University of Lethbridge water experts available in advance of World Water Day

Thursday, March 20, 2014

For Immediate Release — Thursday, March 20, 2014


World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The University of Lethbridge is renowned as a leader in the study of water resources, including natural science analyses of watersheds and water quantity and quality; and overlapping social science investigations related to aspects such as water policy and economics.

As World Water Day 2014 approaches, we present a look at just some of the many research projects ongoing within the University’s Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE).

You are invited to contact the researchers directly for interviews.

Dr. René Barendregt (Geography)

René conducts research focused on paleo-environments and climate change, and in particular the glacial/interglacial sedimentary records in Canada and the western hemisphere. The history of glaciation and the architecture of glacial deposits have an important bearing on the storage and transmission of surface & subsurface waters and facilitate the mapping of aquifers & paleo-drainage systems. Current work in east-central Alberta, based on bore-cores, will assess the history of glaciations and associated (buried) meltwater channels in that region. These channels are potentially significant sources of groundwater.

Contact: 403-329-2530 or

Dr. Henning Bjornlund (Economics)

Henning’s research focuses on how communities with limited water resources can make do with the water they have. He examines how different sectors of the community perceive that available water should be shared between competing uses and especially how the irrigation sector can contribute to meeting future demand while minimizing socioeconomic impact.

Contact: 403-317-2884 or

Dr. Bryan Brooks (Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Water and the Environment)

Bryan’s research focuses on water quality, environmental health and sustainability topics, particularly in urbanizing areas. He examines how human activities intersect with other factors (e.g., harmful algae, drought) that stress the water resources critically necessary for fisheries, agricultural, industrial and potable uses.

Contact: 403-394-3906 or

Dr. Stefan Kienzle (Geography)

Stefan is a hydrologist and geographic information system (GIS) analyst with over 25 years of experience in watershed modelling. His current research focus is using the ACRU agro-hydrological modelling system as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) AquaCrop model to simulate the impacts of environmental change on watershed hydrology and crop yields in many watersheds in the province of Alberta. He also is working on a digital hydro-climatological atlas of Alberta, focusing on mapping both historical and future climate change.

Contact: 403-380-1875 or

Dr. Gregory Pyle (Biological Sciences)

Greg’s research involves understanding how low concentrations of environmental contaminants can affect the chemosensory function among aquatic animals. Detecting and responding to cues in the water is essential for freshwater animals and can be impaired by contaminants. Not all contaminants induce an equal effect, however, as nickel and copper affect response to food and predator cues, respectively. By understanding contaminant-effects on olfaction, we can better inform ecological risk assessment.

Contact: 403-332-4048 or

For more information on the University’s Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE), follow this link:


Trevor Kenney, News & Information Manager


403-360-7639 (cell)

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