November 16, 2007 17:16 ET

Canada Supports the University of Calgary in a Development Project in Bolivia

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2007) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for Calgary North Centre, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, $1 million in funding to the University of Calgary to help Bolivia with water management.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with the University of Calgary on this water management project, which will improve the health and quality of life of people living in Bolivia," said Minister Oda. "We are proud to be actively enhancing our engagement in the Americas to help build a more democratic, prosperous and secure hemisphere."

"The people of Alberta and all Canadians should be proud of the difference our academic experts are making in the world by sharing their knowledge and skills," said Minister Prentice. "This project will allow Canadians to help Bolivians manage, protect and conserve their water resources, providing increased access to clean water."

"The long-term impact or "ripple effect" of this project will be improved management of water resources in Bolivia," said David Bethune, International Project Director, Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary, "What it's going to mean is that the Bolivian water scientists will have increased education in terms of water science and what it means in the community."

This funding will be used for training, research and public education, as well as the creation of a Bolivian Water Network, which will coordinate the continued sharing of knowledge gained during the project.

This support has been provided through the Canadian International Development Agency under the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program (UPCD), administered by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Please see attached backgrounder for more details.



The Government of Canada today announced a new project with the University of Calgary that will put sustainable expertise in water management and conservation in the hands of Bolivians, up to now largely dependent upon foreign experts for advice and assistance in this area vital to the country's health and development.

Water is a scarce resource in this Andean nation. Disputes over its access and control have resulted in conflict between competing communities, who have no public- or private-sector experts to guide them on water management in the country's unique social environment.

The project is funded by the University Partnerships in Cooperation and Development Program of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada administers the projects on CIDA's behalf.

Experts in water management from the University of Calgary will work with colleagues in the Universidad Mayor Real y Pontificia de San Francisco Xavier to develop new curricula, train faculty and students, and upgrade library and water laboratories. They will also contribute to applied research, workshops and short courses on water themes, public education and awareness building, policy research, and construction of a web site. Students in the program will work in local communities to gain hands-on experience and insights. The project will run from 2007 until 2013.

Graduates of the program are expected to find jobs in Bolivia's water sector, either in businesses or government, and to use their cutting-edge knowledge to bring truly Bolivian solutions to water management.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Veronique Bruneau
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534 (electronic version of document)
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    Bill Rodgers
    Director of Communications