low-risk business environment, and generous R&D tax credits that are the envy of other countries. The Alliance includes Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa Region, City of Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Niagara Region, Windsor-Essex, City of London, Sarnia-Lambton, City of Guelph, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada as well as the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation are also Alliance partners. For more information, go to www.ontariocleantechalliance.com

Ontario Clean Technology Alliance media contacts

Jennifer Patterson
Senior Business Development Consultant
Hamilton Economic Development
Phone: 905-536-0631
Email: jennifer.patterson@hamilton.ca

Jill McCubbin
Conversation Architect
market2world communications inc.
Phone: 613-256-3939
Email: jill@market2world.com