The Future of Groundwater Research

This video recognizes a $10-million gift to the University of Guelph’s G360 Institute from long-time U of G benefactor Edward (Ted) Morwick. The gift is intended to support significant advancements in infrastructure, innovation, research and training. A closer look into how U of G Faculty and students take leadership in preserving and managing groundwater resources through research.

“This gift is going to propel groundwater forward as a major research thrust at the University of Guelph, and it’s going to attract students and create a wealth of groundwater professional expertise that’s going to serve Canada well into the future” – Beth Parker, PhD, BCEEM, LEL


[Gentle music]

Dr. Beth Parker: “Since groundwater is a hidden resource it often gets misunderstood or ignored.”

[An underground shot with bubbles moving to the surface of the water as waves move swiftly through the water cut between an overhead shot overlooking a water stream flowing in the middle of the forest.]

[Text on screen reads “Groundwater provides drinking water for almost 50% of the global population”]

Parker: “It represents 99% of the available fresh water resource on the planet.”

Jana Levison, PhD, P.Eng: “Two of the major things that are impacting ground water resources are population growth and climate change.”

“The UN’s predicting that there will be 11 Billion people on Earth by 2100. It’s also going to be water quality impacts.”

[Overhead shot of a factory with smoke coming up the chimneys cut between shots of an overhead shot of water flowing through a dry land and a water sprinkler spraying water over a field.]

[White text on screen reads: “The UN reports the world could face a 40% global water deficit by 2030 (Water Development Report 2016]

Ted Morwick, lawyer, author, and entrepreneur: “Very concerned about climate change all my life. Back in the late 1950’s when Toronto expanded they started gobbling up all this good farm land, and they just kept expanding, all the farmland was disappearing, and that’s when I got really got concerned.

[Morwick flipping through documents cut between shots of a close up shot of a photo frame with 4 men with a cow cut between a shot of 3 men with a cow in front of an airplane, Morwick reading an environmental magazine on his couch and a shot of a farm field cut between a shot of a body of water.

[Text on screen reads: “Ted Morwick, Lawyer, Author, Entrepreneur]

Parker: “Water is life. Groundwater is everywhere beneath us but not visible. It moves slowly through soil and rock, providing local access everywhere, time for purification and sustains flow in lakes and rivers throughout the year. However, our relationship with groundwater is poorly understood. Many people are facing serious water shortages because groundwater is used faster than its replenished or is polluted by human activities.”

[Visual animation depicts the relationship between water and ground. as water moves slowly through soil and rock and moving into a large body of water. A cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation leading to a sustaining flow of water cut between an animation of a water droplet animation that depicts 99% of world’s available freshwater is groundwater and 1% from lakes and rivers, and an animation of a globe with water filled up to visually represent the portion of 2.1 billion people that live without safe water.]

Parker: “G360 has become well known for the innovative tools that we are using at real field sights and so we have been invited to work with other collaborating institutes at the five of the seven continents around the globe. And here we are standing at the scout camp which is one of my research sites. In the city of Guelph, we have the Eramosa River with a bedrock bottom, which makes it a bedrock river, and it’s the largest community in Canada that’s reliant on groundwater from bedrock systems. And one of our specializations in the G360 Institute is studying fractured rock hydrology.”

[Parker speaking to the camera cut between a shot of students working on ground water research in a truck, a man on a podium speaking to a crowd cut between shot of the crowd watching the event, woman speaking on a podium regarding ground water research towards a crowd with a presentation research slide behind her.]

[A shot of a truck entering a forestland cut between a close up of a truck with the University of Guelph logo across the door, cut between a shot of two students working together on ground water research machinery cut between student moving a valve on the machinery controlling the water flow, a test tube on the machinery that fills up with water, student walking barefoot into the water placing a wrench under water, student working on the site cut between a shot of him tightening a large screw onto a pipe.]

[Text on screen reads “Dr. Beth Parker PhD, BCEEM, LEL, University of Guelph]

Levison: “My research focuses primarily on rural groundwater systems. So I’m very interested in the interaction of food production and groundwater. Another layer is investigating climate change. We’ve been learning through our research that the scale of investigation is very important for addressing climate change issues.”

[ Levison speaking to the camera cut between animations visualizing research models, close up shot of putting a test tube into a machine cut between holding a piece of rock, students and faculty interacting with each other as they look into a glass box. The glass box that depicts the relationship between ground and water. A drop of liquid is dropped at the top right of the glass box to depict the movement of water.]

[Text in bottom left corner of screen reads, “Jana Levison PhD, P.Eng. Associate Professor, University of Guelph”]

Elisha Persaud, M.A.Sc, P.Geo, PhD candidate: “Knowing the resources and the personnel available that I would be able to work with was really exciting for me and I was just so intrigued by all of the really incredible and innovative research projects. As a community, Guelph, we’re so heavily reliant on groundwater resources for our drinking water supply, and I think groundwater is increasingly gaining attention, realizing that this is our main source of fresh water and something that needs to be protected.”

[Text in bottom corner of screen reads, “Elisha Persaud, M.A.Sc, P.Geo, PhD, University of Guelph”]

[Footage of a man walking inside a lab carrying two devices cut between a close up shot of a student interacting towards faculty member. A close up shot of a man twisting the end of a device. A shot of Persaud speaking towards the camera cut between a shot of a student twisting a piece of rock. Two students working on site with machinery used to conduct research on groundwater cut between students using a device with a long wire attached to a large wheel pulley to direct through the ground for inspection. A shot of Parker and faculty member overlooking the research results on a computer cut between Persaud speaking to the camera.]

Levison: “It’s very important that we continue this work and Guelph is really a world leader.”

Persaud: “I’m very excited for this new facility. I think from a student perspective, there’s just huge opportunity for experiential learning.”

[Footage of Morwick Groundwater Research Centre. A visual drawing of the facility cut between a shot of a model sample of the facility and a shot of a visual depicting the look of a classroom.]

Jonathan Munn, PhD, P.Geo. senior research hydrogeologist: “This facility will serve as a hub for groundwater research. It will give us the workshop and lab space that we need to actually develop these tools and instruments. This teaching side of this facility will help bring groundwater, which is traditionally out of reach, right into the classrooms.”

[Text in bottom left corner of screen reads “Jonathan Munn, PhD, P.Geo. Senior Research Hydrogeologist,, University of Guelph”]

Levison: “Graduate students are going to be able to use the facility to stage their research, to analyze their results.”

[Footage of three female students conversing with each other with machinery around them cut between a student operating machinery.]

Persaud: “I’m really excited about the opportunity for more public outreach. It’s important that we are able to increase awareness within the communities.”

[Persaud speaking to the camera cut between shots of an outdoor community event, a classroom demonstration and outdoor explanation of ground water where community members get to physically learn and interact on how groundwater works.]

Parker: “This gift is going to propel groundwater forward as a major research thrust at the University of Guelph, and it’s going to attract students and create a wealth of groundwater professional expertise that’s going to serve Canada well into the future.”

 Morwick: “The building, it will be for research and education and then advance the technology as it relates to groundwater research, and I just hope that it’ll play a very significant part in that endeavour.”

[The University of Guelph logo is shown with with tagline – Improve Life.]