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Mazumder-NCE proposal-1 Integrated Ecosystem and Watershed


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									                                      Mazumder-NCE proposal-1

Integrated Ecosystem and Watershed Approaches to Sustain Clean and Healthy Drinking Water.
Theme: Sustainable Environment; Duration: 4 years (2001-2005).
Principal Investigator: Dr. Asit Mazumder <mazumder@uvic.ca>
 NSERC Senior Research Chair and Professor, Department of Biology, University of Victoria.
Co-Investigators and Collaborators (by universities and Government departments):
• University of Victoria:
   • Max Bothwell (NWRI; Stream nutrient dynamics and water quality)
   • David Levin (moleculer biology of pathogens)
   • Terry Peace (BC MoH; Biostatistics and risk assessment models)
   • Richard Nordin (BC MoELP; Pathogens, land-use, aquatic ecology)
   • Kevin Telmer (Hydrology, geochemistry and ecotoxicology)
   • Tony Trofymow (NRCan-CFS; Forest biogeochemistry)
• University of British Columbia:
   • John Richardson (Water quality of streams and lakes)
   • Michael Feller (Terrestrial and aquatic ecology)
   • Scott Hinch (Aquatic nutrient cycling)
   • Judith Isaac-Renton (Epidemiology and public health)
• University of Northern British Columbia:
   • Josef Ackerman (Stream ecology and physical models)
• Lakehead University:
   • Robert Steedman (NCE-SFM, Forest Ecology and water quality)
• Brock University:
   • Steven Renzetti (Environmental economics)
• York Yniversity
• Paul Zandbergen (GIS modeling and technology)
• University of Ottawa:
   • Frances Pick (Aquatic and wetland ecology)
• Université Laval:
   • Manuel Rodriguez (Disinfection byproducts in drinking water)
• University of New Brunswick
   • Paul Arp (Forest hydrology and modeling)

Potential Industrial and Government Partners:
BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks
BC Ministry of Health
Forest Renewal British Columbia
Capital Regional District, Water Department, Victoria
Capital Regional District, Health Department, Victoria
Environment Canada (NWRI, Moncton)
Canadian Forest Service (Victoria, Halifax)
Nova Forest Alliance, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax Water Supply Commission
                                        Mazumder-NCE proposal-2
1. Current state of knowledge: Clean freshwater for drinking is a basic need for human life, society and
the economy. Yet, the dependence of the local to regional economies on the quality of freshwater is still
not fully appreciated because the dollar value of losing freshwater sources are often not clearly
understood (see the invited featured articles on freshwater resources in Ecological Applications, August,
1998; edited by Naiman et al. 1998; Firth 1998; Policansky 1998). The economic benefit of protecting
and managing watersheds supplying drinking water has been nicely illustrated by Chichilnisky and Heal
(1998) in a recent commentary published in Nature. They illustrated how the City of New York, by
investing $7 billion to buy the watershed land for the management of source water quality can save $6-8
billion in 10 years. The City of New York thinks that by managing the watershed they will improve the
efficiency of disinfection, reduce water quality and health problems, reduce the production of disinfection
byproducts in distribution water and potentially delay the need for constructing filtration plants for at least
a decade. This decision to protect and manage the watershed for sustainable clean water will translate
into reduced health risks, and direct savings and economic benefit to public and private sectors. A similar
cost-benefit scenario applies to all the water utilities supplying drinking water with or without filtration.
Therefore, we must educate the industries, water utilities and government agencies with the credible
scientific information linking watersheds and streams to reservoir water quality and with the economic
benefits of protecting and managing the source water ecosystems and their watersheds. However, the
integrated techniques, tools and models linking different types of land- and water-use activities to the
quality of source and supply water are still in their infancy, largely because of the lack of an inter-
disciplinary and integrated approach. The theme area of “Sustainable Environment for Clean Water”,
under the overall NCE proposal, provides the opportunity to develop a networking infrastructure to take
an integrated approach to sustainable clean water for Canada.
