MORLEY AB – ENVIRONMENT – Steel River Group Ltd. (Steel River) is honoured to share that its new entity, Water Care Company (Water Care), has received funding from the Alberta Innovates Water Innovation Program for its first water treatment project in Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The support we received will play an important role in creating a solution to the water crisis facing Indigenous and remote communities across Canada.
In Indigenous cultures, water is seen as the lifeblood of the Earth and the sacred gift that connects all life, but many Indigenous and remote communities do not have access to safe, clean water. Water Care was created to ensure that these communities have access to first world water treatment infrastructure that can be owned, operated and maintained locally, empowering each community to solve their own water crisis.
Alberta Innovates has committed $328,089 to Water Care to focus on developing the pre-commercial prototype of its Clarification Technology at the Morley plant. This investment will help Water Care continue to develop its water treatment technology while supporting opportunities for education, employment, social sovereignty and economic sustainability.
“This is a gratifying moment on the journey to ending the water crisis in Canada, where access to simple and effective wastewater solutions continues to be a challenge, especially in remote and Indigenous communities,” said Trent Fequet, founder and CEO of Steel River. “This funding will be instrumental in driving this mission forward, and I want to thank the team at Alberta Innovates for understanding the importance of this project and for their support. This technology has the potential to be transformative for so many communities across the country. The team at Water Care will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of technology as Water Care looks to expands its offerings beyond wastewater treatment, with access to clean drinking water the top priority.”
Over the past year and a half, Steel River has been working with the Stoney Tribal Administration to explore potential solutions for the Morley Wastewater Treatment Plant, a facility that is frequently forced to turn away truckloads of wastewater due to capacity challenges. Upon successful testing and integration of this technology, Water Care plans to bring this technology to communities across Canada that share similar challenges with the Stoney Tribal Administration.
“The Stoney Nakoda Nation, like many Nations across this country, have experienced water issues for generations that impact the entire community,” said Chief Clifford Poucette of Wesley First Nation. “Whether it’s access to clean drinking water or disposing of wastewater, we need to restore, protect, and preserve our water, as water is sacred. As a First Nation, being given this opportunity to steward this new technology, understand how it works, and share the knowledge of its effectiveness with other Indigenous peoples is very powerful. We thank Steel River Group and Alberta Innovates for this opportunity to collaborate on such an important issue.”
Alberta Innovates is the largest research and innovation agency in the province, providing funding, coaching, workshops and avenues for collaboration, to help solve today’s challenges, create new opportunities and forge a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for Albertans.
“Our Water Innovation Program supports Alberta’s cleantech industry in advancing water treatment technologies and enables safer and more reliable water resources for Albertans,” said Brett Purdy, Executive Director of Environmental Innovation at Alberta Innovates. “We are pleased to be working with Steel River Group to move this technology forward to improve quality of life for the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, and we look forward to seeing it implemented in Indigenous and remote communities elsewhere.”
“The Stoney Tribal Administration is thrilled that, through the Alberta Innovates grant funding, Water Care will be able to bring their Clarification Technology to our community to address the challenges we are facing at the Morley Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said Ryan Robb, Chief Executive Officer for the Stoney Tribal Administration. “This technology should extend and expand the life cycle and the capacity of our wastewater system, ensuring the entire community has access to clean water in Stoney Nakoda First Nation.”
The Stoney Tribal Administration project started in April 2021 and runs until May 2022. Water Care’s hope is that this project not only validates and demonstrates the performance of the technology in a real-life environment, but directly supports and improves Morley’s current capacity issues.