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Message from the Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Water is the source of all life. When Ryerson recently hosted Barbara Sherwood Lollar for her Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) Foundation Lecture, she demonstrated how water that is over one billion years old continues to support life kilometres under the earth's surface, far from the sun and other life-giving sources.

Despite its resilience, water and the many ecosystems that exist within it can be disrupted or damaged. Our actions as human beings threaten the steady supply of clean water and, by extension, our survival.

In a county rich in water, it is difficult for Canadians to envision a time when we might not have enough water, but climate change is upon us and our researchers are ringing alarm bells.

Now is the time to act to preserve this precious resource and ensure its continuity, not only for us as humans but for the rest of the planet. We have the power to preserve the source and availability of clean water for future generations.

In this issue of Innovation, we feature projects by researchers at Ryerson Urban Water that highlight our role as stewards of this precious resource. We feature Claire Oswald’s work in addressing road salt and its inevitable run-off into streams and rivers; Lynda McCarthy’s project that is trying to find a viable crop to repopulate Toronto’s wetlands and serve as a filter to stem the production of algae along the shores of Lake Ontario; Kernaghan Webb and his students, who are taking a close look at the municipal management of wastewater and how some municipalities are challenging the status quo; and John Shiga’s work on how humans are impacting ocean life through audible interference like sonar. We also meet a team of researchers who have created a water bottle capable of filtering out impurities, rendering non-potable water drinkable.

Additionally, we look at a unique partnership with Ryerson and the National Ballet School of Canada to help promote dance interventions for Parkinson’s patients. As always, we hope you enjoy this issue, where we bring together and showcase some of the exciting work being undertaken at Ryerson University.

Usha George
Vice-President, Research and Innovation (Interim)