Leveraging the Ocean to Create Solutions to Global Water Shortages | Aquatech
Desalination Membranes Americas

Leveraging the ocean to create a solution to global water shortages in Canada

Monday, 3 April 2023
Canada's Ocean Supercluster (OCC) has just unveiled a ground-breaking project that could revolutionise the way we create affordable clean water. The $14 million Oneka Glacier Large-Scale Wave Energy Sustainable Desalination Project, led by cleantech company Oneka Technologies, plans to leverage the power of the ocean to create an environmentally-friendly solution to global water shortages.

By adapting its existing wave-powered desalination technology, Oneka will create a ‘Glacier’ desalination system that promises to make sustainable fresh water.

Oneka Technologies is teaming up with AF Theriault, H2O Innovation, and the Town of Barrington, Nova Scotia for the project. The partners will work together to manufacture the hull and structure of the Glacier unit, provide the processing plant for desalination and provide an onshore site for the installation of buoys at Cape Sable Island. Ocean Supercluster will be contributing $6.7m in funding to amplify the support from the project partners. 

Harnessing the power of waves

With almost all the water on our planet found in the ocean and half the world's population living within 100 km of a coastline, Oneka’s technology could provide a much-needed solution to water scarcity. Harnessing the power of waves, its systems will produce zero greenhouse gas emissions and require minimal land space. Plus, they'll use modular units to reduce costs and only discharge responsible brine in regions where water is scarce. 

Canada is poised to transform sustainable freshwater production with the Oneka Glacier project. By exporting this cutting-edge technology to countries worldwide, the country will not only boost its own economy but also help bring fresh water to communities in need. 

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, siad: “With this investment, our government is ushering in a new frontier for energy technology. By harnessing the power of waves, we're able to produce fresh water at an unbeatable price point and with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Not only is this a win for the environment, but it's also a win for the job market - this project will create well-paying positions, all while expediting the commercialisation of this incredible innovation.”

Canada’s Oceans Supercluster vision

Canada's Oceans Supercluster is an innovative collaboration of businesses and research institutions that are focused on developing a sustainable ocean economy. The project partners are determined to improve ocean sustainability while simultaneously creating exciting economic opportunities and improving quality of life. 

From cultivating new marine resources to introducing innovative uses for existing resources, with a particular emphasis on supporting communities who have depended for generations on reliable access to the ocean. If successful, it could provide long-term economic gains for the country and usher in a revolutionary new way of utilizing the oceans for productive and sustainable purposes.

Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Oceans Supercluster, said: “The Oneka Glacier project is our very first Quebec-led project that will not only bring new economic activities to the oceans, but also create a solution to a great challenge, the access to fresh water for communities of all sizes. We are inspired by the innovation developed in this project team and excited that Canada’s Ocean Supercluster can help make it a reality.”