A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor.
As previously announced, Dennis Huber will be retiring at the end of this calendar year. A nominating committee has been constituted to begin the process of selecting a Vice-President, Finance and Administration. The committee’s work will be comprehensive in scope, and they are considering the scope and mandate of this role. An integral portion of the process is a consultation with the community.
Your assistance is sought as the committee gathers information to support its work. Members of the University community are invited to complete a brief questionnaire being done by Laverne Smith & Associates, the executive search consultant assisting the committee with its work. All responses will be held in strict confidence by Laverne Smith, and the inclusion of your name is optional.
This role will provide leadership in the development and implementation of long-term plans and transformational change to move the University ahead and enhance organizational results. Your input is critical and it is asked that you please take the few minutes required to help us in this important undertaking. Please complete your questionnaire by March 31, 2022.
Vice-President, Finance and Administration Nominating Committee members:
Today is World Water Day, and this year, the United Nations has chosen the theme Groundwater: Making the Invisible, Visible.
Learn more about this critical resource and join the Water Institute today for World Water Day virtual celebrations.
Join the Water Institute as we explore the vast diversity of Canada’s groundwater resources from coast to coast to coast from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. today with a panel of leading hydrogeologists from across the country. We will explore current and future challenges facing one of Canada’s most critical, yet underappreciated natural resources with a view towards sustainable management in a changing world.
This event, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., will feature presentations from two high-profile advocates who are leading community-level resistance movements against environmental racism followed by an interactive, student-led discussion.
World Water Day celebrations will conclude with an in-person evening social at the Huether Hotel in UpTown Waterloo from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Additional details and registration information can be found on Waterloo’s World Water Day homepage.
World Water Day, annually observed by the United Nations on March 22, celebrates water and raises awareness to the billions of people living without access to safe water. This year’s theme is groundwater: making the invisible visible. But what are the current and future challenges facing this natural resource in Canada? University of Waterloo’s Earth and environmental sciences professor and groundwater expert David Rudolph answers this and other questions.
Groundwater is the water that exists and flows within the pores, fissures and fractures in subsurface soils and geologic materials. It is a vast freshwater resource renewed annually through natural replenishment from rain and snowmelt. Groundwater is an enormous reservoir of water, essentially hidden from view beneath the land surface, that represents a critical component in Earth’s water cycle.
Groundwater is one of the largest sources of drinking water throughout the world and is vitally depended upon for agricultural irrigation and industrial water supply. It maintains streamflow, lake levels and wetlands, providing water and nutrients year-round. The groundwater reservoir represents a buffered source of water during dry periods or droughts when surface water sources reduce in size or disappear altogether. As surface water becomes heavily allocated and the challenging impacts of climate change become more evident, groundwater resources will be even more critical in sustaining increasing water demands and the health of natural aquatic ecosystems.
Canada’s groundwater resources are critical to societal health and economic growth from coast to coast to coast. In urban centres where water demand continues to grow with population and development, local groundwater extraction rates may exceed natural replenishment resulting in a progressive reduction in water levels and reservoir storage. This can lead to significant reductions in the water flows to streams and wetlands and threatens the long-term sustainability of the urban water supplies. The slow release of excess agricultural nutrients and chemicals from cultivated regions threatens the quality of regional groundwater resources within the rural landscape, as does the legacy impacts of road salt de-icers applied to roadways within urban areas. Groundwater contamination from historical industrial sites, landfills and leakage from subsurface infrastructure like sewer systems have also led to contamination of groundwater at a more local scale, which has proven to be challenging to remediate once contamination has occurred. Changes in the hydrologic cycle resulting from a changing climate may also change the natural rate and location of groundwater replenishment, influencing its distribution and availability.
The most important step we can take to protect and preserve our invaluable groundwater resources is to raise awareness of its critical importance within our society through education at all levels. Groundwater is a tremendously resilient resource; however, to ensure sustainable subsurface reservoir levels and fresh quality, an enhanced understanding of the processes and causes of contamination and overuse is required to provide the insight needed to mitigate past effects and avoid future impacts. There is a significant lack of a regulatory focus on Canada’s groundwater supplies compared to surface water, for example, and the sustainability of this natural resource, which will become more critical over time, requires careful governance and management.
David Rudolph is a Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. He carries out research in groundwater management with a focus on innovative ways to monitor water resources in the face of changing land use and climate. Professor Rudolph was named the 2013 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer in Ground Water Science by the US National Groundwater Association, one of the most prestigious career awards in this field.
Eight entrepreneurial teams will be competing in the Concept $5k Finals this term, pitching for a chance to win 1 of 4 prize funds of $5,000.
22 student teams competed at the semifinals on March 16 and 17, presenting their pitches to a panel of judges including Mila Banerjee, Business Advisor at Velocity, Shoma Sinha, Concept Coach and Moazam Khan, Business Advisor at Velocity.
The finalists are:
Members of the University community are invited to join in the virtual audience of the Winter 2022 Concept $5K Finals on March 31. By attending, you will have the opportunity to win audience prizes including a Concept prize pack.
Read the latest entry on the Concept blog for more information about the upcoming $5K finals.
Athletics and Recreation has announced that they are moving to in-person Warrior Recreation effective this week. What does this mean? According to Athletics:
"Ensure you check our drop-in rec schedules which can be found on the website as well as the Warrior Rec app," says a note from Athletics. Check out the Warrior Recreation schedule.
This is a reminder of the upcoming XChanges Conference being organized by the Waterloo Undergraduate Students Association student-led racial advocacy service, RAISE (the Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity). The conference will be held Saturday, March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. virtually through Zoom.
"Join Raise and fellow community members as they gather and learn about the importance of community from their amazing lineup of speakers," says a note from Raise.
For tickets, visit the XChanges website at https://bit.ly/XChanges2022. For inquiries about the conference, please feel free to reach out to the Raise team at firstname.lastname@example.org.