Water Management


The Water Management team provides better tools for investigation and sustainable management of regional water resources for industrial, agricultural, and municipal development in Alberta.

Development intensity and rising populations are putting pressure on the quantity and quality of water supply, which historically has been treated as an abundant resource. To assure communities have the water they need to be prosperous and healthy, this resource now needs more intensive management.

In the past, water has been managed as an unlimited resource. As a result, the supply of fresh, clean water is becoming a scarce commodity, not only in our province but worldwide. InnoTech is working with government and industry to manage water as a natural resource, producing optimal value for communities.

InnoTech has a suite of research and technology development programs that integrate supply and demand, enable complete water cycle management at a watershed scale, and measure and monitor for water quality assurance:

Integrated Water Management

Increased population growth and unprecedented economic development, combined with climate change, are putting pressure on the world’s water supply. In order to plan for future sustainability, there is a need to better understand the links between surface water and groundwater.

InnoTech develops scientific and technological solutions for emerging issues, which integrates surface water and groundwater resources while taking into account ecology, land use and socio-economics

Isotope and Geochemistry Laboratory

InnoTech maintains laboratory capacity for analysis of isotopic and geochemical tracers to support applied research projects in water resources, sustainable oil and gas development, mining and insitu oil sands development and a range of environmental studies. The isotope and geochemistry laboratory has additional capacity to provide these services on request to external clients. Our Isotope Hydrology and Geochemistry Laboratory is a world-class analytical facility lab housing a Thermo-Fisher Delta V Advantage IRMS with HDevice and Gasbench, as well as a 253 with a Trace GC Ultra and GC Isolink.

Oil Sands and Mining Water Management

Surface and groundwater supplies in the oil sands region are under increasing stress due to high demand for surface mining, in situ extraction and refining processes and related industrial and municipal development. On average, one barrel of produced oil requires three barrels of produced water. This ratio is expected to increase; for example, during startup phases of steam-assisted gravity drainage operations as development of steam chambers occurs underground.

Management of water resources in the oil sands region is a technical challenge that requires a sharper focus on potential concerns, including impacts on the regional water cycle and specific ecosystems such as wetlands and lakes, identification of surface and groundwater connections that may influence contaminant migration pathways, and knowledge of natural buffering capacity of aquatic ecosystems in the boreal forest.