Fluvial Systems owner Stephen Bird compares satellite imaging and traditional water-quality measuring equipment with MP Russ Hiebert on the banks of the Nicomekl River Friday.

‘Unique idea’ to test water

White Rock's Fluvial Systems Research Inc. awarded federal contract.

A sizable federal government contract awarded to a White Rock company is good news for a local business – and for improved monitoring of rivers and streams across Canada – according to South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP Russ Hiebert.

Hiebert was on hand last Friday for the announcement of the $542,643 contract with Fluvial Systems Research Inc. – and for a demonstration of its Spaceborne Water Quality Assessment equipment – at the Nicomekl River by Elgin Road bridge.

Fluvial Systems’ technique uses a new high-resolution satellite to read information on water quality in small shallow rivers, company owner and geoscientist Stephen Bird told the Peace Arch News.

It will be tested this summer, in conjunction with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, by correlating the data received by the satellite with data received from traditional in-the-field testing equipment.

The potential benefits include more rapid identification of sources of contamination, allowing officials to take precautionary measures to ensure sustainable management of water resources, Bird confirmed.

It will also be cost-effective, he said, since remote bodies of water can be surveyed from space, before the decision is made to “focus the attention of a field crew” on a specific area.

“It’s fantastic,” said Bird of the contract, which took nine months of work to secure.

“We had a unique idea and searched long and hard for opportunities within the federal government before (connecting with) Agriculture Canada – this matched perfectly with their needs.”

The contract was awarded through the Build in Canada Innovation Program, a federal incentive designed to accelerate the delivery of innovative goods and services to the marketplace.

“This major contract will allow Fluvial Systems to apply their cutting-edge technology in real-world applications,” Hiebert said in a news release.

“While the federal government will derive substantial benefit from this contract, Fluvial Systems can now build on the success of this sale to market their services across Canada and internationally.”

 

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