The University of Manitoba is a top research-intensive institution and the largest university, both by total student enrolment and campus area, in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Its mission is to create, preserve, communicate and apply knowledge, contributing to the cultural, social and economic well-being of the people of Manitoba and the world, with sustainability being one of its key values.

Faculty members undertake research on water to help build resilient communities, including research with vulnerable groups, water quantity and quality issues, and the impact of climate change on water systems. Through its Centre for Human Rights Research, the university researches water and sanitation security with a focus on the needs of Indigenous communities.

As part of the Mino Bimaadziwin Partnership the institution works on housing and land use planning projects to help remote Indigenous communities secure clean drinking water and adequate sanitation. Wa Ni Ska Tan is another ongoing research program to explore the implications of hydropower for nearby environments and Indigenous communities.

The university’s expertise in the management of water quantity and quality at the regional, watershed, and farm level is contributing to the long-term sustainability of land, rivers, and lakes. Researchers are generating new knowledge and technology critical to the province of Manitoba’s agricultural, energy and fishing sectors, community development and sensitive ecosystems.

By participating in national climate networks, water researchers contribute to the physical understanding and modelling of the water cycle and extreme weather at various scales of time and space. This higher resolution climate modelling will reduce vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events through the generation of novel technologies to mitigate flood risks, drought conditions and acute water pollution problems.

Sustainable water management practices draw on research addressing the connectedness of land and water, river ice engineering, turbulence, fluid movement and dynamics, building design as well as the hydrologic, biological and atmospheric sciences. The university combines water and wastewater technical expertise with Indigenous knowledge.

University scientists and students teach water quality essentials to young learners through initiatives like Freshwater Ecology Day in which high school students take site visits to learn about water sampling and chemistry, shoreline erosion, aquatic invasive species and invertebrates. The sessions are led by graduate students from the Centre for Earth Observation Science, which leads the Canadian Watershed Information Network.

Another concrete initiative undertaken by the university was the replacement of outdated, seldom used water fountains with bottle fillers with automatic sensors to help conserve water and promote access to potable water across campus.

Click here to learn more about the UNAI SDG Hubs.