The province's history of water tech innovation has established Ontario as a global water tech hub

It's no secret that water is a critical natural resource that needs to be preserved. It's not only required for both human existence and the sustainability of the planet, but it plays a major role in the world economy. It's for this reason that governments and organizations across the globe are putting great efforts into the support and development of innovative technologies that focus on water conservation, purification and treatment.

Ontario is proud to be a major player in this sector, with homegrown companies developing advanced water technologies that are being implemented across the globe. Ontario's new Environmental Plan recognizes lakes, waterways and ground water as a foundation for economic prosperity and critical to our wellbeing. The Plan will create opportunities to enable business, communities and people to do their part to protect Ontario's environment.

A world leader

More than 900 companies, 100 technology incubators, 22,000 water industry employees and 42 Canadian Research Chairs make up Ontario's water innovation ecosystem, contributing to its ability to develop world-class water technologies. Ontario's water hub has a vast network of capabilities including ultraviolet disinfection, membrane technology filtration, hydrogeology, leak detection/repair, engineering, quality analysis and construction, and watershed management expertise in consulting.

A sampling of Ontario's companies with global operations and advanced technologies include:

  • EMAGIN Clean Technologies Inc.

    By leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), EMAGIN of Kitchener-Waterloo aspires to create intelligent water infrastructure that are deeply connected to the natural and built environment. EMAGIN has announced that United Utilities will deploy its AI technology across the North West of the United Kingdom. Serving more than 7 million residents, this is known to be the largest deployment of AI technology in the region and first of its kind in the industry.

  • Lystek International

    Lystek of Cambridge, Ontario has announced the commercialization of its first low temperature, low pressure mobile Thermal Hydrolysis Processing unit (Lystek Mobile THP®) – a first in the biosolids and organics management sector in North America. This new unit was conceived in response to growing market demand from smaller scale treatment plant operators for sustainable biosolids management solutions in support of the movement toward resource recovery.

  • Mantech

    This Guelph, Ontario-based company manufactures a water quality monitoring system that is being used in water-testing laboratories and plants in 45 countries.

  • Anaergia

    With a global head office in Burlington, Ontario, Anaergia has made a name for itself across the globe for its ability to produce clean energy, fertilizer and recycled water from organic waste streams. The company offers a wide range of anaerobic digestion technologies for municipal, industrial, commercial and agricultural markets.

  • Trojan Technologies

    This London, Ontario-based company has developed water treatment products that use UV light to make the water treatment process more effective, efficient and sustainable. The company's technologies are involved in more than 10,000 municipal installations on six continents in over 100 countries.

  • Fibracast

    This Hamilton, Ontario-based company is a global leader in the research, development and manufacturing of advanced membrane technologies for wastewater treatment. The company's revolutionary, patented hybrid immersed ultrafiltration membrane technology, FIBREPlate®, is sold and serviced throughout the globe.

  • Pure Technologies

    Based in Mississauga, Pure Technologies aims to help municipal water and wastewater service providers address their aging pipeline infrastructure. The company's proactive infrastructure management solutions, which include a suite of inspection tools and engineering analysis practices, help utility operators around the world maximize budgets for rehabilitation and replacement programs by assessing municipal pipe networks to determine their condition and remaining useful life.

  • Real Tech

    This Whitby, Ontario-based company designs and manufactures a line of patented and innovative optical sensors to monitor water quality in such applications as municipal drinking water and wastewater, as well as industrial process water and wastewater. Real Tech markets a variety of spectrophotometric analyzers which provide real-time, continuous scanning for contaminants and compounds across a wide range of complex applications.

Advancing water tech in Ontario

Ontario is taking concrete measures to make Ontario open for business by eliminating red tape and burdensome regulations, so businesses can grow. The province is supporting the adoption of low-carbon technologies and climate resilience measures – including wastewater and storm water technologies – by working to reduce costly and time consuming regulatory and operational barriers.

SOWC and OCWA are three organizations in Ontario that assist Ontario's water companies to bring ideas to global market leadership while providing economic, environmental and public health benefits to Ontario. They focus on alternative solutions at lower capital and operating costs, addressing water infrastructure, sustainability, and affordability.

The Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) enables technology development and demonstration by advancing new water technologies from bench scale to demonstration through access to world class demonstration facilities and business-led partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) operates more than 800 water and wastewater facilities in the province facilitating technology adoption across a broad spectrum of municipal clients.

Meeting global demand

Global demand for more sustainable solutions, as well as regional commitments, are driving growth within the clean technology sector. Ontario's efforts to support and grow the sector will not only help it to meet its own environmental targets, but the technologies coming out of the province will have an impact on reducing the global carbon footprint, while continuing to secure Ontario's standing as a major player in the clean technology sector.

Learn more about Ontario's cleantech sector

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February 15, 2019

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