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Institute for Watershed Science

Aerial view of river through forest

Institute for Watershed Science

Research & Projects

Current Research

Source Water Protection Planning for Ontario First Nations Project

The IWS is currently working with the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC) and a First Nation on Manitoulin Island toward development of a community Source Water Protection Plan. This project is designed to develop planning tools specifically geared to Ontario First Nations communities who want to undertake a SWP plan.

IWS and OFNTSC are collaborating on creating a training course on Source Water Protection Planning that can be used by OFNTSC for ongoing community training for plan development in Ontario First Nations communities.

Water Quality Training and Monitoring for the Indigenous Observation Network - Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Partner Project

The IWS partnered with the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council Science Department to expand the water quality monitoring under the Indigenous Observation Network (ION) and to provide training on the use of passive samplers to monitor for hydrocarbon and metal contaminants.

This project expands water quality data collection in the Upper Yukon River region toward the World Wildlife Fund watershed reporting, increases monitoring sites in the Yukon River and builds capacity for Indigenous community based monitoring using best available methods.

Ontario Best in Science Project: Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Common Milkweed and Associated Soils in Regions of Intensive Corn Agriculture in Southern Ontario. Potential for Harmful Effects on Monarch Butterfly Larvae

The IWS received Best in Science funding through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to study the effects of neonicotioid pesticides on common milkweed plants adjacent to intensive agricultural fields in Southwestern Ontario.

This 2 year study will determine if neonicotinoid pesticides migrate off fields into adjacent habitat and will help determine what impacts neonicotinoid insecticides may have on monarch butterflies. It will help improve understanding of the effect this type of insecticide may have on wild pollinators.


H2O CREATE is a 6-year project (2013-2019) to develop a research training program that will assist First Nations to achieve their goals in water security and sanitation at a significant moment when drinking water regulations for First Nations are coming into effect.


Through support from the Strategic Grants Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and from Environment Canada, a team of researchers from Trent University and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) are conducting the Lake Ecosystem Nanosilver (LENS) project at the Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) in northwestern Ontario.

RBC Blue Water

A 5 year Leadership Grant from the RBC Blue Water Project (2009-2014) supported the Institute for Watershed Science (IWS), partnered with the Indigenous Environmental Studies Department at Trent University and the Centre for Alternative Wastewater Treatment (CAWT) at Fleming College, to develop strategies for Source Water Protection and municipal wastewater management in remote communities in Canada’s northern territories.