Ecosystems and watersheds supplying water are the integral component of sustaining clean water. Quality
of water at the tap and associated disinfection and filtration process are a direct function of source water
quality. Some of the priority water quality parameters are the types and concentrations algae and bacteria,
harmful pathogens like fecal coliforms and protozoans, taste and odor compounds (T&O), toxic chemicals
and byproducts of disinfection. The majority of these water quality problems in supply water
originate in the source water ecosystems and watersheds. We could not sustain clean and healthy
water by using more and more intense disinfection and filtration when the quality of source water
continues to deteriorate. For example, unmanaged land-use can enhance the input of nutrients, pathogens
and toxic materials to source water ecosystems. Uncontrolled water withdrawal can affect internal
dynamics of nutrients and pollutants affecting water quality. Disinfection byproducts, some of the
trihalomethanes (THM), in drinking water increases with increasing concentrations of dissolved and
particulate materials in source water. The cost and the efficiency of disinfection and filtration could be a
direct function of water quality at the source. Yet, current water quality guidelines, disinfection and
treatment practices, health and economic costs of supplying drinking water do not account for the
protection and management of source water ecosystems and watersheds. Most of the research and
technology development related to drinking water is devoted to the treatment and distribution aspects of
distribution system water. As a result, a wide range of unanticipated ecological impacts occur, sometimes
with devastating consequences. Ecosystems and watersheds supplying drinking water are subjected to
variable degrees of human-generated pressures, often associated with population growth and related
demand for natural resources. Satisfying the demand for high quality drinking water becomes one of the
critical factors limiting residential growth and industrial development on a regional or national scale.
Understanding the abilities and limits of ecosystems and watersheds to sustain clean water under
continuous human interventions is a central issue for the society and a challenge for ecologists,
environmental scientists, economists, public health officers and utility managers. A further challenge to
all of us is to communicate and integrate the science, education and training with the activities and
decision making of industries and institutions supplying drinking water and/or setting guidelines for
industrial and economic practices within the watersheds. Canada could not sustain a high quality of
                                       Mazumder-NCE proposal-3
source water under continuous pressure from population growth, greater demand for water supply and
continuous threats to the integrity of the streams, reservoirs and their watersheds created by conflicting
land- and resource-use activities. Currently, the integrated techniques, tools and models needed to protect
and manage source water ecosystems and watersheds are not available because ecologists, engineers,
health researchers and economists have been developing independent approaches to deal with water
issues. There is a serious need for integrating these different approaches to managing ecosystems and
watershed for sustaining clean water. The major philosophy of our approach is to develop integrated
technologies, tools and models to sustain clean and safe water at the source that support efficient and
economically sound operational and distribution systems with reduced health risks during distribution.
2. Goals, Methodologies, expected results and relevance to ResEAU-WATERnet objectives: Over
85% of Canadians use surface water from lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams as source water for
drinking and other domestic and industrial usage. Providing clean water to Canadians must involve
protecting the water at its source, because it is the most economic and environmentally sustainable
approach to maintaining high water quality standards and protecting the health of Canadians. The first
overall goal of this study is to develop integrated ecosystem-, watershed- and community-level
techniques, tools and management models to sustain clean and healthy source and supply water. The
second overall goal is integrate ecosystem and watershed management practices into regional and national
models for health and economic implications of sustaining clean water at the source. The major
philosophy of ResEAU-WATERnet is to foster inter-disciplinary and inter-regional research with direct
contributions to Canadian health, economy and environment. Our proposal combines expertise and
resources of researchers from 6 Canadian universities, several levels of Government and several small
Canadian industries. We integrate ecological and environmental approaches with engineering, economic
and health approaches. Our approach is also link existing established research programs from several
regions Canada to develop the proposed inter-disciplinary and inter-regional project. Without an NCE
program, the proposed research could not be accomplished. The following are some of the research
objectives with specific questions and deliverables:
2-A. Develop integrated understanding, techniques, tools and models for water resources
    management and sustainable clear water in source water ecosystems.
Streams, lakes, reservoirs, and their watersheds are regulated by the complex interactions of factors and
processes of aquatic (Carpenter 1986; Mazumder et al. 1988, 1990; Thornton et al. 1990; Straskraba et al.
