Improving global groundwater protection focus of $10-million gift

Better protection of groundwater supplies around the globe is the focus of a new $10-million gift to the University of Guelph’s G360 Institute.

The donation by long-time U of G benefactor Edward (Ted) Morwick is intended to support significant advancements in infrastructure, innovation, research and training.

About 2.5 billion people worldwide depend solely on groundwater for basic needs. Climate change, population growth and pollution from human activities are causing groundwater shortages.

The G360 Institute studies groundwater and surface water interaction in fractured sedimentary bedrock to ensure safe and sustainable supplies.

The institute, to be renamed as the Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute, brings together more than 20 institutions in 10 countries through field-based research.

An honorary U of G graduate, lawyer, cattle breeder and published author, Morwick has contributed to the University since 2010 through scholarships in creative writing, aquatic biology and water resource engineering. These awards have supported 39 students to date.

From this new gift, $4 million will support renovations and capital improvements to the Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility, which will be renamed the Morwick Groundwater Research Centre.

“The building will be for research and education and will help in advancing technology as it relates to groundwater,” said Morwick. “I am hopeful it will play a very significant role in protecting our global groundwater supplies.”

Another $4 million will support an innovation fund. The fund will be led by the Morwick Chair in Sustainable Groundwater Research, to be held by Dr. Beth Parker, founder of the institute and a professor in the School of Engineering.

As part of the gift, the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the College of Biological Science will each receive $1 million for summer student research assistantships in water and climate change research.

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