Student and Young Professional Workshop

Water Quality Agriculture SYP Workshop Banner final
Please note: The deadline to apply for this workshop was January 27, 2017. 

Wicked Problems and Creative Solutions:
A Systems Approach to Reconciling Water Quality and Agricultural Productivity

March 5 - 8, 2017 in Waterloo Region, Ontario

Agriculture is essential to providing food for a growing population. Agriculture is also one of the biggest contributors to water pollution and degradation of our freshwater and marine ecosystems. This workshop takes participants beyond the pages of the textbook and on a whirlwind tour through the complex world of agroecosystems, where the competing needs for food security and ecosystem integrity must be reconciled.

Issues of ecosystem degradation are both global and regional, and many large Canadian lakes, including Lake Erie, are plagued by toxic algal blooms that are attributed to agricultural pollution. Binational agreements have been made between the US and Canada that pledge to reduce phosphorus pollution by 40% to tackle these problems. But are these targets realistic? What are the challenges and opportunities as we attempt to dramatically improve water quality? Can we reconcile the competing needs of food security and a clean environment? This workshop seeks to answer these questions through the eyes and experiences of a wide range of experts in the fields of agricultural water quality, water policy and governance. Participants will be introduced to the foundational issues, strategies for improvement, and barriers to change, and will work together to come up with solutions. 

Learn from local experts about agricultural water quality issues in Canada, balancing human and ecosystem needs in the face of rapid climate and land use shifts, key challenges and mitigation strategies, and creative solutions and opportunities. 

  • Who can apply? Graduate students and young professionals from any discipline in water management, who are currently living in Canada and have not attended two previous CWN workshops.
  • Space is limited; participants will be selected on the strength of their applications.
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.
  • Do not apply if you are not able to stay on-site for the duration of the workshop and participate in its entirety. Those leaving for other than medical reasons will not be allowed to rejoin the workshop. 
  • Applicants will be notified by email regarding the status of their application by Friday, February 3.
  • Accepted participants must submit a brief biography and headshot photo. Participants will also be assigned to a group and asked to work together online to prepare a short presentation before the workshop begins.


The registration fee is $300
(tax included) and must be paid upon acceptance into the workshop. Payment options are VISA, MasterCard or cheque, payable to Canadian Water Network c/o University of Waterloo. After February 13th, no reimbursement is provided in the event of cancellation.

Shared accommodation and meals will be provided during the workshop. Travel costs will be reimbursed (see details below).

Participants are responsible for booking their own travel to Kitchener by February 20th to arrive in Kitchener by 3:00 p.m. on March 5th and depart no earlier than 3:00 p.m. on March 8th. Please book your flight or bus early to reduce travel costs. 

Travel claim forms will be provided at the workshop, and must be returned with original receipts and boarding passes within 30 days of the workshop. Reimbursable travel costs include economy airfare and airport transfer, bus ticket or car mileage (45 cents/km) and meals during travel. 

Meals purchased in transit to and from the workshop will be reimbursed up to the following maximum: $17.50 for breakfast, $17.50 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Alcohol expenses will not be reimbursed. Original itemized receipts must be provided.

The University of Waterloo will not process travel claims without original receipts.