1993b, Cooke et al. 1993; Mazumder & Havens 1998), terrestrial (Likens 1972; Johnson and Lindberg
1992; Proulx & Mazumder 1998), and atmospheric origins (Carpenter et al. 1998). To properly evaluate
the terrestrial-aquatic and stream-reservoir linkages and their implications for water quality, we must
consider how the variable physics, chemistry and biology of the streams and reservoirs and their
watersheds modify the impacts of external inputs. Basic ecological data on physical, chemical and
biological characteristics do not exist for most of the watersheds providing drinking water in Canada.
Without a reliable database for a large number of ecosystems, it would be impossible to develop
innovative scientific techniques, tools, and models. We will conduct collaborative research to examine the
factors regulating water quality by:
• Determining the patterns and predictive models of nutrient and foodweb relationships and priority
    water quality parameters among lakes and reservoirs facing variable water- and land-use activities;
• Quantifying the factors regulating the temporal and spatial distribution of algae and associated taste-
    and odour-producing chemicals;
• Quantifying and comparing the size and structure of plankton communities with the major ecological
    processes and priority water quality parameters;
• Identifying and quantifying the importance of the microbial communities in relation to reservoir
    drawdowns, nutrients and foodweb structure.
• Developing new hardware and software technologies for automated acquisition of water quality data.
                                       Mazumder-NCE proposal-4
2-B. Develop best land- and water-resources practices by characterizing, quantifying and modeling
    land-water linkages.
The major objective of this area of research will be to identify, quantify and model terrestrial-aquatic and
stream-reservoir linkages as a function of water- and land-use activities. Some of the activities most
harmful to ecosystems and watersheds are reservoir construction and associated flooding, forest
harvesting, road construction, farming and mining. All of them have the potential to affect water quality
(Campbell et al. 1975; Ostrofsky 1978; Hecky 1984; Straskrabova et al 1993; Chang & Wen 1997), fish
habitat, and contamination of water and organisms (Bodaly et al. 1984; Hecky et al. 1987; Johnston et al.
1991; Grondin et al. 1995). We need to develop interdisciplinary and integrative research projects towards
developing the scientific knowledge, tools and management models to evaluate, quantify, and predict the
impact of multiple land- and water-use activities on the chemical (nutrients & contaminants) and
biological (pathogens & T&O) quality of source water, and their implications for human health and
    Through strong collaborations among our team members with expertise in aquatic and terrestrial
ecology, hydrology and biogeochemistry, and our partners from Canadian industries and government
departments, we plan to quantify and model the processes and patterns of water, nutrients, carbon and
contaminant flow from terrestrial ecosystems to streams and reservoirs. We will predict the affect of land-
and water-use activities on aquatic and terrestrial processes and their relationships with the chemical and
biological quality of source water by determining:
• Impact of land- and water-use activities on hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and their
    implications for water, nutrient, heavy metal and toxic input to aquatic ecosystems;
• Past impact of water- and land-use activities and their relationships with past changes in nutrient and
    contaminant loading, algal communities, fish communities and general water quality;
• Long-term impact of rapid changes in water level on water quality and contamination of biota;
• Role of nutrient and foodweb dynamics in streams and rivers in influencing the patterns of nutrient
    input to reservoirs under natural and disturbed conditions; and
A successful integration of the complex factors, processes and cycles of aquatic, terrestrial and
atmospheric origins requires the development of powerful predictive and simulation models (Mazumder
et al. 1992; Schladow et al. 1997; Watson et al. 1997). The 2- and 3-D visualization and simulation
models (e.g., ArcInfo, ArcView, Ecosim, DYRESM) combined with dynamic hydrological and
biogeochemical models will allow us to quantify the flow patterns for water, pathogens and chemicals to
individual watersheds under variable water- and land-use activities. To make decisions on long-term
operational and management plans, the natural resource-based industries and utilities must have the
capability to assess or predict the risks of implementing specific water- and land-use activities. These
models will allow the us and our partners from water utilities, forest industries and government to predict
or assess changes in water quality, nutrient input, fisheries productivity, and forest hydrology and
biogeochemistry. The existing models must be improved substantially using integrative and
interdisciplinary data on ecological, hydrological and biogeochemical processes before they can be used
as robust ecological risk assessment tools for sustainable ecosystem and watershed management. They
have to be extensively calibrated and tested for their sensitivity and validity under variable natural and
perturbed conditions. Predictions from the model simulations will be tested against observed patterns and
against large-scale manipulative experiments. Visualizing changes predicted in the terrestrial and aquatic
ecosystems will be enhanced using GIS technology to model spatial data. We plan to develop and
maintain a national database on the status of Canadian drinking water ecosystems and watersheds, which
could be accessed by the academic, industrial and government user groups through a dedicated interactive
internet server (currently in operation as a part of Mazumder’s NSERC-IRC program). With a national
database, we could develop general patterns and robust predictive models for Canadian drinking water,
which would become important decision-making tools for industry and government.
