SOURCE: Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Royal Canadian Geographical Society

November 18, 2014 13:35 ET

Calgarian Wins 3M Environmental Innovation Award for System That Turns Waste From Livestock Into Clean Water and Fertilizer

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - November 18, 2014) - The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is proud to announce Ross Thurston, President of Livestock Water Recycling (LWR) Inc., will be honoured with the prestigious 3M Environmental Innovation Award for his cutting-edge, environmentally friendly manure management system. The 3M Environmental Innovation Award, established by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and 3M Canada in 2009, celebrates innovative contributions to environmental change that benefit Canada. 

"At 3M Canada, each year we're proud to recognize outstanding individuals in business, government, academia or community organizations who make innovative contributions to environmental change in Canada," says Carla McFarlane, Communications and Community Relations Manager at 3M Canada. "Mr. Thurston's innovative approach to honouring the environment and safeguarding our water systems from animal waste is exactly the kind innovation and problem solving 3M celebrates."

During his career in water remediation, this Queens University graduate realized that livestock farmers did not have a sustainable system to effectively manage the large amounts of effluent produced by their animals. Thurston's LWR system segregates and concentrates nutrients while recycling clean water from livestock manure. The system's benefits include: reducing manure volume by up to 85 per cent, alleviating storage issues; allowing for strategic nutrient application on crops which significantly reduces the risk of harmful runoff; and producing an abundant and reusable source of clean water. No other manure management system on the market is able to recapture water while producing zero waste and the LWR is the only one to offer farmers a positive return on investment. 

"The 3M Environmental Innovation Award means a great deal to me personally, and to my team," says Thurston. "As a proud Canadian, I am delighted that this Canadian innovation will not only positively impact us here at home, but that it will benefit farming operations around the world. Knowing that our technology reduces the impact of farming on our environment, while protecting the Great Lakes for future generations, is priceless. We feel honored to help farmers feed our growing global populations while helping them protect the environment that we all share."

For Gavin Fitch, chair of the 3M Environmental Innovation Award Committee and Vice-president of the RCGS's Board of Governors, Ross Thurston deserves one of Canada's top environmental awards. "Worldwide, agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of all water consumption. Thurston's system can dramatically reduce fresh water withdrawals on hog and dairy farms by 40 per cent. At a time when drought is becoming an increasing threat to our planet this is the kind of ingenuity that deserves the recognition the 3M Award will bring." His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and patron of The RCGS, will preside over the RCGS Awards Ceremony, on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa where Thurston will receive his medal.

About The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS)
Since 1929 the RCGS has been dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada -- its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environmental, social and economic challenges. The Society is one of Canada's largest non-profit educational organizations and is funded primarily by membership fees and donations. Please visit for more information.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Deborah Chapman
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    O (613) 613-745-4629 ext. 160