OWA Advances Data and Information Sharing for Waterpower Projects

Scoping Study Launched for Waterpower Reference Centre

TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) is pleased to announce the award of a contract to 4DM and Senes Consultants (both OWA members) to complete a feasibility study for the proposed "Waterpower Reference Centre". This project is being undertaken through a partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and is intended to leverage the considerable investment being made by the waterpower industry in the collection of data and information related to hydroelectric projects.

"At present, an estimated $150 to 200 Million is being invested in waterpower development and redevelopment to support environmental assessments and approvals across the province" said Paul Norris, OWA President. "If this data and information could be captured centrally it could help inform adaptive management, effectiveness monitoring and answer some of the broader science questions."

"We are pleased to be working in collaboration with the industry and the Ministry on this important project," added Steven McArdle, President of 4DM.  "We see this as a unique opportunity to significantly advance our collective knowledge base for, and sustainability of, waterpower in Ontario."

Both the industry and the province have recognized the potential benefits of retaining and using ecological information to help guide future resource management decisions. To this end, OWA is proposing to design and develop a central location for environmental reports, supporting data/information, and best management practices. A first step is completing this feasibility study to better understand existing systems, holdings, and available products.

The OWA is a not-for profit organization representing the common and collective interests of the waterpower industry.  The OWA is the proponent of the Class Environmental Assessment for Waterpower Projects in Ontario and has developed a series of environmental Best Management Practices to support new development. For more information, please visit owa.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Waterpower Association

For further information: Stephanie Landers, Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator, Ontario Waterpower Association, 866-743-1500 ext. 25, slanders@owa.ca

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