New Edition: GWF Briefing Book

Cover of Realising Global Water Futures 2024

In 2016, with initial funding through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, the Global Water Futures team set out to produce actionable scientific knowledge on how we can best forecast, prepare for, and manage water futures in the face of dramatically increasing risks. As Global Water Futures moves towards synthesizing the results of its research, this briefing book, updated in 2024, provides description of the progress of GWF's more than 50 projects up to 2023. The book includes links to related peer-reviewed publications, dissertations, and conference papers, a table that categorises the projects by theme, and an index.

Realising Global Water Futures 2024  GWF Reports



Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change

Global Water Futures is a pan-Canadian research program that is funded in part by a $77.8-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The overarching goal of the program is to deliver risk management solutions - informed by leading-edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools - to manage water futures in Canada and other cold regions where global warming is changing landscapes, ecosystems, and the water environment. Global Water Futures (GWF) aims to position Canada as a global leader in water science for cold regions and will address the strategic needs of the Canadian economy in adapting to change and managing risks of uncertain water futures and extreme events. End-user needs will be our beacon and will drive strategy and shape our science.

Core Partners

University of Saskatchewan
University of Waterloo
McMaster University
Wilfrid Laurier University

Featured Science Outcomes

From agriculture to urbanization: reconstructing a lake's changing water quality from sediment cores

By: Jovana Radosavljevic, Stephanie Slowinski, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, and Philippe Van Cappellen

Sediment cores reveal 100-year history of land use impacts on lake water quality.

More Intense Precipitation in a Warming World

More Intense Precipitation in a Warming World

By: Francis Zwiers, Yanping Li, and Chris DeBeer

As global temperatures rise, extreme rainfall and other precipitation events are becoming more common and more intense.

Excess de-icing salt on sidewalk (stock image).

Time to act:
Road salts are stressing our urban lakes

By: Jovana Radosavljevic, Stephanie Slowinski, Fereidoun Rezanezhad, and Philippe Van Cappellen

New research links salinization to eutrophication in urban lakes.


Raw or cooked? Mercury concentrations and bioaccessibility in northern freshwater fish

Raw or cooked? Mercury concentrations and bioaccessibility in northern freshwater fish

By: Sara Packull-McCormick, Alicia Cowan, Heidi Swanson, and Brian Laird

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have been investigating the bioaccessibility of mercury in freshwater fish samples.


Recent News


The Conversation Canada


Curated by professionals, the Conversation Canada is an independent source of news and views delivered directly to the public. The articles below are authored by faculty and students, involved in the Global Water Futures community.

Pollution timebombs: Contaminated wetlands are ticking towards ignition

Colin McCarter - Nipissing University
Mike Waddington - McMaster University

Wetlands across the globe have long served as natural repositories for humanity’s toxic legacy, absorbing and retaining hundreds to thousands of years’ worth of pollution.

These swampy vaults have quietly been trapping air and water pollution for thousands of years, protecting the world from some of the worst effects of lead, mercury, copper, nickel and other poisonous materials.

Now, however, a combination of human disruptions and ever increasing wildfires threaten to open these vaults, unleashing their long dormant toxic contents upon the world.

Up in smoke: Human activities are fuelling wildfires that burn essential carbon-sequestering peatlands

Sophie Wilkinson - Simon Fraser University
Mike Waddington - McMaster University

For centuries, society has scorned bogs, fens and swamps — collectively known as peatlands — treating them as wastelands available to be drained and developed without realizing they’re important buffers against climate-changing carbon emissions.

It’s only recently that humans have realized how vital these wetlands are to regulating our climate...


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GWF is led by the University of Saskatchewan in partnership with University of Waterloo, McMaster University and Wilfrid Laurier University. 

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