Water Innovation Program

This program funds projects that lead to safe, secure drinking water; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable water supplies for a sustainable economy.

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Program at a Glance

Program Status: Active
Strategic Initiative: Environmental Innovation
Business Area: Environmental Innovation
Priority Area(s): Funds projects that lead to safe, secure drinking water; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable water supplies for a sustainable economy.


Program Status: Active
Alberta-based: No
Organization Type: Academic Institutions & Researchers
Government or Public Entity
Individual or Sole Proprietor
Multi-National Enterprise
Small to Medium Enterprise


Water is vital for life, our communities and the economy. Alberta’s population and demand for water are expected to grow in the coming decades, along with increasing impacts from climate change. Our priority is to ensure Alberta has the quality and quantity of water needed.

This program was designed with the goals of the Water for Life Strategy in mind including:

  • Safe, secure drinking water.
  • Healthy aquatic ecosystems.
  • Reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.


We support innovation that will:

  • Help create a cleantech industry in water treatment.
  • Enable continual improvement in water use, conservation, efficiency and productivity .
  • Provide safe, secure and reliable water resources while maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Browse through  Making Waves, an Alberta Innovates publication highlighting water solutions we have supported.

What we fund

We invest in projects under four themes. For detailed information and a fulsome list of priorities, please consult the Program Guide.

Theme 1: Future water supply and watershed management

All major rivers in Alberta derive their water from the Rockies. Given that most Albertans use water from surface water sources, it is important to understand the ability of these mountain and foothill systems to continue to provide a stable water supply to Alberta’s rivers and watersheds. Even though it is out of sight, groundwater also plays a significant role in water supply for our economy and communities. Holistic approaches are needed to build understanding of impacts and develop strategies to sustainably manage our water supplies.

Theme 2: Healthy aquatic ecosystems

Healthy aquatic ecosystems are vital to a high quality of life for Albertans and provide critical ecological goods and services. Alberta’s growing population and economy, coupled with increasing impacts from climate variability and global change, will impact the health of aquatic ecosystems. Tools and strategies are needed to mitigate and manage these impacts.

Theme 3: Water conservation, efficiency and productivity

Water is a vital element of our economy and our communities. While Alberta is considered a water rich province,only a limited amount can be sustainably pulled from the system. Improving the conservation, efficiency and productivity of water use enables the growth of our economy and communities while still preserving critical environmental flows.. In addition,tools are needed to inform decision making and development of business cases to enable implementation.

Theme 4: Water Quality Protection

All Albertans have the right to access safe, secure water supplies. Protecting Alberta’s water for safe use and consumption requires a detailed understanding of the input and impact of contaminants to both surface and groundwater, particularly non-point source inputs and emerging contaminants (micro-plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc.). Climate variability and evolving land management practices will also impact the quality of Alberta’s water and challenge conventional water treatment for a growing population. While water quality challenges are being faced across the province, rural, Indigenous, and remote communities are in critical need of a focused approach to their unique water security issues.

Open Intakes

Water Innovation Program - Continuous Intake

Due date: Continuous

More details


Funding is open to all categories of lead applicant including technology developers, industry, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development (R&D) organizations, post-secondary institutions, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs, individuals and others, who are advancing technology development within a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range of 3-7.

Applicants are not required to be based in Alberta, but must demonstrate a clear value proposition for the Province and be able to clearly demonstrate alignment to the program area priorities.

For full details of eligibility criteria, consult the Clean Resources Continuous Intake Program Guide.

Successful applicants must be legally able to execute the Investment Agreement.

How To Apply

  1. Contact a Clean Resources Project Advisor, listed below, to determine if project scope meets the requirements.
  2. Register on SmartSimple, the online application portal.
  3. Complete and submit the Intake Form on SmartSimple.
  4. Wait for your Intake Form to be reviewed to determine if the proposed proejct will be invited to submit a Detailed Proposal.

For more details on eligibility and the intake process, consult the Program Guide.

If you have determined that your project meets our criteria, please contact a Project Advisor before submitting your Intake Form.

Evaluation Process

During the review process, Alberta Innovates leverages internal staff with subject-matter and business expertise and external reviewers to evaluate applications submitted.   

Proposed projects will be evaluated against criteria in three major categories: Innovation; Execution; and Impacts.  The considerations for each criterion are detailed in the SmartSimple online application form.


Vicki Lightbown

Director, Water Innovation Program

Mark Donner, PhD

Senior Manager, Environmental Remediation and Restoration

Open and Upcoming Intakes

Water Innovation Program - Continuous Intake

This program funds projects that lead to safe, secure drinking water; healthy aquatic ecosystems; and reliable water supplies for a sustainable economy.


Funded Projects

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