                                       Mazumder-NCE proposal-5
2-C. Characterize, quantify and predict the impact of source water quality on the production of
    disinfection byproducts.
The occurrence of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water is of increasing concern for utility
managers and health government officials. Indeed, recent epidemiological studies have suggested that
human exposure to some of these substances, especially by-products of chlorine such as trihalomethanes
(THMs), is related to different types of cancer as well as reproductive outcomes (Dodds et al., 1999; Reif
et al., 1996). Recently, Health Canada significantly reduced the maximum acceptable level for total
THMs and expects to establish a maximum level for haloacetic acids (HAAs) (Health Canada, 1996). The
levels of DBPs in distribution systems depends on a variety of factors - the quality of the source water
(including the type and amount of natural organic matter-NOM-), the water treatment strategies aimed to
remove the DBP precursors and the disinfection strategy (Milot et al., in press). Most of the recent
research in drinking water technology related to DBPs has focused on the development of water treatment
strategies to remove precursors (generally in terms of organic carbon) of DBPs in raw waters (Singer,
1994). Very little attention has been given to the structure of NOM and to identify the specific fractions
responsible for DBP formation as well as on the establishment of useful surrogate parameters for their
description. It is well known that the use of specific treatment technologies within municipal utilities
would reduce DBP occurrence in distribution systems. But it is also known that it would be very
expensive to upgrade the treatment strategy in several medium and small utilities to comply with future
regulations on DBPs. Consequently, more attention has to be given to the quality of source waters and
their protection to reduce DBP formation potential. We will address two specific objectives using
watersheds in BC, in addition to comparing our results with Laval University’s research on Québec
• Quantify the distribution of THM and HAA precursors in BC source water with a special emphasis on
    the identification of fractions responsible for the occurrence of these chlorination byproducts, as well
    as identify useful parameters, which can be used as surrogates of these precursors.
• Develop model relating the chemical and biological characteristics of source water with the
    concentrations and types of disinfection byproducts (DBP). This model will allow to evaluate land use
    strategies in BC on the reduction of DBP formation potential in water utilities and to estimate the
    regional exposure to DBPs for future epidemiological studies.
2-D. Develop techniques and models for the environmental regulators of source water pathogens and
     regional scenarios for waterborne disease.
We propose to apply microarray DNA Chip Technology to provide rapid, unambiguous identification of
pathogenic bacteria (Escherichia coli, Anterobacteror, Campylobacter) and protozoans (Cryptosporidium
and Giardia) related to major public health risks from source water in BC watersheds. This technology
could monitor whole genomes on a single chip so that researchers can have a better picture of the
interactions among thousands of genes simultaneously (Fritz et al., 2000; Schena, 2000). Among the
many uses of DNA Chip technology is the development of diagnostic tools that can screen for thousands
of gene sequences that together can be used to identify not only the species of microorganism, but also the
specific strain, which may encode toxins pathogenic to humans (de Boer and Beumer, 1999; Gilbert et
al., 1999; Nuwaysir et al., 1999). Strong collaboration with Fortin’s and Isaac-Renton’s proposals will be
maintained to validate identification and cross calibration of the DNA technique. We will use this method
to determine the presence and distribution of the pathogenic microorganisms in source water ecosystems.
