Our past work and ongoing discussions with watershed managers, water treatment plant operators and health professionals in bloom affected lakes have highlighted the major challenges in managing blooms, and health risks associated with cyanobacterial blooms. Protection of water quality, provision of safe drinking water and monitoring of drinking water and recreational waters for toxin risk is the mandate of many municipal, regional, provincial and federal agencies in Canada.
To better address this globally important issue affecting hundreds of Canadian lakes and millions of Canadians, we need: 1) coordinated management and communication; 2) bloom forecasts to foster adaptive management, warning and testing; and 3) an understanding of the factors that lead to cyanobacterial dominance so we can develop science-based tools to identify mitigation and prevention options, accounting for feasibility, economic and social factors. These FORMBLOOM goals map to key GWF goals of "improved disaster warning, diagnosing and predicting water futures and adapting to change and managing risk", and reflect user-defined priorities for risk management solutions.
FORMBLOOM aims to deliver the following outcomes and impacts:
Reducing current risk via improved communications and forecasting
Understanding the triggers of cyanobacterial bloom initiation and collapse to inform in-lake mitigation measures
Improving our use of rapidly evolving new technology to better manage risk
Major Funding Partners
Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) is a federal program which aims to place Canada at the forefront of global research that is of economic benefit to Canada.
In September 2016, the University of Saskatchewan was awarded $77.84 million over seven years from CFREF to establish the CFREF project “Global Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change”. GWF has grown to a total funding package of $143.67 million through linked contributions from the University of Saskatchewan ($17.5 million), University of Waterloo ($15 million), McMaster University ($12.14 million), and Wilfrid Laurier University ($10.58 million) and various industrial partners.