Mapping Canada’s Water Technology Ecosystem | A New Report From Foresight Canada

June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022. The waterNEXT Water Technology in Canada Report charts a course through the many sectors and subsectors, utilities, industries, organizations, and communities that could be affected by this critical resource, and is a collaboration between Foresight and IISD, with support from AquaAction. The report builds on the success of Canada’s Water Technology Ecosystem Map, a project co-developed by Foresight, waterNEXT, IISD and AquaAction in 2021, that was created in order to present a clear picture of many players involved in the sector.

The Report

Canada is home to one of the fastest growing blue economy ecosystems in the world. The Water Technology Ecosystem Report:

  • Showcases ecosystem members including companies, enablers, and knowledge generators, to paint a picture of the current landscape of water technology and innovation in Canada 
  • Compiles ecosystem data to communicate the impact and value of water technology across multiple regions and sectors
  • Supports the innovation process by coordinating ecosystem players, identifying gaps, and highlighting opportunities for collaboration

Canada is globally recognized as a water solutions country, with proven success in areas such as advanced disinfection and filtration, real-time monitoring, water security, and “smart” and digital decision support systems.

By building the Water Technology Ecosystem Map, waterNEXT and Foresight are bridging the gaps between innovators, industry partners, government, utility providers, across sectors, and from Canada to the world. 

“The launch of the Water Technology Ecosystem Map and the accompanying report are critical steps in breaking down Canada’s water tech silos, removing barriers and building connections, accelerating the innovation pipeline, and getting Canadian water tech solutions to market. We are proud to support this fast-growing ecosystem, and Canada’s water innovators,”

Alan Shapiro Director, waterNEXT.

"IISD is proud to have partnered with Foresight and waterNEXT to create the Canadian Water Technology Ecosystem Map, and the accompanying Water Technology Landscape Report. Developing these tools will be an essential step in building community and fostering connection across Canada's water technology ecosystem; the next step is to evolve how we use technology to monitor and protect our precious freshwater supplies in real time.”  

Richard Grosshans Bioeconomy Lead, IISD.

Key Takeaways

  • Canada is home to 595 water technology startups, SMEs, and established companies, 68 enablers, supporting the water technology ecosystem, including accelerators, funders, industry associations, and others, and 60 academic, government or non-profit research organizations with a focus on water data, technology or innovation
  • Canada has several well-developed water tech hubs, in Western Canada in Vancouver, in the Prairies in Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, in Eastern Canada in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, Montreal, and Quebec, and in Atlantic Canada in Halifax and St. Johns
  • Investment in the Canadian water technology ecosystem drives four key economic benefits across the country - green jobs, clean growth, global value, and environmental impact
  • Domestic revenue for Canadian water technology companies totalled well over $30 billion CAD in 2019
  • Export revenue for Canadian water technology companies totalled well over $7 billion CAD in 2019
  • Water and wastewater systems account on average for 38% of energy consumption by Canadian municipalities and contribute 32% of reported municipal GHG emissions, nearly half of that coming from sewage treatment
  • Companies from the waterNEXT network are working across multiple sectors to reduce water use, improve water quality, limit water-related GHG emissions, and advance multiple SDGs

To learn more about Canada’s water tech ecosystem, read the full report.

Foresight supports the identification and validation of cleantech opportunities and the successful commercialization of solutions. We bring together innovators, industry, investors, government, and academia to address today’s most urgent climate issues and support a global transition to a green economy.

waterNEXT is Canada’s water technology network. We bring together stakeholders from across the water innovation ecosystem to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of technologies for the world’s most pressing water challenges. waterNEXT is a strategic initiative of Foresight Canada.

IISD is a Canadian think tank working to create a world where people and the  planet thrive. IISD’s water program works with government, civil society, and industry to protect freshwater with innovative policies, new technologies, cutting edge scientific research developed at Canada’s freshwater laboratory—the IISD Experimental Lakes Area.the world’s most pressing water challenges. waterNEXT is a strategic initiative of Foresight Canada. 

AquaAction is a charitable organization that engages young innovators and emerging water-tech companies to develop and apply innovative solutions to contribute to the restoration of freshwater health.