We will then correlate ecosystem and watershed factors and conditions with the presence, concentrations,
and distribution of these microorganisms to model, to simulate and to assess the risk of different types of
land- and water-use activities. In partnership and collaboration with the BC Ministry of Health (MoH), we
plan to access the provincial health- and Pharma-Care information for the last 10-15 years. As a part of
MoH’s contribution to the NCE proposal, Dr. Peace (biostatistics and modeling) will contribute
significant part of his time towards creating the data-base and developing simulation and predictive
models linking water- and watershed activities with the patterns of waterborne disease for several BC
                                       Mazumder-NCE proposal-6
Health Regions and communities. This exercise will also include some of the first nation’s communities.
We plan to develop multi-variate risk-assessment and predictive models by relating past land/water-use
activities and watershed management practices with the community health and Pharma-care database.
Because of the current restriction of exchanging health- and Pharma-care information among different
provinces of Canada, our approach may not be tested on a national scale at this stage.
2-E. Economic implications of sustaining clean and healthy source water ecosystems and
Despite their importance to the welfare of Canadians and the growing challenges facing them, relatively
little attention has been paid to municipal water utilities by economic researchers. Much of the past
research has been concerned with estimating productivity differences between public and private utilities
or with estimating the optimal scale of utility operations. In Canada, most of the efforts of ensuring clean
and healthy drinking water are dedicated to disinfection and filtration of water rather than to sustaining
clean source water because the economic and health implications of clean source water are not well
understood. For example, how do put a dollar value on the quality of source water? The optimization of
source water quality could enhance cost and efficiency of treatment, reduce the health risks from
disinfection byproducts and pathogens, and reduce the cost of treatment. Currently, a emphasis on the
protection watersheds and sustaining clean source water does not fall within water quality policies and
guidelines of most Canadian provinces. Recently, Ontario Government announced a $240 million grant
support to install filtration plants across the Province. We feel that there will be substantial economic
gains from taking an integrated approach to supplying drinking water that accounts for optimizing the
quality of source water. Filtration without sustaining clean source water could be very expensive in the
long run and could continue to produce health risks. Currently, there is no existing economic model of
sustaining clean source water. Our objective is to integrate data on source water quality, cost of treatment
and the cost of treating waterborne disease from several protected versus unprotected community
watersheds into an economic cost-benefit or forecast model. Ecologists, engineers and health researchers
will collaborate with environmental economists to integrate the database needed for this model.
2-F. Proposed research sites and programs: As a part of an NSERC-Industry Senior Research Chair
   program in Environmental Management of Drinking Water at the University of Victoria, we have
   been studying 18 community watersheds in four regions of BC. These following are the proposed
   research sites in BC, some of which are part of the existing NSERC-IRC program:
• Vancouver Island sites include 5 drinking water reservoirs, 4 lakes and four streams in and around
   Victoria, and 2 reservoirs supplying water to the City of Nanaimo.
• Vancouver sites include 3 drinking water reservoirs supplying water to Greater Vancouver
   municipalities. The UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest at Maple Ridge, BC has been used for
   research on several lakes and streams to study the impact of forest practices and other land-use
   activities on water quality and fish habitats.
• East Kooteney research sites include drinking water reservoirs and streams supplying water to the
   Cities of Cranbrook and Kimberley; and 2 small lakes facing extraordinary impact of various land-use
   activities. These sites will allow us to look at the impact of harvesting, mining, agriculture and cattle
   farming. Cranbrook water supply area has been a site for intensive research because of an epidemic
   outbreak of waterborne disease in 1996.
• Northern BC sites include lakes and streams that are part of existing research by UNBC group led by
   Josef Ackerman.
• As a part of the NCE proposal, we anticipate to add other regional sites in eastern and western
   Kooteney and northern BC. We hope to accomplish this in partnership and support from Forest
   Renewal British Columbia and the BC Ministries of Environment and Health (see letters of support).
