University-industry research partnerships

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Dalhousie University | Clean Resources

Key facilities

Clean Water Laboratory: a 4500 sq.ft. state-of-the-art water quality analysis laboratory established in 2010 with funding from Halifax Water and ACOA, with capacity to evaluate the physical, chemical and microbiological properties of drinking water, waste water and industrial effluents. It supports water innovation projects from a variety of sectors.

On-Site Wastewater Research Facility: located in Bible Hill, NS and established in 2004 in partnership with the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and the Agritech Park. Infrastructure has been established to allow for long-term controlled field studies of on-site wastewater systems under field conditions.

To address current gaps in knowledge of global PM2.5 concentrations, Dalhousie is a key member of Surface Particulate Matter Network (SPARTAN), a global “lab” that is desinged to measure fine particulate concentrations to evaluate and enhance satellite remote sensing estimates of PM2.5. The network provides publicly available data on PM2.5 mass, chemical composition, and optical characteristics for connection with satellite remote sensing.

Major collaborations

Nunavut Wastewater Treatment Program: partnering with the government of Nunavut, this research program focuses on municipal wastewater management systems in the Arctic. Developing design guidelines for the optimization of wastewater stabilization ponds for remote, northern communities has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the factors which control the performance of eco-engineered systems in this extreme climate, and the risks they may pose to human and environmental health.

NSERC/Halifax Water Industrial Research Chair: awarded to Dr. Graham Gagnon in 2007 as a result of a partnership between Dalhousie University and Halifax Water. Currently, this program has eight industrial partners and has a total program value of more than $8.5 M. Through this program students and research personnel have addressed local, national and international research priorities in water innovation.


  • Dr. Rachel Chang, CRC Tier 2 in Atmospheric Science, is studying atmospheric particles to determine their effects on visibility and air quality.
  • Dr. Rob Jamieson, CRC Tier 2 in Cold Regions Ecological Engineering, is investigating how ecologically engineered systems can be used for water management in cold climates.
  • Dr. Amina Stoddart, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Water Resources Studies (CWRS), is developing a $1.0M partnership program with Halifax Water to improve wastewater treatment processes and effluent quality in Canadian coastal communities.
  • Dr. Ingrid Waldron, Associate Professor in Faculty of Health, aims to understand the environment as a social determinant of health. Her recent book There’s Something in the Water explores inequities of environmental decision-making in Nova Scotia.

Special programs and work integrated learning initiatives

  • Dalhousie’s strategic research direction is grounded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, and features signature research clusters, one of which is Clean Tech, Energy, the Environment. (SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, & 17).
  • Between 2009-2019, Dalhousie University (through the CWRS) has held a collaborative partnership with the Atlantic Policy Congress of Frist Nation Chiefs to establish a First Nation Water Authority (FNWA), which in 2018 became an incorporated body – the first of its kind in Canada. The long-term aspirational goal of the program is technical water organization that can provide clean water and sanitation for the communities it serves.
  • Aquatic Systems Professional and Industrial Training for the Restoration Economy (ASPIRE): an NSERC CREATE program in which Dalhousie graduate students are extending training into: 1. Treatment technologies for contaminated aquatic environmental media; 2. Methods for the restoration of watershed interactions and hydrologic functioning of altered aquatic system; and 3. Assessment and monitoring tools for disturbed and restored aquatic systems.


  • Halifax Water
  • CBCL Ltd.
  • Nova Scotia Power
  • Stantec
  • Divert Nova Scotia
  • Graphene Innovation Technologies
  • Island Water Technologies
  • LuminUltra Technologies

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