You’ve heard the statistics. When it comes to water, the world is contending with scarcity, growing populations, pollution and contamination, failing and under-designed infrastructure, limited funds, and the prospect of a changing climate.

On a daily basis, it is becoming harder — and more expensive — for cities and towns to accommodate the costs of delivering drinking water, conveying and treating wastewater, and effectively managing stormwater.

Provincial support

In Ontario, world-class legislation supports a commitment to clean and safe water. Paired with extensive provincial support for technology entrepreneurs, it has meant big things for the province and its economy.

Already Ontario boasts more than 22,000 water industry jobs, 900 established water technology companies, and 300 early-stage innovation companies. More than 8,200 post-secondary graduates have water-related degrees, and more water-related patents have been issued in Ontario over the past 30 years than in any other comparable jurisdiction in the world.

"They are developing game-changing, smarter systems that collect, analyze, and share information more efficiently so we can make better, faster decisions about how water is managed."

Recognizing the potential for Ontario to become a dominant player in a US $424-billion global water market, the provincial government passed the Water Opportunities Act in 2010 — an act to promote Ontario’s expertise to the world. In 2013, it issued a water sector strategy to build on those strengths.

Support behind water technology entrepreneurs

Formed as part of the Act, the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) works closely with the Ontario companies who are confronting the world’s water challenges.

Their competitive solutions are wasting less and costing less. They are treating water by mimicking nature. They are recovering valuable nutrients from wastewater to create new products (and revenue streams) for municipalities. They are helping facilities fuel themselves —and their cities — with net positive energy from their operations.

They are developing game-changing, smarter systems that collect, analyze, and share information more efficiently so we can make better, faster decisions about how water is managed.

Exciting time for water technology innovation

Through its business acceleration programs, WaterTAP is helping these companies become more competitive. We’re working closely with other organizations, such as the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, who help validate technology and bring products to market faster.

Ontario Centres of Excellence, MaRS Discovery District, Walkerton Clean Water Centre, the Ontario Clean Water Agency, the BLOOM Centre for Sustainability, and many other organizations are also working hard to bring Ontario technology to the forefront. It’s a team effort.