                                        Mazumder-NCE proposal-7
•   Through the activities of RésEAU-WATERnet, we will develop strong collaborative relationships for
    integration of research and technology with the other regional proposals and programs in Atlantic
    Canada, Prairie and Alberta and in central Canada (Québec and Ontario).
•   We have developed a significant partnership with Nova Forest Alliance, Halifax Water Supply
    Commission and provincial and federal partners (NS Departments of Natural Resources and
    Environment; Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Services) for research on several drinking water
    watersheds in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (see letters of support). This group, led by Paul Arp
    from the University of New Brunswick, Joe Pomeroy from Environment Canada (Moncton) and
    Nancy McInnis-Leek (NS Dept of Natural Resources), has established an excellent watershed-scale
    program linking watershed and ecosystem processes to the quality of source water. I anticipate that
    they will submit a larger full proposal to RésEAU-WATERnet in the near future that will include
    watersheds supplying drinking water to Halifax (Pockwock Watershed), Cape Breton, Dartmouth, and
3. Evidence of multi-disciplinary and inter-regional makeup of the research team: Our research team
is an excellent example for the need of a network program to achieve the objectives of developing an
integrated and interdisciplinary approach to sustain clean and healthy water. Traditionally, the quality of
drinking water As the major objective of our program is to link source water ecosystems and watersheds
with the quality and safety of water at consumers tap, an inter-disciplinary team is absolutely necessary.
To achieve our inter-disciplinary research objectives, we needed a network of researchers in 1) ecosystem
and watershed ecology to address the issue of how different types of land and water-use activities affect
water quality at the source (Mazumder, Bothwell, Nordin, Telmer, Richardson, Pick, Ackerman, Feller,
Hinch, Zandbergan, Harp), 2) microbial ecology, molecular biology and public health to address
pathogens and environmental health (Mazumder, Levin, Peace, Isaac-Renton), 3) engineering to address
chemical and biochemical implications of disinfection byproducts (Rodriguez), 5) health research to relate
the quality of ecosystems and watersheds with the patterns of reported waterborne disease (Peace,
Mazumder), and 6) environmental economy to address issue of the economic implications of clean source
water (Renzetti).
    Currently, there are several strong research programs at different Canadian universities addressing one
or two of the above areas of research. However, most of us conduct water quality research at local scales
within our own area of expertise. The integrated and inter-disciplinary approach, with inter-regional
scopes, can only be developed by linking regional research programs through the proposed ResEAU-
WATERnet. Our research team is composed 17 academic and Government researchers from 9 Canadian
Universities, 8 provincial and federal departments and several partners from Canadian industries.
Academic researchers represent 4 diverse areas of research falling into the funding jurisdictions of
NSERC, SSHRC and MRC (CIHR). Individually, each of the regional groups has been conducting
excellent water quality research, however, with a narrower focus. The proposed project will allow all of
these individual groups to take broad and inter-disciplinary approaches to water quality. It will also allow
us to extrapolate our research and its application to larger regional and national scales.
4. Rapid application and exploitation research results in Canadian economy and society: The
proposed research project is the result of major industry-university partnerships and a unique research
opportunity in Canada to conduct basic and applied research with direct technological, economic and
health implications for Canadian industrial and Government sectors. The management techniques and
models linking forest, streams, lakes and reservoirs with the quality of water in the source and distribution
systems will provide guidelines to the water utilities and forest industries for the management of
watersheds and the water bodies to optimize the quality of drinking water. These models will create new
areas of applications and guidelines for technology-based companies, forestry and government. Our
research will demonstrate how the Provincial and Federal governments could benefit from sustaining
                                        Mazumder-NCE proposal-8
clean source water by reduced cost of disinfection and filtration infrastructure, reduced cost of health care
and through access to new and innovative techniques, tool and models for sustaining clean water.
4a. Benefits to Canadian water utilities: For day-to-day operation and for long-term management, the
water utilities need to understand how the source-water ecosystems and their watersheds function. The
utilities will benefit greatly from understanding the factors and processes determining the quality of
source water, the effects of water-level regulation and associated reservoir hydraulics, and the impacts of
forest practices. Our research will develop models simulating and predicting the impact of land- and
water-use activities, which can be used as ecological risk assessment tools for forecasting water quality
problems and for long-term operational planning.
