In May 2008, the Greenland Group announced that important funding had been allocated by Canada’s National Research Council – IRAP to assist with further developing the CANWET (or CAnadian Nutrient and Water Evaluation Tool) modelling software. This week, CANWET-4 was launched in Newmarket, ON at the offices of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and also with representatives from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and local Municipalities.
Three years ago, GREENLAND® developed an earlier model version that was later used for source water protection, assimilative capacity, nutrient management and water allocation projects. CANWET was also used last year by the Government of Ontario to prepare the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. The total public (research) and private sectors investment to complete CANWET-4 was over $600,000 and included one of the largest grants from the National Research Council – IRAP initiative.
CANWET-4 is a continuous, GIS-based software suite to inform decision making around river basin and watershed management; water supply and waste water treatment infrastructure; food security; and, climate change adaptation. Its ability to quickly and accurately estimate daily water balance, nutrient, erosion sediment, and bacteria loadings from GIS input data allows CANWET-4 to serve as a powerful decision support system. This latest release of CANWET is VB.Net database-driven and web-aware, and features an integrated open source GIS environment. Its relative ease of use and ability to take advantage of commonly available spatial data makes it a solid choice over other water quantity and quality computer models. In addition to the integration of current watershed and climate change science from renowned researchers at the University of Guelph and Penn State University, CANWET-4 also incorporates a large suite of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) for assessing proposed reductions in phosphorous, nitrogen, sediment, and animal coliforms from rural and urban lands. Multiple practices can be added in parallel or in series. CANWET-4 also calculates costs for typical BMP applications based on unit-costing. The completion of CANWET-4 was important for GREENLAND® to support other Canadian and U.S. collaborations now underway about the Lake Winnipeg, Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay Basins.
“I am extremely pleased with the completion of CANWET-4 and sincerely thank Canada’s NRC-IRAP for its funding assistance over the past few years,” says R. Mark Palmer, the President of GREENLAND®. “Our P3 completion announcement, affirms the commitment of the Canadian Government for environmental research, as well as lake and river basin management programs. The development of CANWET-4 also highlights our niche Mission Statement that recognizes the environment first while complying with best available science and proven technologies.”