Waterloo announces $1.75 million commitment from RBC Blue Water Project to support launch of unique water management program

WATERLOO, ON, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The University of Waterloo announced today a $1.75 million commitment from RBC Foundation to support development of a new graduate study program in Integrated Water Management.

The RBC Water Scholars program aims to provide students graduating with water-related degrees broader perspectives and the ability to communicate and co-operate with experts from other water-related fields.

"Waterloo offers specialist graduate degrees in a wide variety of water-related programs, but as we address increasingly complex water issues we need to train people to have an appreciation of multiple water research disciplines," said Professor Robert Gillham, Executive Director of the Water Institute. "RBC's generous gift allows us to establish a program that gives graduates a foundation in water science, engineering, technology and management above and beyond the specialist training they receive as part of their graduate degree studies," said Professor Gillham

"We're proud to support the University of Waterloo and the Water Institute, to help protect one of the world's most precious natural resources - fresh water," said Dave McKay, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC. "Canada is considered a water-rich country, but many areas are under serious water stress, and shortages are becoming alarmingly common in municipalities across the country. Through the RBC Blue Water Project, we want to help raise awareness and fund water projects in Canada and around the world. Working together with the University of Waterloo and other organizations, we can ensure we all have safe, clean water, now and in the future."

The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year global charitable commitment of $50 million to help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $36 million to more than 500 charitable organizations worldwide that protect watersheds and promote access to clean drinking water, with an additional $6 million pledged to universities for water programs.

The RBC donation will support more than 120 scholarships for master's and PhD students (RBC Water Scholars) over the next eight years, in addition to sponsoring high-profile program fellows (RBC Visiting Fellows) and an annual RBC Water Scholars Program student symposium.

"Waterloo and RBC have a rich history of working together and I am immensely thankful for their kind gift," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "RBC's support will allow us to develop a truly unique graduate program where educators and students work collaboratively across disciplines to address local, national and international water security issues."

Seven Waterloo departments across four academic faculties will deliver the program collaboratively. Students completing specialist water degree programs will work collaboratively with other departments and disciplines in the new Integrated Water Management program. Students who successfully complete the program will receive an adjunct qualification to their degree.

About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

About RBC Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2012 - 2013 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2012, we contributed more than $95 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $64 million and $31 million in sponsorships.

Attention broadcasters: Waterloo has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds with a double-ender studio. Please contact Nick Manning on 519-888-4451 or 226-929-7627 for more information.

SOURCE: University of Waterloo

For further information:

Media Contacts

Nick Manning
University of Waterloo

Greg Skinner
RBC Royal Bank

Andre Roberts


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