4b. Benefits to the Canadian forest industries: Active logging in watersheds supplying drinking water
is taking place or is planned in many parts of BC and Canada. Current forest practices codes do not
account for the quality of source water as a function of logging activities. The forest industries need to
understand how their activities affect the quality of water and aquatic habitats, but most small Canadian
forest industries do not have the expertise to relate their operations to the input of nutrients, contaminants
and sediments into aquatic ecosystems. Our research on terrestrial-aquatic and stream-reservoir linkages
will enhance scientific understanding, and help the industry to develop environmentally realistic forest
harvesting practices.
4c. Benefits to Canadian Environmental Technology-Based Industries: Many small Canadian
technology-based companies have limited staff to validate their equipment and techniques for
environmental monitoring for water quality purposes. AXYS Technologies Inc. produces automatic
meteorological and oceanographic data acquisition systems ($100,000 or more per unit). In partnership
with AXYS, we will develop and test a smaller, less expensive data acquisition system for freshwater
ecosystems, with particular application to drinking water utilities. Our collaborative research with Forest
Technology Systems Inc., a Canadian producer of automated hydrological equipment, will greatly
enhance the marketability of its product. Focal Technologies Inc. (Nova Scotia) produces optical plankton
counters (OPCs), used for measuring various parameters of plankton populations. This equipment has
never been used in drinking water applications, and we plan to apply OPC-based data to predict the
biomass and size-distribution of fish, zooplankton and algae, which are important indicators of water
quality. The application of OPC-based data in ecosystem-based modelling of water quality will directly
benefit Focal Technologies Inc., by opening an entirely new market for sales and services among drinking
water utilities.
4d. Technology transfer: The existing support to our research team from government and industrial
sectors is a clear indication of the expected economic and scientific benefits to Canada. One of the
challenges is to transfer scientific understanding, credible information, and expertise from university
laboratories to industry and government. Enhancing general awareness of drinking water will increase
public participation in policy-making, such as modification of the Clean-Water Act, fisheries policies or
the Forest Practices Code. Our basic approach to conducting research in direct partnership with the
private and government sectors will promote fast and efficient transfer. In addition, we will organize
workshops and symposia on sustainable clean water, publish results in high quality journals and
magazines, participate in national and international conferences and arrange special symposia on the
environmental management of drinking water. We will develop interactive web sites and CD-ROMs to
promote our research, techniques and products to national and international corporate and government
5. Planned Training of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers: Training of highly qualified
personnel with multi-disciplinary expertise will be a top priority of the research activities supported by the
proposed NCE. The project leader and the research team have excellent proven records of training highly
qualified personnel through individual and collaborative research. Over the last 4 years, the project leader
and his team have provided training to over 50 graduate students, 15 postdoctoral fellow, and 12 research
professionals, of whom most have gone on to further higher education in other institutions or have taken
                                       Mazumder-NCE proposal-9
jobs in industries, in research institutions or as faculty members in Canadian and other universities.
During the next four years, at least 15-20 graduate students, 3-5 research associates and postdoctoral
fellows, 3-5 technical professionals, and 40-50 undergraduate research assistants will receive training in
interdisciplinary research in the ecology and environmental management of drinking water.
    Currently, there are 4 graduate students working on some of the specific projects under objective
2A&B. During the next four years, six graduate students (3 Ph.D., 3 M.Sc.), will be trained under
objectives 2A and 2B. One Ph.D. student will be trained in technology related research linking source and
supply water (Objective 2C). Two graduate students (1 Ph.D. and 1 M.Sc.) will be trained in developing
molecular technology for pathogens and risk assessment models relating watershed activities and source
water quality with regional health scenarios (Objective 2D), and one Ph.D. student will be trained in
developing economic model for sustaining clean water ecosystems and watersheds. One research
associate and one research technician will work on the coordination of research, filed activities and
analytical work for the overall project. Mazumder’s current research funding from NSERC and industries
as a part of his IRC program will cover 50% of the salaries of the Research Associate and the Research
Technician because they will provide coordinating and technical support to the NCE overall research
activities proposed here. Over the four years of this NCE project, 6 Ph.D. students, 4 M.Sc. students, 1
Research Associate, 1 research technician and several undergraduate research assistants will be trained in
highly inter-disciplinary research with direct contacts and collaborations with industrial and governments
sectors. All of the graduate students, research associates and research technicians will work under the
supervision of and/or collaboration with at least two researchers from different universities and
Government institutions.
