Northern Water Futures is a major multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research project led by Wilfrid Laurier University and funded by the Global Water Futures program. The multi-year project aims to take a leading role in sustainable development in the North through science-based environmental prediction models, decision support tools and mitigation strategies that will lead to prudent investment and knowledge-based community adaptation.

The overarching goal of Northern Water Futures is to deliver risk management solutions – informed by leading-edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools – to manage water futures in Canada and other cold regions where global warming is changing landscapes, ecosystems, and the water environment.


Northern water security is essential to the vitality of northern communities, the security of traditional food sources, and the responsible development of northern resources. Northern Water Futures is supported by strong relationships Laurier has built over the time with a diverse network of partners across the Northwest Territories (NWT). This longstanding and growing collaboration between NWF researchers and NWT communities has resulted in the Wilfrid Laurier University-Government of the Northwest Territories Partnership, which has provided a responsive and robust framework to inform the goals and priorities of NWF.


NWF builds upon two consecutive investments by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a federal funding agency, to provide a state-of-the-art infrastructure platform for NWT-focused research, training and engagement. NWF will make use of a existing network of 12 living laboratories and 19 supporting sites spread throughout Northwest Canada. These will be greatly enhanced during the project, with Laurier’s Changing Arctic Network (CANet), funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, supporting the enhancements.