6. A statement of benefit from the network approach and how it will add value to existing activities
of the research team: In this proposal, we have created linkages among five excellent and well
established research programs looking at more local perspectives of water quality and resource
management with a narrow focus. Integrated approach to environmental challenges to clean water
requires integration of diverse disciplines, which often falls among the jurisdiction different funding
agencies. In addition, none of these five groups are capable of taking the inter-disciplinary approach
developed in proposal because of lack of expertise, analytical support and infrastructure. Without forming
a network of collaborations among ecologists, environmental scientists, engineers, economists and health
researchers, we could not achieve the broad, inter-disciplinary and inter-regional objectives proposed in
this proposal. While each of the five groups already has a wealth of local data, the national and inter-
disciplinary perspectives on water issues could not be developed without support from the ResEAU-
WATERnet program. For example, Mazumder’s program deals with only ecosystem- and watershed-level
factors and processes regulating the quality of source water. Our expertise does not allow us to expand
our research into health, distribution and economic aspects of the BC drinking water ecosystems and
watersheds. In addition, at the University of Victoria, we have excellent facilities and infrastructure for
inter-disciplinary research in drinking water. Through NCE program, the researchers and collaborators
from other network centers will have preferred access to our expertise, analytical facilities and research
                                           Mazumder-NCE proposal-10

7. Detailed budget:
 Proposed expenditures of NCE funds ($) in first year of project
                                                     Environment     Technology     Health         Gov/Econ     Total-Yr1
 1. Salaries and stipends
 a) Graduate students                                         96,000      16,000       32,000          16,000      160,000
 b) Postdoctoral fellows                                      40,000                                                40,000
 c) Technicians & professionals                               20,000      10,000       10,000           5,000       45,000
 2. Equipment
 a) Purchase or rental (super-computer in Yr. 1)             105,000        5,000       5,000           5,000      120,000
 b) Maintenance costs                                          5,000                                                 5,000
 c) Operating costs (analytical)                              10,000                    5,000                       15,000
 3. Materials and supplies                                    10,000      10,000       10,000                       30,000
 4. Computing costs                                            5,000       5,000        5,000           5,000       20,000
 5. Travel expenses
 a) Field trips                                               15,000                                                15,000
 b) Conferences                                                6,000       3,000        3,000           3,000       15,000
 6. Other expenditures (specify)
 TOTAL YEAR 1                                                312,000      49,000       70,000         34,000       465,000
 Summary of total anticipated funding for 4                   Year 1      Year 2       Year 3         Year 4    Total $K
 Cash contributions
 A. Funds requested from NCE                                 275,000     275,000      275,000         275,000    1,100,000
 B. University funds expected (TAships)                       40,000      40,000       40,000          40,000      160,000
 C. Industry support expected                                 15,000      15,000       15,000          15,000       60,000
 D. Provincial support expected                              135,000     100,000      100,000          65,000      400,000
 E. Federal support expected (non-NCE)
 G. Total cash contributions                                     465          430            430         395          1720
 In-kind contributions
 H. University funds expected                              50,000         50,000       50,000          50,000      200,000
 I. Industry support expected                              90,000         90,000       90,000          90,000      360,000
 J. Provincial support expected                           371,000        371,000      371,000         371,000    1,484,000
 K. Federal support expected (non-NCE)
 M. Total in-kind contributions                           511,000        511,000      511,000            511     2,044,000
 N. Total cash + in-kind contributions                    976,000        941,000      941,000            906     3,764,000

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